Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Subject and background, part of Photography Foundations: Composition.
I've got a question for you.…What is the subject of this image that you're looking at right now?…This is not a trick question.…I really want you to think about this.…You may immediately think well, obviously you're the subject of that image. But…am I really the subject of this image?…If I'm the subject then what's the lodge there for? What are the mountains there for?…Take a look at this image instead.…If I'm the subject, this is a much better composition.…Now I am plainly the subject and the lodge is in the background, compared to here…where I'm competing with the lodge, or the lodge is competing with me.…
If you want a picture of the lodge then you don't really need me standing here.…This just looks kind of weird. In fact, you start getting a strange sense…about this image that maybe I'm trying to imply that this is my lodge or…something like that.…If you want a picture of me then you don't really need the lodge there, because…I'm smaller in the frame and the bulk of the frame is taken up by the lodge.…
The course addresses how the camera differs from the eye and introduces composition fundamentals, such as balance and point of view. Ben also examines the importance of geometry, light, and color in composition, and looks at how composition can be improved with a variety of post-production techniques. Interspersed throughout the course are workshop sessions that capture the creative energy of a group of photography students; shooting assignments and exercises; and analyses of the work of photographers Paul Taggart and Connie Imboden.
- Looking versus seeing
- Understanding when and why to use black and white
- Analyzing lines
- Arranging the elements into lines and shapes
- Working with perspective and symmetry
- Changing focal length, camera position, and depth
- Dividing rectangular frames into thirds
- Weighting the corners in square pictures
- Composing photographs of people
- Composing landscape photos
- Working with light: direction, texture, and negative space
- How to shoot color
- Guiding the viewer's eye
- Controlling depth
- Improving composition in post-production
Skill Level Intermediate
Photography Foundations: Black and Whitewith Ben Long3h 4m Intermediate
1. Understanding Composition
What is composition?2m 1s
3. Composition Fundamentals
4. Geometry: Lines and Shapes
5. Shooting Best Practices
6. Balance Revisited
8. Workshop: Finding Light
10. Guiding the Viewer
11. Workshop: Foreground and Background
13. Post Production
14. Workshop Exhibition and Wrap-Up
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