Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the photographic impulse, part of Foundations of Photography: Composition.
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Earlier I mentioned that the study of photography can be divided into two…domains, artistry and craft.…These two skills sets mix and combine to create photographic ability.…All photos though begin with a single impulse, that moment where you have an idea…that there's a photo to be had in a particular location.…Sometimes it's very obvious that there is a good picture to be had in a…particular location, say a lion has escaped from the zoo and its charging at…you down Main Street.…Now of course a normal person would think they need to runaway, but you're a…photographer, so at that moment you feel a strong impulse towards an image.…
In that case it's pretty easy to recognize that there's a good picture to be…had, but it isn't always so easy.…In the last chapter we talked about seeing and about how much your brain is…involved in the visual process.…Now I don't have any data to support this next idea, but in my experience the…subconscious part of the brain is often a decent photographer.…Sometimes it will identify a particular image and send me an impulse that says…
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
Foundations of Photography: Exposurewith Ben Long3h 24m Appropriate for all
Foundations of Photography: 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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