Sunday, September 14, 2014

Foundations of Photography: Composition

Lynda – Foundations of Photography: Composition
Composition can make an interesting subject bland or make an ordinary subject appear beautiful. In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the concepts of composition, from basics such as the rule of thirds to more advanced topics such as the way the eye travels through a photo.
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.

Topics include:

  • 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

Table of content

  • Introduction
    • Welcome
    • Using this course
    • What you need to know
  • Understanding Composition
    • What is composition?
    • All form, all the time
  • Seeing
    • How your camera is not like your eye
    • Looking vs. seeing
    • Vision and attention
    • Dynamic range
    • Seeing exercises
  • Composition Fundamentals
    • What all good compositions have
    • Subject and background
    • Balance
    • Point of view
    • Simplicity
    • Finding and capturing a good photo
    • Working the shot: Why one is never enough
    • Practicing
    • Why black and white?
    • Exercise: Practicing the fundamentals with points
  • Geometry: Lines and Shapes
    • Lines
    • Analyzing lines
    • Exploring a town
    • The Franklin Hotel
    • Shapes
    • Repetition: Arranging the elements
    • Rule of threes
    • Perspective
    • Symmetry
    • Focal length, camera position, and depth
    • Intersections
    • Exercise: Practicing fundamentals with geometry
  • Shooting Best Practices
    • Working a shot, revisited
    • Understanding the photographic impulse
    • Warming up
    • Exercise: Get your feet moving
  • Balance Revisited
    • Thirds: How rectangular frames are weighted
    • Tonal balance
    • Content balance
    • Squares: Weighting the corners
    • Composing people
    • Composing landscapes
    • Sometimes you can’t get the shot
    • Practicing thirds with points and geometry
    • Practicing squares with points and geometry
    • Image analysis: The work of Steve Simon
  • Light
    • It’s the light
    • Direction of light
    • Texture
    • Shadows and negative space
    • Exposure concerns
    • Keeping one eye on post
    • Light as subject
  • Workshop: Finding Light
    • Introducing the workshop location and instructors
    • Assignment: Finding light
    • Shooting the light
    • Critiquing the light assignment
  • Color
    • The basics of color
    • When to shoot color
    • How to shoot color
    • Practicing color composition
    • Image analysis: The work of Paul Taggart
  • Guiding the Viewer
    • Entry and exit
    • Framing
    • Examining the composition of this set
    • Narrative
    • When the scene doesn’t fit in the frame
    • Guiding the viewer’s eye
  • Workshop: Foreground and Background
    • Assignment: Foreground and background
    • Shooting foreground and background relationships
    • Critiquing the foreground and background assignment
  • Layers
    • Planes
    • Controlling depth
    • Juxtaposition
    • Fear
    • Layers
    • Image analysis: The work of Connie Imboden
  • Post Production
    • Recomposing an image with the Crop tool
    • Resizing an image
    • Tone
    • Altering the perspective in Photoshop
    • Changing composition through retouching
    • Vignetting to drive attention
  • Workshop Exhibition and Wrap-Up
    • Workshop wrap-up and exhibition
    • Workshop students’ final thoughts
  • Conclusion
    • Final thoughts     


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