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Presentation on theme: "SESSION TWO. COMPOSITION. MARK WOODWARD PHOTOGRAPHY."— Presentation transcript:


2 INTRODUCTION –Session two – well done for making it this far! –Homework from last week! –Any ideas why I asked you to go find inspiration online?

3 WORKSHOP PLAN! –Introduction to composition –Aspect. –Composition rules and when to use them. –Perspective. –Photo critique technique. –Homework!

4 FIRSTLY… –Join the James College Photography Tutorial Group on facebook! –Platform to share photos weekly, post your homework, receive feedback on your images. – –My contact details are: on facebook at on

5 COMPOSITION –Good composition is about everything in the frame – where should it be? –It can mean the difference between a good and a bad photo. –Whats bad about this?

6 COMPOSITION –Composition is defined as: The organisation and placement of visual elements of a photo. –But it can be more than this: perspective and aspect are equally important. (Some would argue theyre part of composition) –Aspect: the ratio of the length of the sides. 4:3, 16:9, 1:1 are common.

7 THE RULE OF THIRDS –Rule of thirds is a very popular composition rule. –Essentially, everything in the image should be on a line or crossover between two lines.

8 IN LANDSCAPES: –Split the horizon and land/foreground into thirds: either two thirds sky and one third foreground, or the other way around. –Look for important features, the setting sun, vertical or horizontal lines and apply the rule to them.

9 YOUR BEST COMPOSITION TOOL: CROP –Can totally change a photo – if you can, use it to: –Remove distracting things –Make sure horizontal lines are horizontal –Change the aspect of a photo – what crop suits the rules? –Portrait or landscape?

10 COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 1 –Simplify. –Keeping things basic creates dynamic images. –3 elements to a frame.


12 COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 2 –Fill. –Empty space can work well, but can also work badly! –Think about your zoom. –Subject size. –Think: what is the subject?

13 COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 3 –Avoid the middle. –Rule of thirds – SOMETIMES. –Look at image balance –Give the picture space

14 –Leading lines. –Fences, roads/road markings, hedges, rivers….. –Lead towards the subject –Come in at angles –Pointing the eye COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 4

15 –Diagonals. –Use them to introduce drama – horizontal and vertical lines often make a picture look calm. –Theyre essentially leading lines.. –…but with the subject diagonal. –The Dutch angle can work well.. COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 5

16 –Dutch angle. –Intentionallly strange perspective to make an image more dramatic! –Theres a time and a place. COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 5

17 –Space. –Give subject the space they need to move – as if the motion were to continue. –Can really change the look. –Which way people are facing. COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 6

18 –Backgrounds. –Two ways to get rid of backgrounds: zoom in and fast aperture. –Shallow depth of field = blurry backgrounds –Zoom in = crop out background –Longer focal length = shallower –depth of field. COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 7

19 –Contrast. –Add interest by using contrasting colours or features. That then becomes the subject. –Look for opposite colours. –Break the other rules! COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 8

20 –Ignore the rules! –Sometimes images work because they dont follow any rules. –More likely to find an image –works because it obeys the –rules rather than because –it breaks them… COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES – 9

21 –1. Simplify. –2. Fill. –3. Avoid the middle. –4. Leading lines. –5. Diagonals. –6. Space. –7. Backgrounds. –8. Contrast. –9. Ignore all these… COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES ROUNDUP –Theres no reason to include any of them in your photos, you can make great images without.. –…but if you think about one or more of them when youre taking a shot, its more likely to be one youll keep.

22 PERSPECTIVE –A very powerful tool for making interesting photos instead of boring ones. –Shoot low and high – dont just take images at eye height. –Live-view can be a great advantage, as can tilting screens.

23 FORCED PERSPECTIVE –Forced perspective is using the perspective of the photo to create interesting images. –Takes creativity to imagine them but again, find inspiration online!

24 HAVING SAID ALL THAT… –Rules are not rules, theyre rules. –As composition technique number 9 states.. Great images can be made by breaking the rules and throwing it all out the window. –Perfect example: reflections work –really well in halves, not thirds.

25 QUICK PHOTO BREAK/COMPETITION –Go take two photos of something. –One, as if you were going to do it as you would normally –Two, the same subject, but obeying the rule of thirds!

26 PHOTO CRITIQUE TECHNIQUE –Post some images to the facebook group, get some feedback! –Post one, go comment on two. –Three steps: –Look at the photo for at least 10 seconds, look at everything individually as well as a whole. –What do you like and dislike about the photo and why: –Technically (lighting, colour, focus, etc) –Visually (interesting subject, strong feelings, composition) –Suggest one improvement (different crop, brighter)


28 THANKS FOR LISTENING. –Homework! –Take 3 photos that obey at least one of the compositional rules (it can be number 9 if you want..) –Post them on facebook for others to rip them apart! –Comment on other peoples images using the style mentioned previously. –Any questions?


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