Photography Composition: Amazing Photos With Any Camera, Even The Camera on Your Phone! | Pong Lizardo | Skillshare

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Photography Composition: Amazing Photos With Any Camera, Even The Camera on Your Phone!

teacher avatar Pong Lizardo, Keep it simple.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

32 Lessons (1h 18m)
    • 1. WELCOME!

    • 2. Section 1: What Makes a Photo Look Good?

    • 3. Section 1: How To Improve Your Photos

    • 4. Section 1: How To Compose

    • 5. Section 1: Composition & The Non-Blank Canvas


    • 7. Section 2: Choice of Subject

    • 8. Section 2: Negative Space

    • 9. Section 2: Framing / Cropping


    • 11. Section 3: Rule of Thirds

    • 12. Section 3: Rule of Odds

    • 13. Section 3: Rule of Space

    • 14. Section 3: Center Line


    • 16. Section 4: Leading Lines

    • 17. Section 4: Frame Within a Frame

    • 18. Section 4: Golden Triangles


    • 20. Section 5: Patterns & Textures

    • 21. Section 5: Colors

    • 22. Section 5: Contrast

    • 23. Section 5: Shapes

    • 24. Section 5: Adding Depth

    • 25. QUICK REVIEW


    • 27. Section 6: Sample 1 - Right Place at The Right Time

    • 28. Section 6: Sample 2 - Mona Lisa of Photography

    • 29. Section 6: Sample 3 - Great Moment in Time

    • 30. Section 6: Sample 4 - Victory!

    • 31. Section 6: Sample 5 - Vacation With The Flamingos

    • 32. Conclusion

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About This Class

Basic photo composition course, the secret to amazing photos. Master composing photos w/ any camera, even the camera on your phone!

This is an improved version of this course. I took what I learned making other courses for 1000+ students around the world and videos to improve this course. I listened to feedback from students and gathered reviews to make this course even better!

This photography course will show you how to systematically compose amazing photos using simple yet effective composition techniques. In our course, we treat photo composition as a system. Each technique building one on top of the other as part of an integrated system. By applying what you learned here, you’ll make beautiful photos no matter what camera you have—may it be a mirrorless camera, a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, even the camera on your phone!

The course is divided into sections for ease of understanding. Each composition technique is discussed in quick video lectures (about 3 mins each) complete with photo samples. Straight to the point. No overly technical details so we could focus on composing our photos.

We take what works, what is easy to understand, and easy to apply. So you could compose amazing photos right away!

I’m confident you’ll like this photography composition course!


Meet Your Teacher

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Pong Lizardo

Keep it simple.


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1. WELCOME!: Hello and welcome to our photography composition course, the secret to beautiful photos. So this is a beginners photo composition course where you'll master creating beautiful photos with any camera. And when I say Any, this includes the camera on your phone. My name is Paul is our though I'm a creative professional with ten plus years of experience working with different brands and different projects and very happy you chose my course, learn how to compose amazing photos. My main goal in this course is to help you make beautiful photos. Each lecture builds on top of the other in a progressive manner. We'll discuss individual techniques so you can get an in-depth understanding of how they work. This way, you can create the use of these techniques in your photos to better understand concepts. We'll use famous photos and some of my own photos to talk about composition techniques. After learning, all of these will analyze iconic photos and they set each composition to see what makes them work. This way, you can learn from the best. I want us to deconstruct these photos down to its compositional structure so you could apply it to your own photos. As such, we'll cover ones which are easy to understand and easy to use. This will get you started quickly. I want you to compose beautiful photos right away. And if there's anything I could do to make this course better, please, please let me know without further ado, let's get started. 2. Section 1: What Makes a Photo Look Good?: So what makes a photo look good? I think we should start with this. We need to know what makes a photo look good in order to make amazing photos ourselves. There are three things that make a photo look good. Number one is lighting. Number two is clarity. Number 3 is composition. Lighting simply refers to how light is controlled and applied to the image. You do this by controlling exposure. And since you are taking this course, I would assume you already know how to do that, or you took my basic photography course, which deals with this subject. Clarity, or a clarity of composition, is how you effectively convey the main subject of your photo. Your photos should instantly answered the question, what am I looking at or what am I trying to show in this photo? If your photo could answer this question with one word, then your photo has clarity. This is very important because when we create photos where visually communicating something. And in any communication, it's important to know and be clear what you're trying to communicate. Photos which don't have clarity are most often than not, bad. Photos. Composition is the underlying visual structure of the photo. It's what organizes what we see in the photo. When we look at an uncompressed photo, our eyes tend to wonder and our brain takes some time to understand what it sees. But when we look at a composed photo, our eyes instantly rests on the subject and our brain instantly understands what it sees the brain likes. This efficiency will discuss compensation in greater detail throughout this course. So if you're ready, let's go to the next video. 3. Section 1: How To Improve Your Photos: Of course, the next logical question after asking, what makes a photo look good is how to improve your photos. I'm sorry to say this, but there's no magic formula or a quick 12-step process to improve your photos. Improving your photos requires practice, technique, and experience. So let's talk about those. One. Practice. What you learn, you have to practice. I think this should be obvious, but I do have students who just take the course but don't practice. Then they complain, they didn't improve. As they say, practice makes perfect. So you need to put into practice everything you learned here to technique. Of course, if you want to practice, you need something to actually practice. You need techniques to execute in order to practice something. I divided techniques into two, composition techniques and camera techniques. The first one is what? This course is all about. It we'll teach you photography composition. The second part is camera techniques. If you're coming from my previous course, then you know how important this is. This is about mastering the camera in your hand. Like any tool, you need to know how to use your camera. Three, experience, experience is a combination of techniques put into practice over long periods of time. If you've taken enough photos, you'll be more familiar with the camera and how light behaves. Composition techniques will become second nature to you. And the more you do, the more you practice, the more experience you'll have. In a nutshell, that's how you improve. Mastery takes time, so just be patient. 4. Section 1: How To Compose: When you look at a photo, your brain only has a split second to gather the most important part of the image. When you look at E1 and composed photo, your brain takes a lot of time and effort to look for the important part of the image. It doesn't like it. So it says that the photo is bad. But when you look at a composed photo, your brain spends less time and effort looking for the important part of the image. Your brain likes to this. So it says the photo is good. Composition is the key to making amazing photos with any camera. But what exactly is composition? Photography composition is simply arranging visual elements in a photo with purpose. There are many composition techniques. These techniques are usually explained in isolation with other techniques as if each composition technique has nothing to do with each other. This is wrong. In this course, I've organized these composition techniques in a three-step system, which allows you to layer each composition technique one on top of the other. This system involves fundamentals. These are techniques which set the foundation of the composition placement. These are composition techniques which help you position the subject and visual elements in the photo control. These are techniques which allow you to lead the viewer's eyes in the composition. Take note in practice, there are overlaps. I structured it like this to make composition easier to understand and apply. Sometimes these techniques are not applied all the time. If photographers, like what they see, they usually go for it. But this is a result of experience and a natural artistic eye. Photo composition scale is pretty much alike. Athletics, proficiency can be gained by experience, training, practice, and the learning proven strategies that work. Photographers don't become good at taking photos just because they have to work on it, no matter how naturally gifted VR. 5. Section 1: Composition & The Non-Blank Canvas: Photography is unique in the visual arts. It's the only visual art which starts with a pre-existing Canvas. Other visual arts being thin, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, even the performing arts and written arts for that matter, all start with a blank canvas. The artists deliberately and methodically adds elements onto the blank canvas. Words to a blank page, notes to a blank sheet, movements to a blank stage, et cetera. In photography, at least outside of the studio, that Canvas has already been created. Sometimes we can literally, physically add or remove visual elements in a scene, but this is not always an option. Our job in photography is to arrange existing visual elements into a composition through positioning. We define what to eliminate or add in the composition by positioning ourselves relative to our non-blank Canvas, we change the elements in the pre-existing Canvas through com, position, either by moving ourselves and camera or by changing our framing. We use composition techniques as a guide to how we position ourselves relative to our non-blank Canvas. This is how we make sense of the visual mess around us. This is how we organize, compose, if you will, the pre-existing Canvas in front of us. 6. SECTION 2: FOUNDATION INTRO: In this section, we'll talk about composition techniques which will set the foundation of the composition. This serves as a base on which other techniques are built on. You must first set the foundation before you apply other techniques. But before we talk about any composition techniques, let's first discuss the basic parts of a photo. Subject. Background, foreground, hand, supporting elements. The subject is the mean focus of your photo. It's the answer to the question, what am I looking at or what am I trying to show in this photo? The background is the space or the elements in a composition which is furthest from the camera. This is where the mean subject of the photo is set on. The background, situates your subject in space and time. The foreground is the space or elements in a composition which is nearest to the camera. Sometimes you have it in a photo, sometimes you don't. It's in this space where we sometimes put supporting elements in a composition which can give further context to the subject. Supporting elements are optional visual elements in the photo which supports your main subject. It adds more information about the subject or the entire photo for that matter. So your viewers could better understand what the photo is all about. Or it could be nothing more but decorative, simply there to make the subject stand out or look better. All right, now that we have those out of the way, let's take a look at fundamental competition. 7. Section 2: Choice of Subject: Beautiful, isn't it? One of the foundations of a composition is choosing our main subject. Though. Subjects could be made interesting through composition and camera skills, nothing beats an interesting subject worth capturing in a photo. Choice of subject or what you choose to forever capture in a photo is the first foundation of any composition. Before we can compose anything, we need to choose and focus on a subject first. This can make or break our photos. All the photos I showed you have a very interesting subjects. So much a soul. The composition matters less in terms of composition. Most of those are photos, use the most basic composition technique. This allowed the main subject to stand out. But the question is, how do you know when something is worth capturing? One things which attract your eyes? Of course, this goes without saying, pay attention to the world around you, whatever catches your eyes. Those things which make you take a second glance or things which make you stop and look, are worthy subjects to events. When something happens, it's worth having your camera on the ready. This is because when something happens, there are usually moments worth capturing in a photo. Because when a moment passes, it usually never happens. Again. It's gone forever. This is why many journalists flocked to a crime scene or an event. Or this is why we want to take photos of birthdays and special occasions. Three, movement, when things move, they make interesting photos. Seeing things in mid motion is always something interesting because it's a novelty. This is because we usually don't see things frozen in mid motion. Our brain tries to fill in the movement in a still image. So we tend to feel movement when we see it frozen in a photo. For people, the human form is the most beautiful form. I just don't remember which are the senate. But the pole and portraits of people will always be interesting subjects. Five, places, landscapes, cityscapes, cityscapes and any please would make interesting subjects. Places, make interesting photos because it's always a way for us to see a place without actually being there. Of course, there are more types of subjects out there. Those choice of subjects I just mentioned is just to give you a place to start looking beauties around us. It's just a matter of training your eyes to see it. 8. Section 2: Negative Space: Clever use of negative space can make photos look good. Observe that these photos, these photos have a lot of negative space in terms of composition, negative space is the quote unquote, empty space around your subject. While positive space is the space occupied by your subject. The subject is the primary focus in any photo. When we say empty or negative space, we don't mean a blank. We mean a space which doesn't call a lot of attention to itself. Let's take a look at those photos again. Now, I want you to pay attention to the negative space more than the main subject. To have negative space in the composition. All you have to do is look for an empty space in a scene. Autograph your subject. And voila. Good looking photos using negative space or spaces, which doesn't call a lot of attention, is important when you compose photos, because negative space is what allows your subject to stand out in the composition. Be mindful of the negative space in your composition. Remember to always include negative space when composing photos. 9. Section 2: Framing / Cropping: Framing or cropping is the most foundational composition technique. It defines the border of your pre-existing Canvas. This is how you include or exclude the visual elements you need to compose. You can think of cropping as a window where you show your viewers something. There are different types of cropping. Do you have a wide crop, also called a long shot, a medium crop, medium shot, a close up and an extreme close up. Wide crop or long shot, is used specially in film to sit the weight your subject in space. It gives a general information about the place where your subject is in. A medium crop or medium shot has a similar function as a wide crop. It just focuses less on the space and more on the subject because you can see the subject more. The medium crop can show you how the main subject interacts with its immediate surrounding. A close up is used to focus on the subject. Close ups are very intimate shots. Oftentimes used to create closeness or tension. It's used to show the subjects expression if it's a person or details of the subject. Extreme close-ups. Similar to close ups, extreme close-ups are used to focus on a single detail on a subject. This type of cropping creates a lot of tension because it shows only a part of the subject and leaves much to the imagination. People and animals are special. There are a few things to remember when you're framing people and animals. You never crop on the joints. You crop above the joints. So that's below the knee, mid thigh, on the forearm, across the biceps and on the forehead, our eyes are simply more comfortable looking at people framed this way. Another thing to remember is don't accidentally chop off the limbs or body parts. This tracks the visual flow of the image. Cropping is simple enough to understand. But here's a tip. If you don't know how to frame a scene or your subject, just zoom in. When in doubt, zoom in. You'll have a better chance having a good photo. If you zoom in, don't shoot a wide shot only to crop it to the extreme close up later in your computer. This will degrade the photo and make your image look low quality. 10. SECTION 3: PLACEMENT INTRO: This is the second part of our photo composition system. It's called placement. After setting the foundation of the composition, we need to learn how to place the subject in the composition and how to arrange the visual elements in the frame. Placement is a way for us to tell the viewer where to start looking or where to focus on the composition, we mainly use the rules of photography took place the subject in the composition. There are three, the rule of thirds, the rule of space, and the rule of odds. The rule of thirds, tells you where to place visual elements. The rule of odds tells you how many visual elements to place and how to place them. The rule of space tells you where to place the negative space in the composition. Remember, when composing, we're trying to help the brain decipher what it's looking at. The quicker the brain could decipher the composition, the less work for the brain, the more it likes the composition. So it says, the photo is good. Though. They are called rules. You should not think of them as photography gospels, which must be followed all the time or else you'll go to hell. Think of them more as guides which must be used with your artistic intuition and creativity. You might have already encountered and read some of these rules of photography. But I urge you to please pay attention to this section as it's an important step in composing photos. 11. Section 3: Rule of Thirds: When you start learning composition, the rule of thirds is the first thing you encounter it because it's simple, easy to understand, yet very effective. Beginners could use it right away and pros, use it all the time. The rule of thirds is a grid system composed of two horizontal lines and vertical lines. This divides the frame into nine equal parts to place your subject using the rule of thirds, all you have to do is put your subject on or as close to where the lines of the rule of thirds intersects. Another way of using the rule of thirds is by aligning visual elements to the lines of the rule of threads. In this photo, observe how the post is aligned to the line of the rule of thirds. In addition, notice how the sun is on or close to where the lines intersect. Anytime you have lines, placing it on one of the lines of the rule of thirds is a good idea. And since we're talking about lines, one thing to note is when you have a horizon, you should put the horizon line on one of the horizontal lines of the rule of thirds. Our eyes are accustomed to seeing the horizon on these areas. If you're photographing people or portraits or anything with eyes, for that matter, position the eyes or one of the eyes on one of the intersections of the rule of threads. Photos done this way for some reason tend to look more interesting and more well composed. This is because we tend to look at eyes and in the rule of thirds, we tend to look on these areas. The problem with placing the subject in one of the intersections is it tends to make one side of the frame look to empty. This creates an unbalanced composition. One way to fix it, this is by using informal balance, using a counter element to even out the composition. We've talked about this earlier, so I won't repeat it here. A creative way of using the rule of thirds is by filling three parts of the rule of thirds with your subject and filling six parts with other visual elements. Or you could do the reverse. You can use the rule of thirds in a variety of ways. Like in this photo here. Notice how the rule of thirds was used. Three parts in the middle is filled with the subject and six parts on the sides, we're left to negative space. As you can see, the rule of thirds is simple to use. Again, don't treat it as an inflexible rule, but use it to guide you in creating amazing photos. 12. Section 3: Rule of Odds: The rule of odds simply states an odd number of visual elements are more pleasing to look at, then an even number of visual elements. This is because when we have an even number of visual elements, our brain tends to bear these elements. These elements then compete for attention and separate it, the composition into DCIS. Our eyes as simply don't know where to look. When we have odd number of visual elements, our brains can't bear them up. The odd element then creates a focal point where the eyes automatically rests on. And remember, at this stage, we want the viewer where to look. I think having odd number of visual elements is easy enough to understand. But what do we do when we encounter even number of visual elements in our non blank canvas. Of course, we could always physically remove an element or two to create odd numbers. But this is not always the case. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to deal with even number of visual elements. One, use formal balance to your advantage. Formal balance and even numbers go hand in glove with each other. Arrange visual elements or a frame your photo. So it creates formal balance. By using formal balance, we're putting together an image that was a fragmented by even number of elements too. We can arrange even number of elements on a lion. This unifies the visual. This creates a focal point. Our eyes can follow and rest on. Our brain, can now gather the most important elements of the photo quickly. 3, since we're talking about lines and formal balance, we can use the center line to organize the even number of elements. This creates formal balance and align which the eyes can follow and rest on. Four, we can group even number of elements to form odd number of groups. Like in this photo, instead of presenting these objects as even number of individual objects, we grouped them to form odd number of groups, five, we can stack even number of visual elements into one subject. The key here is to treat the eye to see all the visual elements as one unit 6. Finally, we could arrange even number of visual elements in a triangle. This way, the photo looks more interesting and more dynamic. It gives the eyes something to look at. It's an alternative to just grouping events into odds. Warning. There are times when you should not use the rule of odds. One instance is when there's a relationship between the elements you're capturing. As you can see, the pot and the cop goes together. Or in this photo, there's a clear relationship being communicated in this visual. Use other composition techniques at your disposal to make photos like this looks good. 13. Section 3: Rule of Space: The rule of space is used to manage the negative space in the photo. With the rule of space, you can convey movement, direct the viewers attention, and show vastness, or convey a sense of scale. The best practice is always please, more negative space where the subject is facing and less space behind the subject. We naturally follow the eyes of the subject. This is why sometimes the rule of space is also called the rule of gaze, because the gaze of the subject determines where the negative space will be for moving subjects, the rule of space conveys the subject is actually moving and has a destination. Placing too little space in the front of the subject creates an ISS for the viewer's brain. The brain says, this is a band composition because it can't see what's going on in front of the subject or what the subject is looking at. Take a look at this photo, which doesn't follow the rule of space. This is a reef photo by Richard Prints in 1989. As you can see, it's very uncomfortable to look at. But if I put the cow boy here, then it goes away. It's as if we have a deep need to see more space where the subject is facing. Where you place the negative space in the composition changes what your composition is visually communicating. If your subject is in motion, pleasing more space behind the subject says the subject has passed this space. While placing more space in front of the subject says the subject is going to pass through this space. If we again look at the Cowboy sample, if I place more space in front of it, you get a sense of destination while placing some space behind the subject gives you an impression the cowboy is moving, has passed this space. To quickly recap, let's take a look at some photos and see how the rule of space was used. To use the rule of space as a guide on how to place the negative space after you've set the foundation of your composition. 14. Section 3: Center Line: We can make our tendency to frame the subject in the middle of the frame to our advantage by using the center line, or what some might call dynamic symmetry. This is not one of the rules of photography. This is a technique I first noticed, not in great photos, but in great paintings. What I noticed is these great works of art seems to be composed from a center line. Just take a look at these works. All of them seem to position the most important elements of the composition along a center line in any frame, you have to center lines. One is the horizontal center line, and the other is the vertical center line. Here are several ways to use these center lines to our advantage. Like how those great artists use the center line to their advantage. One, compose along the center line, position your subjects and the main visual elements along the center line, either on the horizontal center line or the vertical center line to when you have a horizon, it's best to position the horizon on the horizontal center line if you're not using the rule of threads. And this results in a cleaner, more calm composition. Three, position, one of the eyes on the center line. Doing so, it tends to pull the eye of the viewer to the eye of the subject. This is the reason why some portraits seemed to stare back at you and follow you when you walk across the room. I think this is the secret to Mona Lisa's mystique and of other great things for possession actual lines on the center line. In effect, you're actually visually creating a center line in the composition. And just take a look at these cleverly can post photos using this technique. Center lines emit a centered composition, look more put together. It creates a clean com, composition. And as you can see, centered composition doesn't have to be boring. You can create interesting centered compositions using these techniques to place your subject or visual elements in the composition. 15. SECTION 4: CONTROL INTRO: The final part of our composition system is control. To be more specific, guiding the viewer's eyes into the composition. The third part of the system is all about composition techniques which allow you to lead the viewer into the composition, great photos, and to lead the viewer's eyes. The composition and all the visual elements work together in pulling in the viewer and telling the viewer where they should be looking, at, how they should be looking at a photo. But enough talking. Let's go to the next video and see how to lead the viewer's eyes. 16. Section 4: Leading Lines: Leading lines are lines which moves the viewer's eyes from one part of the composition to the main subject. Leading lines could be anything from roads, rivers, shorelines, pathways, objects arranged in a line, et cetera. Although take note, leading lines are different from just aligned leading lines point to the main subject of the composition. Like how an arrow points to a direction. Lines which go nowhere are not leading lines. They're just a picture of lines. There's nothing wrong with it. I just want you to be aware of this distinction. Leading lines come in many forms. Lines could be straight, curved, or it doesn't even have to be aligned at all. Whatever. 17. Section 4: Frame Within a Frame: Frame within a frame is when you use a visual element to frame your subject with. This forces your viewers to look at your main subject. Like how a frame of a painting helps us isolate the painting from its environment. Frame within a frame could be anything from doors, windows, shapes, light, shadows, et cetera. Although you have many ways to frame your subject, there are only two types of frame. Within a frame, you have a foreground frame and background frame, as the name suggests, a foreground frame is a frame in the foreground of the photo. It tends to be in front of the subject. Foreground frame works because it limits the field of view of your viewers. Instead of looking at the entire scene, you block off parts of the scene, your viewers could focus on a limited area where they can easily and quickly find the main subject of the composition. A background frame, as the name suggests, is a frame found in the background of the photo. It tends to be behind the subject. Background frame works because it defines the area where your viewers should look. By defining this area, your viewer could easily find the main subject of the composition. Generally, frame within a frame works because it's a visual cue which says, Look Here, frame within a frame could be a full frame or a partial frame, also called suggested frame, full frames, our frame within a frame which encloses the subject. While partial frames are frames, which suggests frame. In this photo, there's not really a frame, but the elements visually frame the subject by obscuring parts of the scene and thus limiting your visual field, forcing you to look at the subject. One thing to note about partial frames, there should be enough partial elements around the subject for your brain to autocomplete the frame. Here are some of the ways you could use frame within a frame in your composition. One is to use architectural features such as doors, windows, arches, and hallways to frame your subject with look at what lies beyond these architectural features. Because there might be a good photo just waiting for you to shoot. You can use these features to frame your subject with either from the background or the foreground to partial frames from foreground elements. As long as these elements limit field of view of your viewers, it will work as a foreground framing element. The key here is to limit the visual field of the viewer. So the viewer could focus on the main subject. Three background elements could serve as frame. Within a frame, pay attention to what's behind your subject. Elements in the background could frame your subject instead of obscuring the view like a foreground frame, you're using elements in the background to define a visual area. This isolates what falls within it and forces your viewers to look at whatever you just framed. For. Contrast could also be used to frame your subject with any shape defined by the light and the dark area could be used as a framing element in your photo. Photos with high contrasts always end up with a portion of the composition lit by a light source while leaving the rest of the photo almost black. Five blocks of colors could also be used as framing elements. Whenever you have a solid block of color, you can put your subject on it. This creates a frame six, BOC. Boc is the blurred or out-of-focus part of the photo. You can use these blurred parts to frame your subject with. Because when you blur, you tend to mash up elements and produce blocks of colors. You can frame your subject with. Frame within a frame not only controls the viewer's eyes in the composition, it is also a very effective way of adding interest in the composition. 18. Section 4: Golden Triangles: Once you see this, you can never unsee this. Again. Triangles and the diagonals. Triangles come in many forms. It could be actual triangles. In a photo. It could be suggested by the visual elements. It could be a compositional guide, or it could even be implied by diagonal lines. Triangles are so effective at organizing compositions and making visuals look more dynamic. The diagonal sides of a triangle adds movement in the composition because of its shape, it tends to lead the viewer's eyes to a single point of interest. Like how a funnel, well, finals things into a single hole. We can use triangles to guide us in composing our photos. For example, in this photo, triangles and the diagonal lines were used to capture and reinforce the intensity of the moment. A large triangle implied by diagonal lines was used to compose the photo. Then there's an implied triangle which leads your eyes here. This underlying visual structure makes this photo powerful. There are two types of triangles in a composition. Literal triangles and implied triangles. Literal triangles are triangles in the composition. Incorporating an act while triangle in the photo makes it more interesting to look at implied triangles, on the other hand, are triangles which are suggested by the visual elements in the composition. This happens because our brain spend too complete the image with a full triangle. Our brains don't see these as separate elements. It tends to perceive it as a single unit at triangle literal triangles are easy. You just have to include a triangle in the photo. Voila done implied triangles on the other hand, are a bit more work. But thankfully, there are ways, how we can create it. Here are some of the ways to do with one. We can group objects or visual elements to form a triangle. Your brain automatically forms the triangle because of the visual elements proximity with each other too. You can also suggest a triangle with a diagonal line because of photos tend to be framed, a diagonal line tend to visually suggest a triangle when viewed with the borders of the photo, three diagonal parallel lines tend to create a suggested triangle. This is because parallel diagonal lines will converge at some point, thus implying a triangle. Triangles are everywhere. We just need to recognize it and position ourselves in an angle to capture it. Remember, composition is about positioning yourself and your camera in a non blank canvas. To that is the world. 19. SECTION 5: ENHANCEMENTS INTRO: Now that you've learned how to set the foundation of the composition, place your subject effectively, and lead your viewers eyes in the composition. I want to give you a few techniques or tips to enhance the appeal of your photos. Here in this section, you'll learn things to make your photo more pleasing, to look at. Consider this as the cherry on top of the composition cake. So without further ado, let's get started. 20. Section 5: Patterns & Textures: One of the things which could make your photos more interesting are patterns and textures. Sometimes even just by shooting. Textures and patterns by themselves, make for interesting photos. When you have a pattern, it creates texture. And the textures, visually speaking, are simply repetitive visual elements. When you see a redundant objects or visuals, these are usually worth photographing, as it will form a pattern or visual texture, which may end up as a great photo. The key to using patterns and textures in your composition is by photographing patterns and textures with the proper use of other composition techniques. Doing this can result in amazing photos. Take a look at these photos and how the pattern or texture was used together with other composition techniques. Having the bat during alone might make for an interesting photo. But by using patterns to enhance a composition, you make a better, more interesting photo. 21. Section 5: Colors: Colors are interesting. There are so many ways to use colors in your photo. I could not possibly talk about all of them in this course. But here are the most effective ways to use colors to enhance your photos. Just colors. A lot of times colors by themselves make for interesting photos. If you see something colorful, it may be enough for you to capture it and make an amazing photo better yet, you can incorporate these colors in a composition to make the main subject of your composition standout, or to make your photo look more interesting, color contrast, you can divide colors into warm and cold colors. And effective use of color is by using warm and cold colors against each other in the composition. For example, green and dread contrasts well with each other. As you can see in this photo, the warm background makes the colder color pop. You just instantly look at the main subject of the composition because of this color contrasts, the reverse is also true. A cold background could make a warm subject pop. Bright colors. Use bright colors to draw attention or lead the viewer's eyes. Bright colors tend to instantly pull the viewer's eyes. Here in this photo, you can see how the bright colors for your attention towards the mean action in the photo. This is the power of colors, reds and yellows. It since we're at bright colors, there are two particular colors which draws attention or screens the loudest then most colors, and these are reds and yellows. These colors just beg to be seen. Some say we evolved to pay attention to these colors. It just pulls our eyes. Red is the color of blood and therefore a danger. Yellow is the color of poison or something lethal. You can use this natural instinct to your advantage if you see these colors, tried to incorporate them to enhance your photos. So those are the most effective ways of using colors. I can think off, but I'm sure you can find more. You explore composition. 22. Section 5: Contrast: Contrast. The difference between light and darkness is highly effective use in conjunction with other composition techniques. Contrast is the quality of brightness in a visual element. It's the difference between light and darkness. Of course, there are other ways to use contrast in your photo other than using light concentrated in one area of the photo, silhouettes. Silhouettes are another way of using contrast to your advantage. If you photograph your main subject against the light, you'll create silhouettes. This same technique of photographing your subject against the light could also work in another way. If you overexpose the background, your wash it out, this will create contrast between subject and background. Lighting. Of course, if you could control light, limiting the light to your subject will create contrast between your subject and the background, making your subjects stand out. This is done a lot in studio photography, but if you can stumble upon situations like this, it makes for an interesting photo, light and dark. Another way of using contrast is by using a dark colored subject against a bright background, or the reverse light colored subject against a dark background, quiet background, quiet the background or plain backgrounds could also make a visual contrast when you put your subject on it, the mean subjects simply stands out from a plain background detail and the lack of detail creates visual contrast, the conceptual contrast. There is another type of contrast which is more intellectual. It's called conceptual contrast. This is a setting conceptual opposites against each other. An example of this would be size, big versus small are opposites and create contrast in the photo. Or you can use large and small elements to create conceptual contrast and meet a photo interesting. Sometimes the contrast could be so intellectual. It creates some sort of a story which your viewer creates in their minds. Like in this photo, as you can see, you have a vulture and animal and openness. Starving child. One is in misery and one seems to be anticipating the demise of the other, whether the contrast is between man and animal or predator versus prey, the story and the contrast is created in the mind of whoever views the image. You can use conceptual contrast in many ways, as long as you can set polar opposites against each other in the composition, you can come up with very interesting photos. Contrast in general is a great tool to enhance your opposition. 23. Section 5: Shapes: Basic geometric shapes are strong visual cues, like colors, our eyes are drawn to them. You can either photograph actual shapes, whether 2D or 3D, or you could imply a shape through the arrangement of visual elements, like how we did for golden triangles. Like golden triangles, other basic shapes help us compose. Make photos interesting. Like golden triangles, you can use shapes to group visual elements that compose photos or use shapes as compositional guidance in this photo, notice how photographing these objects make for an interesting photo. The photo is effective because of the strong presence of shapes. Of course, this is not the only way of using shapes in this photo of the same photographer. His simplified the photo to focus on the basic shapes of the objects by removing the labels and using flat colors to bring out a geometric shapes. This otherwise, an interesting photo was made interesting. Our eyes seem to be drawn two shapes. The key here is when you perceive a shape, take a chance and take a photo of this shape. You can always erase photos, but you can never recreate. 24. Section 5: Adding Depth: Photography is a two-dimensional art. One of the best ways to improve a photo is to add depth in afford or this could be done in two ways. One, shallow depth of field. You do this by using large lens openings to blur things furthest from the camera, by blurring the background, you introduce a sense of depth in a 2D plane. This is because when we look at the real-world objects furthest from us and to look hazy, blurring the background tricks our brains into thinking there's depth in a 2D plane. To layering is a technique where you stack elements in a composition by putting one element in front of the main subject and another behind it. Then focusing on the main subject, doing this blurs the other elements in the stack, thereby creating a sense of depth in the photo. This technique is effective not only because of blurring, but also because the elements define where the foreground, middle ground, and background Laius. And this is what creates the illusion of depth used in conjunction with other composition techniques. Adding depth makes otherwise bland photos more interesting. 25. QUICK REVIEW: Just a quick review before we begin, we compose photo was buying 1 first, setting the foundation of the photo. This will form the base where other techniques will be built on to. We then place the subject and the visual elements after setting the foundation using the rules of photography or center line composition 3, after we set the foundation, placed our subject and visual elements, we then proceed to leading the viewer in the composition for only after building this structure composition, if you will, that we can start enhancing the photo using our own artistic flare or creativity. It's important we build the composition first. And remember, in order to compose our photos, we need to position ourselves relative to a preexisting Canvas. In addition, sometimes we don't follow the steps or there are overlaps, especially when we have a very good photo waiting for us to capture. 26. SECTION 6: MASTERING COMPOSITION: Now it's time to put things together. In this section, what we'll do is we'll take a look at a few photos composed in different ways. We'll talk about how each one was composed in detail. Think of this as reverse, composing the photo to figure out what makes the photo work. What I want you to do is take a break, recall everything we've discussed to this point. In addition, I want you to be aware of the process. I'm setting the foundation of the composition, pleasing visual elements, and leading the iron. When we deconstruct these photos, you may notice sometimes these techniques overlap with each other, or sometimes there's no clear distinction between the steps in the system. Great photographers more often than not, compose their photos instinctively. I also want you to keep in mind, photography is the only visual art that deals with a pre-existing Canvas and non blank canvas. And the only way to compose our visual is through positioning. That is moving ourselves and camera around this non blank canvas. With that, let's put everything together. 27. Section 6: Sample 1 - Right Place at The Right Time: Let's start with the photo of the Boston Marathon bombing from the Boston Globe. This is by John Mackey. The photographer was in the right place at the right time for this photo. But it's his composition skills which made the difference foundation by framing the photo this way, it captured the ease of the scene. These men crop in the foreground gives viewers a sense that there's something more going on beyond the frame. They also serve to balance the composition and create order even though the scene depicted is this orderly, the color of their clothes also makes these men stand out and separates them from the mostly the background. This is a formally balanced composition where both sides are more or less mirror image of the other placement. Notice how this photo was composed along the center line. Look at these main actors. Then notice the triangles which made this photo look dynamic. It reinforces the pose or position of the people in the photo, makes you feel the action taking place in the scene. Observe how the rule of thirds was used. It's interesting how the men are crammed neatly at the center of the rule of thirds. And of course, the horizon classically falls on one of the horizontal lines of the rule of thread's control. How your eyes are led into this composition is phenomenal. Again, look at the men in the foreground. It's not frame within a frame, but these men do a fantastic job framing the action taking place here. They're looking at it. Even the arms of this one is lifted to guide your eye is golden triangles were used to lead your eyes in the composition. It funnels your eyes, it makes it go where your eyes need to go. Over all this photo used a lot of the techniques that we discussed. In addition, I think the photographer was quick to capture this moment. I saw a lot of photos of this event, but only a few is as powerful as this. It all came down to composing the non blank canvas. 28. Section 6: Sample 2 - Mona Lisa of Photography: You might have seen this before. If you're an avid reader of National Geographic, here is a famous and iconic photo. But why is it hauntingly beautiful? What makes the African girl by Steve McCurdy work Foundation, one of the fundamentals of photography is choosing your subject. And this subject is truly stunning. In terms of composition, as I've said before, there's nothing complicated or magical about it. What makes this photo grid is the subject itself and how the negative space. Let's us appreciate the subject. The eyes are the focal point in this photo. This is simplicity at its purest form. There's nothing else in the composition but this girl placement, similar to the Mona Lisa. This photo used a center line composition where one of the eyes fall on the center line. This creates an effect of the portrait looking back at you, leading the eyes and other techniques, the subject itself cries out for attention in a subtle and the haunting way. The eyes pull you in due to the center line composition By virtue of the subject itself. But probably what is not obvious is the color scheme in this photo reinforces the simple center line composition. Green, red contrast is the main color palette of the composition. The green eyes are reinforced by the contrasting red scarf and is echoed by the background. The combination of warm and cool colors enhances this simple composition. 29. Section 6: Sample 3 - Great Moment in Time: Let's take a look at one of the most iconic photos in the world. This is a photo from World War 2 shot by Joe Rosenthal. This is when American soldiers raised the American flag in your Jima Japan foundation. To start, the subject is great. It's a once in a lifetime moment which is worth capturing for everyone to see. The composition gives this historical moment justice. It focuses on the soldiers racing the US flag in the middle of the frame. This composition is actually not balanced, but it more than compensates for this with the amazing use of golden triangle in combination with the rule of thirds and the rule of space, this golden triangle plays a big role in why this composition works, as we'll see later placement, the placement is interesting. It uses the rule of thirds, where most of the visual elements take the intersections of the rule of thirds. The action is going towards this direction. And all these soldiers are facing this space. There's contrast between the soldiers set on this negative space. It allows the main subject to jump out of the background instantly control the golden triangle is what makes this composition work. Just take a look at this triangular layout of the visual elements. The points of the triangle kind of lead you from 1 to the other. In addition, the triangular shape of the mean subject makes this photo look more dynamic. As if they're moving the triangles gives us some visual indication or feel, if you will, of the tension in the scene. Special look at the posting of the soldiers, the possession of their legs and arms, the way they're arranged and post in a triangle. This, I think, is the one thing that makes this composition great. This soldier removing him would not make this composition as powerful. This Soldier leads our eyes and the action in the scene. He is the spear point in the movement. Overall, I think this composition is amazing. On top of that, it's an influential photo and a historical one. After that. 30. Section 6: Sample 4 - Victory!: This is a famous photo. Not only because it's a photo of a great fighter, but I suspect it's more of how this moment was immortalized in this composition. So let's deconstruct this photo and see why it's one of the most iconic photos in the world. Foundation, of course, to begin with, like most iconic photos, the subject is worth photographing, or rather, the moment was worth immortalized. Seeing this photo is visually simple and focused. The well-lit boxing ring, the white floor and trunks of Muhammad Ali is set against a dark background. This not only makes the visual clean and simple, it also separate the subject from the background, allowing us to focus on the Boxers placement in terms of placement. And there's nothing grand about this. We can say it's a center line composition. And Muhammad Ali, moving away from the center line, gives us some semblance of movement in the photo. It makes it less still. If you notice, the ample headspace makes the visual bottom heavy, draws our eyes downward. It is as if the dark space above and the imposing posts of Alley is weighing down on this beaten fighter control. Golden triangle is the main technique which makes this photo come together. As you can see, we can trace a triangle here. The head of Alley and the hands and feet of this fighter forms the three points of the triangle. And this triangle makes the photo interesting to look at. The triangle also serves to lead our eye is the headspace and the tip of the triangle leads our eyes from the face of Mohammed Ali down to the man lying out called on the floor. It is as if the triangle forms the visual field of Alley, and just by the buyer, it may be worth noticing a conceptual contrast here, not only of the victor and the loser, but also notice the color of the trunks and shoes. The vector is wearing white and the loser is wearing black. It plays on what we associate these colors with. White being good and bad. 31. Section 6: Sample 5 - Vacation With The Flamingos: I took this photo a couple of years ago. I want us to go over this photo so you can have an idea of the process I went through taking this photo because up to this point, we've just been deconstructing photos. So it may help you compose better photos. If you knew what's going on in the head of a photographer when he composes his photos intro. To start with. This photo is one of the many photos I took of this scene. The first few shots were well, not good to put it mildly. But I already like the position of these birds and I was determined to make a decent photo out of them. I knew this is a subject worth capturing, since composition is about positioning, I moved myself and my gear to get a better shot. So this was the result. Tried to take multiple photos and choose the best and discard the rest foundation to get from this photo at my initial position to the final photo, I had to simplify the buildings in the background, just distracted the viewer from the main subject, but shock on the other side of the lake, the birds were against the vegetation. So this will work better for the composition. In addition, the background on the other side was darker. The sun wasn't hitting it like the other side of the lake. So this dark background that would make a good contrast against the bright colors of the birds. That this was my thinking as I move to the other side of the lake placement, this photo, use the rule of thirds. Six parts were filled with the subject and three parts were left alone. The birds also fell on where the lines of the rule of thirds intersect. The rule of space was used here if there's more space where the birds are facing. In addition, I use the rule of odds in this photo, there were more birds to the right of the frame, but I chose to crop them out so I can have an odd number of birds. This is probably more by instinct then intention. But one of the birds I fall on the center line. Golden triangle was used to arrange the birds. The birds were somewhat positioned like this already, but I had to play with the angle to make the triangular formation of the birds more apparent in the photo. If you notice, this photo uses a simple color scheme, a contrast between cool and warm colors. Green and pink, contrasting against a dark almost black background. There were red colored plant leaves to the right, if you notice. But I chose to crop this out so as not to disturb the main color scheme of the scene. There were a lot of things that went right in this moment. Together with a few composition techniques, I was able to make a decent photo out of the scene. I hope recounting my thought process and my actions when I took this photo, help guide in a lot of the concepts we've talked about in this course. 32. Conclusion: Congratulations, You've reached the end of our course. Practice what you've learned here. Eventually, you're composing photos as naturally as breathing. Once again, thank you for taking this course. Before you go, please remember to leave me a rating and write me a review for this course. If you've not done that already, these ratings and reviews lets me know what you like or dislike about this course. This helps me make better courses for you. Most importantly, it helps other students, like you find this course. After taking this course, some of you may want to take my basic photography course. Consider taking this course if you want to learn more about controlling your camera exposure, aperture, shutter speed. And once again, thank you for your rating and review, and thank you for enrolling in this course. Now my state.