Travel Photography for Beginners: Let’s Talk About Composition! | Mariya Popandopulo | Skillshare

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Travel Photography for Beginners: Let’s Talk About Composition!

teacher avatar Mariya Popandopulo, Photographer & Illustrator

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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

13 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Rule Of Thirds

    • 3. Symmetry

    • 4. Repetitions and Patterns

    • 5. Leading Lines

    • 6. Framing

    • 7. Adding People

    • 8. Go Big, Go Small

    • 9. Don't Forget to Look Back

    • 10. Make a mini-project

    • 11. Find a Higher Ground

    • 12. Conclusion

    • 13. Class project

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About This Class


In these short and sweet series of “Travel Photography for Beginners” classes I will talk about light, composition, making portraits and some other helpful tips you may find quite useful. I decided to break these topics into separate classes so it will be easier to digest.

This is the second class of the series and here I will talk about Composition

  • What to look for in a picture?
  • How capturing details can help you tell a fuller story about your traveling?
  • Why looking back is a good thing?
  • Why places overcrowded with tourists aren't’ necessary a bad thing (photography wise)  and many more.

So, press enroll button and lets talk about composition!

Oh, one more thing!

For those of you who are not on premium membership, here is a link for a free enrollment in this class =) There are 40 free places currently.

And for those who want to upgrade to premium membership, get 3 months of Skillshare Premium for only $0.99  Here is my link to use that offer

Have a great day! =)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mariya Popandopulo

Photographer & Illustrator


Hi! My name is Mariya and I am photographer and illustrator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

I never could quite decide what do I love more - photography or illustrations, so Im doing both =D

I have illustrations portfolio on Behance

My preferred social media currently is Instagram (no surprise here =D)

I also post comics and doodles under Pinks&Roses name

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Once you become interested in photography, it is really hard and sometimes almost impossible to just walk around new places without your camera attached here. But humanity. I've seen the whole tree freelance and on the computer screen afterwards. But the point is, traveling is to experience new places, and you have to thank you experience the younger Congress. You know they did. So it is very good to know in advance a sea of practical techniques that will allow you to compose and capturing images faster. Hi, my name is Maria. And in these short and sweet series of travel for the gritty classes, I will talk about life from position making portrait and some other helpful gives you may find quite useful. I decided to break this topics into separate classes, so it will be easier for you to digest. This is the second class off the travel photograph Siri's and here I will talk about composition, what to look for in a picture. How capturing the bills can help you tell a full story about your traveling. Why looking back is a good thing. Why places overcrowded with tourists are necessary. A bad thing for the beauty wise and many more so press and roll button. And let's talk about composition 2. Rule Of Thirds: if you haven't yet seen the first class, which is about life, I really encourage you to watch it first, and we'll post a link to a developed. So was light, mostly being out of the question. The next big thing you have to watch would be composition. Wherever photography you are doing. Composition is a good place to improve your pick. You're significantly and it is not as hard as it may seem, so let's start. Same principles apply throughout all types of photography, but let's start with most popular one the rule of thirds. I think it is the easiest to apply, and once you practice it enough, you will do it automatically. So here is a quick refresher for the rule of thirst. The basic idea is that, yes, let your image into nine equal parts but drawing imaginary lines to a vertical and a horizontal. The intersections off those lines are the perfect sports where your main object should be placed. It will look more pleasing to the eye like here. Sometimes I use not that intersections, but rather lines, is the object. He's two big life, the tree on the left. Here it follows the left hand side vertical line. The rule of thirds work equally well in both horizontal and vertical images. You don't even need to imagine the lines, as most of the cameras already have, the guiding redone, discreet you can turn it on in the settings. Same goes for a phone camera. The greed is also useful for setting your horizon. Generally horizon. That risk on one of the horizontal lines looks better than if it was located in the middle . Like here. Both old images look OK, but the top one appears to be like I wasn't really sure What was the point of my picture? Was it the sea or was it the sky was singles, so the top picture lacks in meaning because it tries to divide attention off the viewer between two equally beautiful face sky and sea, while the boat month takes more sky into the shot, making it easier for the viewer to appreciate the scene, I have to mention here that in addition, the Siegel's in the bottom, you're a much better composed to as they feel this guy more and make the picture more interesting than the top one. For me. Rule of thirds is not really about perfectly placing the point off interest on one off the intersections but rather making composition off centre. Also, I don't followed quite strictly. Usually it's specially for vertical shot. Sometimes I find that lines over electors actually do much to the center and would compose my image differently, like in this example. In the first image, the train is on one off the lines in accordance with the rule of thirds. However, this composition gets too much green grass in the shop and nothing going on there. The sky, however, is more interesting. So instead of making this short blindly with the rules, I recompense is the image and included more sky. You have to look for what you want to show in the picture what will make it more interesting. So breaking the rules is okay, just break it with a purpose 3. Symmetry: symmetry. Symmetry technique is somewhat opposite to the rule authors. If in the rule ulcers, you try to compose your point off interest on one side or the other in symmetry. To achieve a better effect and bring order and balance into the image, you have to make your image well, perfectly symmetrical, and that most of the times means starting your composition from the center of the image. Whatever your preference is for composition are symmetry can make some of the images significantly better and more visually appealing if then right, especially in architecture, where there are a lot of symmetry, which was made purposefully. So why showing it differently? Using symmetry will help showing the structure the way it was intended to be. You have to be aware position. It is very important when making symmetry shots. You may have to walk around a bit more to get to the point where the picture will look symmetrical because making it close to symmetrical but not quite ain't gonna cut it like the shot. Here, just compare these two images. A simple step to the side makes composition and image so much better. So remember, if you have a symmetrical scene or structure. Take a second to think. Will symmetrical composition improve it? If so, what should you do to achieve the best effect? Take a step back or move to one side or the other. Maybe you need to change the angle. In this example, you can see that the top image has symmetry, but in shop, but due to the angle it was taken and the composition too much of other buildings for included, the picture lacks impact. So because I couldn't get at the same level with the door and windows, it was a second floor. I think I edited perspective in light room and got the bottom image. I will talk about editing perspective and how it get significantly improve your architecture shows in the editing class of the Siri's. All those symmetry may produce stunning and usually formal, serious looking images. Santa's is a gator. Brake it by adding an extra object to one side. Or you can find yourself in a situation where there would be an object breaking the symmetry like the green window on the right. Here at first side, the images almost symmetrical. However, that little window breaks the symmetry but does it in a very subtle way. I actually have a feeling that the building is winking at me. I find that breaking the symmetry makes images less formal and grant and more human. Here is another example this gallery has very distinct. It's symmetrical properties. However, the symmetry is broken by the couple sitting by the table, so you still appreciate the symmetry and beauty of the structure. But you will also linger a little longer, looking at the picture because of the old point of interest breaking the symmetry. That being said, remember that image still has to be probably should and otherwise symmetrical, but with an extra detail that would make it less formal. For example, this shot, although made in the same location, does not have that much symmetrical impact as the picture before and actually is more composed with the rule of thirds. Stickney 4. Repetitions and Patterns: repetitions and patterns. World is a colorful and diverse place, and I love looking for a petitions and patterns while out and about. And those come in many shapes and sizes, repetitions and batters. Samos symmetry bring order into the images and usually are very interesting to look at. I like when the pattern except the most off the image that if looked from afar, it will appear to be just a combination of colors. But when looked at closely, it will reveal details in logic, like this building, which has significant repetitive properties. Yet if you look closely has some very different details, others and repetitions can be intentional, like the decorations on the building on the left or unintentional and looking like a total mess, like the street scenery on the right. Although they seem to be no order in this second image. To me, it does look like a very crazy but very seated pattern. So don't get discouraged if the burgers are not so obvious. Patterns and repetitions can be observed in a lot of places, but sometimes to stress the point of repetition, you have to compose your image in a way that lives out all that is not related to the baton . Like here, you can see that depending on the composition, the scenery can be either about boats and late the image on the left, or about an interesting pattern that both may leaving the leg mostly out of the picture. Here is another example of repetitive shots. A lots and lots of people. All are different individuals. Yet when you look at the shot from some distance, it all looks like a beautiful pattern. Same as with the rule of thirds. Well, let's symmetry. Breaking the rules can be a fun way to make repetitive, short, even more captivating. An old object will add a contrast in some sort of controversy to otherwise homogeneous, shot like here, hence making it more memorable. 5. Leading Lines: leading lines is a cool way to add Afridi. Feel to an image. They will help yours. Gays transition smoothly from one part of the image to another like here we start at the bottom off the escalator, and our attention is gradually brought upwards towards the colorful Siri lines will make some parts of the image more pronounced by drawn attention to them, like the tower here in the center of the image, they can lead to infinity or horizon. Or they can point at something, or someone important. Indicia like here on the right. Little lines can also be straight or curved. Notice that the line on the image on the rightist curve, which makes this shot softer lines are pretty much everywhere, and all they have to do is just look out for them and try to use them to your advantage, to create sense of depth to the image or draw attention to the point of interest. 6. Framing: framing again. Let's see what I mean with an example. Here on the left is a picture of Acropolis Hill now on the right. It is roughly this in composition, but I took a step back and included some branches and additional stone structures into the shot. They feel the empty sky and the ground and overall made the teacher interesting to look at . Sometimes framing and leading lines will be more or less the same thing as here on the image on the left, the boldest, tightly framed with two wars on each side, however, walls also serve as leading lines, drawing our attention to the boat. Same with the picture on the right. The brick wall and the G also served as a frame, showing us something that is going on in the yard. However, they also appear to be leading lives, shot once and less pronounced, but still there There it actually should be of no surprise, as both leading lies and framing serve to direct our attention to the main subject of the picture. As with anything for framing to work best, you have to compose accordingly. Here is a comparison off two images made at the same location. The that image has a frame in terms of leaves about into the right grass at the bottom and a tree. Angela, however, these trees stands too far from the edge of the picture, and instead of helping our eyes to see them in point of interest, which is bright, bushes in the distance attract unwanted attention. When I look at this image, I still see the bright red bush's first. But then in negatively. Instead of appreciating the rest of the scenery in the frame, my eyes moved back to the tree. So when I recomposed the image, I got the one at the bottom here, the trees serving as a proper frame and not as a point of interest and makes the picture more balanced. The rock off course. Many more are the composition techniques. I just covered the ones I use most often. Now let's talk about composition tricks to make your travel for the album even more interesting. N variety 7. Adding People: adding people sometimes well, actually most of the times when we go to see a popular side, there would be a lot off other tourists there, and with them to think something like, Oh, I can't make a probe A picture of this beautiful place, Those tourists everywhere. You may capture a Stanley beautiful scene, but you know what can actually improve it more adding people, random strangers minding their own business. It is in human nature to be curious about are the human beings. So the picture with the person well composed, mind you then to get a bit more attention than just a scenery. So next time you go to see a popular site with lots of other tourists, don't see them as an obstacle on the way to your beautiful images. Try to see them as a part of your compositions. After all, you can get a perfect view on the both card. But if you would people in it well, that image will be uniquely yours. Here is a comparison. This shot was made some five years ago, assented on the sea. It is a beautiful image. However, let's see. The next one now is just a serious of a man. But suddenly there is a story to the picture which is more than just about the sunset. It is about a person. Why is he there? Where is he going? You can also see that the person is in the jacket. So the warm sand said is not so warm after all. See the story? Here is another example. In the first image, I actually removed the girl in for a shock to show you how the picture would look like if there wasn't a person in it. Once again there is some sort of story here a girl sitting by the river with her phone while the boat passes her by. Although the girls really small convert to the scale of the picture. Once you look at the image on the right, she will quickly grab your attention. Another way to add some human touch to your images. Ease by not showing the person and full I like pictures off hands like here Hand over tourists on the boat capturing the scene All hands over a street vendor. Why does it work? Well, Hands at action to the picture Will taking a shot and vendor, given the corn and action made picture more interesting. By now, you have probably noticed that all of the people pictures here and not portray it's and you can't really see the face on any of them. Most of the time, I prefer to preserve people's anonymity and personally, I found people pictures without faces, more intriguing and mysterious. Sometimes it is impossible to capture, seen without someone's face in it. And I think it's OK to because one way or another, we're all being captured by other tourists all of the time. So if people are everywhere, try to make a short artistic at a story with one or two people in it. But if you can't avoid the crowd, exaggerate. Like here. It was a museum day in Athens, and entry was free to the most of the sites things, So the crop ear's was naturally really crowded. But I still love this image because it tells me a lot about that day 8. Go Big, Go Small: go big go. So So it may seem the travel photography is all about capturing landscapes or cityscapes, overalls capturing something big because you would want to show the place where you have been. However, as much as this kind of images are great, capturing small details is also important. They will help translate the mood of your trip. For example, here is a classic short of a scenery, a bench in the park. I particularly off the light here early morning golden light with beautiful lawn shadows. But we can't really see anything more about that place from this particular picture. If, however, we would to look closer, we would see the dew drops on the bench looking like jewels. A pattern off order leaves on the ground and how morning some rays eliminate the grass. These details, together with the first scenery image, paint a much fuller picture off the day. Most of the time, I find wide images and pictures off details perfectly complement in each other. Like here. It close up off colorful both, and this scenery on the image on the right and not a good idea for close the detail. Pictures would be capturing food. There is one important thing. Not really forever feel related, but the one you have to keep in mind. Unless you're traveling alone. Watch out for the mood and this state of your travel companion. He or she may not be as fascinated by photography. All the world of instagram as you are and my simply be hungry. Photographers tend to switch off any needs when in photography. Mo I do that a lot, but other people aren't so first of all. Ask if it would be OK to take a picture. Sure, before you start eating. If the answer is yes. Don't spend ages composing the image. You don't have to make it perfect. Food photo. You just have to be nice looking and helping to show the mood and the few and flavors of your travel. Keep your table Uncluttered, like the lens cap here on the image on the left looks very oh, so removing it actually improved the overall appeal of the image. Keep your background relatively simple if you can, or recompose too excluded if it doesn't add compositionally, for example, in this image, although the background is quite blurry, dark colors really take away attention from the main subject that desert. So I reckon apples and got this emission step. You can also get closer and captured the details of the food. 9. Don't Forget to Look Back: don't forget to look back. So this one of those tips that seems so off this yet sentence would just forget those kind of things. When you're going in one direction, capturing images on the go, you tend to forget to look back and looking back is a great way to capture new images, find new angles and, frankly speaking, it is a very cool game to play while walking around. I tried this with my mom while in Athens. I was talking all about this new class, and I told her about looking back technique. So advices are only work when you actually follow them and I tend to forget to. But then, my brilliant mom, who doesn't carry camera and tend to look around her much more than me, I would call me from time to time and say, Hey, don't forget to the back and there was always something interesting to capture and to see. Try it 10. Make a mini-project: make him in the project. Once again, Making the many project is more of a fun game when you and most likely your channel companion will hand for a particular subject. I made a few of those in my resting trips, and it's always quite fun. So you choose a particular subject off topic that you will try to capture during your visit . It can be something you will observe on the sport that catches your eye more than once or something you know is distinctive about the place like doors and are owned this time when in Athens, I chose cats as my many project's subjects there, lots of cats and Athens all different, minding their own business, sama curious. Ah, there's a careful but all are interesting. And what's more, you can meet them pretty much anywhere from residential streets to the hell of a crocus. Once again, this one is more a project to do to make a photography experience more fun, and not only about sightings 11. Find a Higher Ground : and final advice. Find a high ground. Every city. Every place is different. And if you have the opportunity and time, finding a place from where you can observe the city from above is definitely worthwhile. And we let a lot of interesting pictures through a travel photo album. Remember composition. Some boys of the city below stand out, so placed them strategically. 12. Conclusion: in this class. We talked about composition and how you can improve your images by using composition techniques. I encourage you to try, if not all but most of them to see how it goes with your photography style experiment. In the next class, I will talk about making travel portrait because we all love bringing some pictures off ourselves from the places we've visited, so I'll see in the next quest. 13. Class project: for the class project. I wanted to go for your old or recent travel pictures and find a couple of those that you like the most, post them to the class project section, along with a description Why you like it and what kind of composition techniques you seeinit religious er, it's raining symmetry. In addition, if you want some practice, I challenge you to go outside to make some new ones implement in tips and techniques discussed in this class, and both them here as well have fun.