Amazing Photography with Composition and Creative Tools | Kate Burgess | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Amazing Photography with Composition and Creative Tools

teacher avatar Kate Burgess, Photographer and Creative

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Corners and Edges


    • 6.

      Depth of Field


    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.



    • 12.

      Leading Lines


    • 13.



    • 14.



    • 15.

      Negative Space


    • 16.



    • 17.



    • 18.

      Repeating Shapes


    • 19.

      Sense of Place


    • 20.

      Shadows and Silhouettes


    • 21.

      Sun Flare


    • 22.

      Thirds Rule


    • 23.

      Yummy Light


    • 24.

      Final Thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

About This Class

This class by Kate Karwan Burgess (katekburgess) is for anyone who wants to make better images with either their SMARTPHONE or DLSR. This class is perfect for the frustrated parents, photo enthusiast, and the emerging professionals. You will learn over 23 rules and tools to take your photography to the next level. I hope to leave you inspired with the ability to see the world around you a little different. There are amazing images to be made all around you.

What you will learn:

  • Background. What to look for in your background and how to fix problematic backgrounds.
  • Center. To center or not to center? Cover the basic rule and how to break it.
  • Change of Perspective. Different ways to move and think while making images.
  • Color. How to use and look for color.
  • Corners and Edges. The importance of, what to look for, and how to correct.
  • Depth of Field. Basics about what it is and how to use it.
  • Details. The power of details, touch macro photography,  and how they can add valuable information.
  • Emotion. Discuss and show the subtly of emotion as well as the obvious.
  • Framing. Techniques and types of framing your mail element.
  • Juxtaposition. What it is and how to use it.
  • Layering. What is it and how can it add depth to an image and information.
  • Leading Lines. The different forms leading lines come in and how to use them to lead viewers eye.
  • Moment. The different types of moments and how to use them.
  • Movement. The different ways to record movement and the affects they each have on the viewer.
  • Negative Space. What it is and how to use it.
  • Reflection. Something to look for and creative ways to use it.
  • Repeating Shapes. How repeat shapes can add a graphic and bold feeling to images.
  • A Sense of Place. The importance and examples of pulling back to give context to the main subject.
  • Shadows & Silhouettes. What to look for and how to use it creatively.
  • Sun Flare. What is a sun flare, how to make it, and how to use it.
  • Thirds Rule. The definition of the thirds rule, how to use, and use it as a guide.
  • Upside Down Trick. How turning an image upside down tests the strength of your composition.
  • Yummy Light. Technical terms and definitions and variations that provide a wonderful quality of light.

Final Thoughts.

The class is not technical by design. Challenge yourself to really see a subject or situation. Note and listen to your visceral response to pictures and other works of art. The camera doesn't make the image. It's the person behind it.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kate Burgess

Photographer and Creative


Kate Karwan Burgess is a photographer and creative. Energized and inspired by nature, people, and causes close to her heart. Her work is greatly rooted and influenced by photojournalism, natural light, and the belief that beauty and things of interest surround us constantly.

Her love of photography started with her father's National Geographic Magazine collection that she poured over as a kid. But, drawn to serve her first country first, Kate served 7 years in the Army as an Aviation officer before pursuing her photography full-time.

She applies her photographic style and mantra to everything she photographs whether it is a wedding, portrait, petals of a flower, or her long-term project of funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and The Old Guard soldiers that conduct them... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Kate Carwyn Burgess, some professional photographer. Today, I'm gonna talk to you about competition created tools that you can use to improve photography. A lot of stuff that we're gonna go over today is also applicable to other to teach artist. So keep that in mind and that our goal at the end of the day is that you take a larger variety of images that are more interesting than you had before. We're gonna be covering these 20 different types of tools you can think about, wondered a making images, and this is gonna be good for people who are just starting out of all the way through to intermediate folks that might be in a creative rut. Despise up there, emerges a little bit. I'm really looking forward to doing this. So let's get going. One more thing I want you to remember is that you don't I take images 2. Background: a lot of these come from by long term project on the funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and the soldiers that are under the honors. You'll also be seeing some of my wedding images, portrait's and some other stuff. So this is an image from Arlington old car soldiers doing some equine therapy with wounded soldier? No, when I first got there, this is one of the first images I made. But you can see it's just all kinds of problems with this image. Wall is in the distracting. He's got a window going through his head bars going into the horse's head. But when I got closer, I got lower and I photographed up, and that's how I was able to clean this up a bit. Now that building wall that we that you saw earlier was over here to the far to the right hand side. But if I hadn't shot up in this direction, I still would have had some other buildings and vehicles and all kinds of other stuff behind him. So by aiming upward, I was able to drastically clean of my background. Here's another example of Arlington. I came behind the barracks, photographing soldiers getting ready to get on the buses to go out on to the cemetery, and they came across the scene, whether to men were checking each other's uniformed last minute. And I thought I was just a nice moment and helping them each other out. But there was this big bus in the way, and then there was buildings and things. And so again, what I did was I got closer and I situated myself between the building and the bus, and I photographed slightly up, and I was able to clean up the background. Now, here's example of background waiting for something to happen. This is also at Arlington. This is actually the commander's office. He's got his hats in mugs. They put him in there to shape them so that they're slightly rounded when they're wearing them. And I really liked that image and demonstrated one of the aspects that I was wanting to talk about. But I thought it was I felt like it was still missing something, So I saw some soldiers going back and forth in the background, and then I just waited. I waited til I had one that came by by himself and then I made the image as soon as he was in the doorway. And this is an example of using dept. The field to clean up. Your background will go more into that later. But I knew it. We were missed if I didn't mention it. So using a narrow depth of field here takes all this. This is like a bank and some water, and it just blends it all in and makes it all a soft kind of painterly blur, cleaning up the background and making sure it doesn't distract. 3. Center: Okay, Next thing we're gonna talk about this center. The general rule of thumb is not to put your subject smack dab in the middle of your frame , but there are ways that you can get away with it, so to speak. And rules are always made to be broken, so keep that in mind. But in this case, this image is a picture of my dear puppy osa when she was little. Partly what makes this work is that even though she is in the middle of the frame, her eyes were approximately 1/3 of the down from the top. I've got some lines of the wood deck going into the corners, um, and leading into her. So plus, she's just adorable. Um, but all those things were working together to make this work, even though she's in the middle of the picture. So this picture here is back at Arlington, the stables for the case on platoon of the old Guard. And we've got lines going with this line hears about 1/3. This line down here across is about 1/3. These guys air coming down, so I almost have a literal grid here on this image. So that's one of the reasons why, even though I put him in the middle of the image, it still works. But this is a tree. I've been making images off since I was 12 and, um, this is a critter like Oregon. And so this tree here he again. He's in the center of the frame. But you know, he's got some other trees on either side that are balancing. I've kind of got this horizon going across here, the foreground going across here, so there's a little bit of a grid pattern going on there as well. So for me, that's why it still works. So in this image here, the main subject is no. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the old Guard soldier, that is, um, rendering honors and keeping guard at this time is in the center of the frame. With wise, but not vertically. This horizon is almost 1/3 and so there's some things going on that at least make it still work for me. This is one of the few women that are in the old guard. Uh, she was attached to the case on Platoon because she was an MP and military police. They have since allowed women into the infantry and directly into the old guard. But this image was made prior to that. You know, she is centered in the frame. Um, I do have these other lines going down that are kind of balancing things off, left and right. Um, she's not completely in. Her face is not in the center of the frame. You know, her face is still up top and a little bit higher than 1/3. So even though you can have ah, element in the middle of the frame, um, it can still work. 4. Color: Okay, so the next one, we're gonna go over his color and color can be your subject matter as well as just be part of the subject and elements in the image. This is a very typical photograph from weddings Bride holding the her bouquet. But everybody wants that, and everybody makes it because you vote usually got such beautiful flowers and beautiful colors, and that alone drives the image here. This is from the Balloon Festival and Albuquerque, which I highly recommend it. If you get to go down on the field where the balloons launch, it's It's like being inside a kaleidoscope as they if they Philip off from the ground and they move and colors and shapes and things are constantly changing. It's just it's just I can be highly recommended. So this is the balloons were just round and colorful and just irresistible in that sense. No, we also have a nice reflection and stuff going on here, too, and we also have a nice reflection going on that kind of add some more interest to it. So this is back in Arlington, and it's all about the color of the flag. You know, the muted tones of the uniforms a little bit darker and shade flag just pops. So it was all about the colors of the flag. And then this image here was made in Savannah, Georgia, and I remember getting ready to walk across the street and just being struck by the colors of you. Get the red hand in the yellow and the blue sky was so pretty. You can still see a little bit of the green in here. So it was the colors that drew me to this. This it's the colors that drew me to this image. So when you're making images, color itself from color, blocks can be your element in your image. 5. Corners and Edges: All right, so now we're talking about edges and corners, and this is easy to not pay attention to, but if you can, it will definitely improve your photography. So this is back in Arlington. This is a drill team practicing, and you can see here on the left hand side that I've got part of, ah, soldiers arm. It's not quite in its not quite out. I find this portion here and this other per back of this person here to be visually distracting as well. So one of the ways to remedy this is to crop in a little bit. So now we've gotten rid of those distracting edges and see the difference. Okay, this is still a ringtone. Um, you can see there's this button here. That's that's to the edge. You know, ideally, would have been nice to have had it, like, split in the middle. But this little sliver is just distracting. And and this little button are this little. This little sliver of a button is just distracting for me. So by cropping it in, we can remove it. Here's an example of corners not so much as edges, but corners where you've got this light corner here. This dark part here, this over here is distracting. It just takes away from the main portion of the image, which is the beautiful, succulent itself. So by cropping inward, you can remove that stuff and makes a stronger image. And this one here, this was part of a funeral for a soldier. It was killed in the Korean War, and his remains had been finally identified, and he was being laid to rest in Arlington. So this image here, you're I naturally goes to the widest MM, brightest portion of the frame is part is part of how we see and how we've survived this edge here with on the Barham right hand side with just that sliver of the of the headstone just irritates me and doesn't work for me. But the tricky part is, is when I come start to come in to crop that out is that I have to be careful how these other ones line up on the on the right hand side. So and then this is the crop version. Okay, That's edges and corners. 6. Depth of Field: Okay, so the next one we're talking about is depth of field. Now that is something that you're gonna need DSLR to do. You can get some control of your depth of field with, say, the portrait mode on the newer iPhones. And, of course, there's APS and things that you can get that well, artificially change your depth of field and blur backgrounds and things to kind of simulate the effect of a depth of field but would adopt the field is it's the amount of space directly away from the lens that is in focus now in this image. Here it's of a tulip. Um, I'm using a macro lens, which is a specialty close up lens, and you can see there's only a small aspect of the tulip that's actually in focus. The part that's higher that's closer to me is out of focus in the part. Lower below is out of focus. So I included this image just to show you how narrow the depth the field can be, and you can use it for a lot of different reasons. In this case, have used a depth of field to make this image of a little bit more of an abstract image. Okay, so here's step the field telling your viewers know what to focus on. So in this case, Owen is nice and sharp and looking straight at us and the moms Reflection is in the mirror , but it's so we can see who she is and that she's there. But it's nice and soft and her I will definitely go to the sharpest portion of the image. Now I'm telling the viewer to focus on the mom, and so that's how changing what I'm focusing at with a limited depth of field, I can control what the viewer gonna be looking at. I don't want you looking at her hands or her chin or her hair just the baby's face. And here's an example of using the depth of field to kind of lead your eye to something. The depth of field probably about 23 feet deep. So then everything in front of that is gonna be out of focus, and then everything behind it is gonna be out of focus. This was photographed with the lens baby velvet lens. We not just changes the depth of field on what's been focused on out focus. But then it also gives it a certain treatment. This is kind of ah, fuzzy glow about it. And so different lenses, in addition to different APs, can give you different effects and allow you to control the depth of field and what part of the images and focus on which part is not. 7. Detail: Now we're gonna talk about details and details are close ups of different elements that can help tell your story, Move along, bring reference on just and in this case here really makes you understand the relative size and placement of things. So this poor little baby was premature and had several things wrong with that and was not looking good. But you can see how small he is because of he's holding a finger. That's a middle man's middle finger. If you look down at your own finger and then picture Ah, hand holding it, you can see how small this baby is. You see a little skin peeling off him and his little nails, and, um, you know, there's, I think pulling back and a picture of him is laying in the bed wouldn't necessarily show you how small he is. Here's did a story on fishing and use of a net, and this was a detail image. You know this image here? It tells a lot of what's going on in the the fingernails, the hand, the skin. No, it's it's dry and weathered, and you can seal of it that line and oh, wait and you know what's going on and what's happening, even though your close up, I was able to photograph some monks making a Sandman dolla, and this was a detail shot of how they used these metal tubes that had ridges on them. And then they would take another stick and rub up and down the hollow to with the stick and rubbing up and down the ridges would make the to vibrate just enough to shake down the sand in a small, even controlled manner. And that's how they did all these elevations. And just with sand. This detail image is of the shoes of own guard soldiers. When they are walking in the cemetery guarding the tomb of the unknown and you, they snap their heels together and you hear that click? Um, this is what's clicking. It's have this metal plate that's put on the bottom of the shoe and on the side of the shoe . That is the metal part that you hear clicking and it's quite heavy. It's a couple pounds worth of metal and and often leads to some problems with their knees and hips and things. There's a detail image. This is of Arlington, but this is of a Coast Guard soldier, um, getting ready to render taps at a funeral. Um, in this new has water droplets and the little strings on the gloves and you know, it's a detail close up shot is kind of gives you a different perspective. And this is a detail with regards and more of a magnolia specifically and macron image of a flower that had this comes look like a bottle brush and it stood vertically. But I had made this image of it really close and just looking at one row of these little pistons that came out. It was a crazy looking, looking looking flower, but really cool. So when you're making images of things, whether it's family or you're trying to do a story for school or assignment, you know, think about what's close up, you get in tight, maybe use macro and see what elements you can use that will help tell the story and maybe demonstrated me even better. Then, if you're further back so details, don't forget him 8. Emotion: So the next one we're gonna talk about is emotion, and there's always lots of emotions at weddings and things. But you're catching that moment of of pure laughter and enjoyment, and happiness is always a good thing. Some of your emotion could be subtle, though. Here's the couple, obviously just in love and just a sweet moment. Just a little smirk eye contact. And there's no doubt that the two of them are madly in love with each other. And this one of one of my favorites Were this doing the first look the first time that the groom sees the bride? It was actually before the wedding before she walks down the aisle. And so he's just sitting there in anticipation like, Oh my gosh, he was good tapping on the shoulder. And so this was just a really good moment of him and anticipation, and her just smiling and happy, just smiling and happy. Here's a little funny of face of this is actually my daughter making faces and goofing around. Sure look of bliss expression on her face. You know she's got the wind blowing in her hair and her face is up to the to the sun and that feeling of just pure bliss. So don't underestimate the power of emotion, whether it's your kids are, even if it's a fleeting moment. 9. Framing: Okay, so the next thing we're gonna talk about this framing think about how you can frame the main elements of your image with something else. The sky here was just open, and I wanted a little bit something more in there. So I am actually backed up against a tree and kind of have been holding my camera up slightly tilted down so that I can get the tree branches of the tree on the top portion of the image. And I think that just gives it a little bit more interest and give them more focus, too. To the soldiers in the case on this is also the case on platoon. They have to get up really early in the morning to, um, baby this horses before they go out. Every day they go out in the cemetery, they have to be washed. So they're up at 4 30 the morning, given the horses, baths and getting him washed up. So here I used the legs of, ah, one horse to frame that of another. Getting about hair amount in the vineyard, doing engagement session and using I like to use the leaves in the vines to kind of frame frame The couple. This image here is of a bride is ah, little interest. Interesting, because this here is the back of her arm and then this here is her arm in the reflection of the mirror. So I framed her face with her own arms. Here's using the flowers. They were sitting on the table next to the cake, so I just kind of arranged him a little bit so that I could frame the cake with them here. This is Ah, Levi's Grand Fondo that's here locally here in Sonoma County. And I was covering that one year and, um, just wanted to make some interesting images of the bikes. And so this took a little while the timing wise to get them lined up. But hair I'm framing one cyclist inside of the wheel of another. This is one of my favorite wedding venues up here in Salem County majority manner. And, um, I'm actually inside using a window frame to frame the view outside. It's a little more literal translation of it, but it works, and then here, partial framing. So I'm using This is again a reflection in the mirror. But I'm using the back of her neck to partially frame her own face. So think about framing. Think about how you can use elements around you or elements to bring focus to the main portion of your image. 10. Juxtaposition: juxtaposition is the contrast of two things, often opposite ends of the spectrum. But it doesn't necessarily have to be, though in this image. It's the fact that we've got somebody in a casket and nobody sitting in chairs. Okay, here the ducks is position is the feet up top and the head and body down below, then, using a reflection from a puddle. This is a guard, soldiers getting tested and manual of arms. This is the director position of a artificial leg and foot verses, the leg and feet of two people in a horse. It's the contrast, I think that helps. This was photographed on a ride that I did here in Sonoma County, and this building had been paint, chipped and obviously painted a bunch of different colors. It was just super pretty, and but it kind of made me feel like it was a map and kind of reminded me of a map of some kind. And then, But I wanted something else to go with it, and then because there's a bike ride, we there was some bicycles leaned up against the wall, so I used my bike and used the wheel in order to kind of make some contrast between your round metal circular to this kind of organic, earthy, map looking type. And in here, this was just the contrast between No, she short and color too tall and mostly black and white. Um, plan versus person. I just thought it was a nice comparison, a little bit more of an abstract portrait. So just a position is a little bit more tricky or than most, and it often depends on the subject. You can't necessarily make an image. Juckes. You know a juxtaposition if there's not two things, too, compare or contrast. But it's one thing that can really make get your attention and is is really unique, so keep an eye out for those kind of situations in those moments. 11. Layering: Okay, so the next thing we're talking about is layering, sometimes tricky to do if you can always layer things if there's nothing to layer, but when you could do it effectively, it could be a miracle. So here is an example. Instead of just having all my groomsmen line up in a road next to each other, they were kind of out back and on starting a have a little bit of a drink. And, um, I just did stay where you are. Let me just photograph you where you are, and so we've got You're in the layers of them, basically in three different layers, foreground, mid ground and background. Here's another example where I have the closest element to me slightly out of focus, kind of dividing the image and then got soldier over here getting his uniform inspected, this one doing manual arms, this one back here, getting expected during a standing proficiency test. So there's some layers on into this image. This is a different kind of layering, but still the same effect of kind of foreground mid ground background. Here's another overall image with soldier in the foreground, and then you've got some of the mid and then more in the back. And it doesn't always have to be completely and focus, either. I don't think like the one image I showed earlier, and then this one here. It's out of focus, but you can still see. It's a saddle. There's brass and and then you see this soldier here as well, a saying, You know that he just finished. You just took that saddle off. And now he's grooming the horse. Here's an example of some layering where used the vines to frame a couple. In this case, I did some layering with it, So you've got the line up close. That's slightly out of focus, and you have these midbrain vines better in between, and then you have them completely and focus and sharp. So there's some layering and depth 12. Leading Lines: Now we're gonna talk about leading lines, and oftentimes they'll be in and out of corners of your frame. But they don't have to be. And sometimes they'll also be just kind of leading. Lines will be lines that will lead you to the subject of where you want the viewers eyes to go. This is from a museum in Paris, and it was a walkway that went over the top. And so here's using literal lines and edges in and out of the corners, leading you to the end. This is an Alcatraz and again, literal lines leading from the corners pound to the focal point of the image. Here's an example of leading lines that are not going into the corners but are going to the focus of the image. So here we've got some trails that lead right to this church, and this was photographed from a Blackhawk in Bosnia. I was a pilot in the Army. They frown upon taking pictures while you're in the cockpit, but I got a couple occasions where I was in the back and able to make some images. Okay, so this one is from last a national park here in California and this one here. When I saw this scene, it just struck me that the lines of the clouds were kind of mimicking the lines of the terrain. And it kind of zigzagged back and forth across and down and then down. And so there's lines here, Um, that kind of leads you through the image that give you balance from top to bottom. This is one of my sons. And here we got the swing and his body leading into this corner. We have this tree kind of leaning into this corner, and the two of them intersect, and it's his. It's his face with this big cheesy grin. And there you go. This was photographed in Ohio and you've got the line of the shore line leading to the fisherwoman, and then we have the line of trash kind of leading down into the corner. So there are some lines we ju zigzag down through the images. Well, here, old guard soldiers doing Tuesday night Twilight's part of a show that they do in the summer time here, the leading you coming out of the corner and their line needs right to the Washington Monument. And here's a combination of literal and abstract lines. We've got me on the This is down San Francisco's Golden Gate in the background. You're kind of shoreline leading towards them, um, this for Garbett ground here, leading towards them, her knees, you out of the corner and up. So there's a couple of different lines going on the image. So don't think or limit yourself toe literal or actual lines of things. You know, there's lines all over the place with all kinds of different things. You just goto kind of look for him. 13. Moments: Okay, So moments can be a stop action in the split second kind of moment. And then it could also be more of an emotional state. Um, open this guy. This moment here is a combination of of stop action of their feet off the pedals and a big cheesy grins and smiles. Um, this is a moment of a bride coming out of her room just getting ready, thinking about what's gonna happen and the rest of the day. It's a quiet moment. This was a stolen moment Brighton groom getting into the elevator and, uh, going up upstairs before the rest of their guests. And I saw them jump in there and then the elevator doors right here on the right hand side . Just other frame. I just caught it just in time. And it's definitely one of my favorite moments. This moment here is a little bit more subtle, but there was just something about the way that you were standing there, their backs facing to Mia's. They addressed all their family and friends. For me, it was a moment worth worth remembering in capturing. This is another engagement session, and the couple were kind of goofing around and she just happened toe being back and look over at me. And it was just this split second moment and I got it. This just struck me as a kind of a solemn moment. It was a quiet moment of the soldier, and he's waiting there for rest of the soldiers to come. And it was just a quiet moment. And here's just another subtle moment. And here is another just kind of subtle, quiet moment, standing out in the freezing cold, waiting for them to do their job. So moments ca NBI a variety of different things that can, like I said, the stop action and catch capture motion. And they can also be just quiet moments and convey a feeling and sometimes even sense of place. So look for those moments. 14. Movement: Okay, so when you're photographing motion and your subject is moving, there's a couple different ways you can go about. It was a young boy fishing with a net, and he was just throwing it out into the river. In this situation, I chose to stop the motion of the net as it was completely out and open before it hit the water. This was, Ah, old car soldier walking You can see in the in the cemetery, and he is called the super in this situation. And what his job is is that there's usually a couple different 2 to 4, sometimes supers for every funeral. And they stand out about 100 maybe 200 yards away from the funeral, and they're keeping an eye out to make sure that nobody accidentally interferes with the with the ceremony. And also another thing to think about when you're photographing or you something that's moving in motion is that you're I wants somewhere for it to go. So in this case, the soldier walking across, I left all the space in front of him to move. Now, if I had put him on this side and had all the space behind him. It would have felt like he was get rain of run into a wall or something. It it just doesn't feel right. We know by his body he is walking, He is moving. And so our subconscious we wanna have somewhere for him to walk. This is all three of my kids on a tire swing and a similar situation here where you can see there swinging. They're having a great time. And if I had put the tire over here, it would have felt weird for them going out of the frame. But having him up in this corner, they've got somewhere to go. No, this was those monks that air the Sandman dolla. And part of the ritual with that is that they can spend up to, ah, week toe, you know, week and 1/2 doing the mandala. And then once it's complete, they have this ceremony that basically wipes it all the way in this situation. Because there was people that were standing still. I wanted to show their movement and their sweeping by doing a longer exposure. This is a similar example of drill team old are soldiers at that Tuesday night twilights that I mentioned I had done at a faster speed where the rifles were stopped. It wouldn't have been as obvious. I think that they're moving and twirling. This was from pigeons in the square down in Savannah, Georgia, and they didn't like that a long exposure and panned with them as they were taking off. So you can see that streaking motion going up as well as them taking off in the blurred feathers and wings and then this image. Here's another example of panning where I was trying to convey movement as they're going through the cemetery, and, um, this was they were a long distance off, and I used a longer telephoto lens and then panned with them as they moved across. So I've got them fairly sharp, and the rest of the the surrounding area is blurred. So with panting, it's going to depend on how far away your subject is, how faster than moving you with the lights. Conditions are as faras what speed you're set your camera on so movement. Stop it, blur it. Arpanet 15. Negative Space: OK, Something else to think about when you're making images is negative space. You don't have tohave something going on in every corner, every aspect of the frame. And here are a few examples off generally pulling back and allowing this main subject to have more space around him. So this is Arlington in this couple here is in the engagement session. I did place them here in this spot because I thought that the the edge of the brick kind of mimicked them standing there. But there's a lot of open space. This is the same couple, um, walking down the hill and just leaving it nice and open pretty blue. Nice moment. You look beautiful. And this is back at Arlington, saying a similar concept of just leaving an open sky. You know, some of this part of that is for leaving for options, for text to go over the top for publication and depending on what you might be using the image for, so think about giving your subjects and negative space 16. Reflections: It's always good to look for reflections. This one is in the mirror, and this one's a little tricky because it's a double reflection that's continued four times now. This was a a bride and she was looking into this mirror, and then behind her was another mirror. So her reflection here, the front. And then this is the reflection of the reflection in the back. And then that's another one of the front. And that right there is me as far out of the frame as I could be, but still get the angle of the different reflections. That's one of my favorite reflection mirror images. This one is, ah, reflection in the body of water fishermen. If you've ever done any kind of fishing, you know you're the tip of your rod ends up in the water sometimes. And when I saw this, I like that, like the angle work in the corners out here, the circles making the circles here, Um, and it all has to do with the reflection of the fishing around in the water. This image I made when I was still a cadet at West Point. This is our formal called full Dress uniform and you have a breastplate that will go across and depending on your rank will either be a single, um, go across or it will be a next. Like, isn't you? See here. So this was an up close detail shot of one of the breastplates know Rebecca Arlington, the soldiers air doing the regimental orientation program testing. And the soldier was just finishing up a standing proficiency. And so, in this room, there was this big, long mirror that covered the whole front side of the of the room where the soldiers could see themselves doing manual of arms and to their uniforms and such so in this case, I and got up really close to the edge of the of the mirror and made the image. And then any time there's been some rain, it's always fun to go outside and find puddles. And this was photographed in Savannah, Georgia, and they had just had a rainstorm, and I was ableto make this image. And the other good thing, too, about using puddles and things is that you could it's ah, interesting way to frame different elements, whether it's ah, scene of trees or signs or whatever it is the puddle and an interesting way of framing your image. So reflections that can come in mirrors, glass, water, shiny objects. And so always keep an eye out for him, and you could make some cool pictures with him. 17. Perspective: Oh, this is at a wedding. And this was an organic, candid moment, the bride putting her hand down on the top of the head of her little flower girl. As soon as I saw that, I knelt down on the ground and made the sweet image of of her the light was just nice and soft, and it was reflecting off the SSA Mandan that was slightly cloudy and just super cute that I got. If I had been standing up and photographed down, it wouldn't have been the same. Here is getting really low. This is also at the Levi Grand Fondo, um, here in Sonoma and there was a cattle guard on the route and I wanted to get down really, though, and make some images of the cattle guard leading up the cyclists. So here's an example of looking up. So these were soldiers practising behind the barracks, and I got in close and photographed upwards, using his the rifle in his arm to frame his face. And the image was only made possible because I got in close and looked up this image Here I was back at West Point. I'm working on a project and I had been down that, um, Eisenhower Hall, where they were having a big ball, and I was walking back through the area, the barracks back to where I was staying. And, um, one of my mentors, Ted Spiegel, was a National Geographic photographer for 25 plus years. He impressed upon me the point of stopping and turning around and looking around of where you are. And so you know, even if you're taking pictures of your kids, um, in your living room or you're out at a party or you're on assignment, stop and look behind you. Look what's coming. Look what's going. And there might be an image for me. This is a quintessential image has reminds me of when I was a cadet and the male cadets always had their civilian dates that could wear their pretty civilian dresses, and thus female cadets had to wear our uniform. And, you know, also in this particular moment here, the snow that was falling and that had been also some of it was still upon the rooftops. And this is one of my favorite images that I made during that time, and it was one of the last images I made and I made it only because I stopped and turned around and looked behind me. Another thing to do is to photograph straight down. So when you're making some images again of your kids, so were on assignment. You change your perspective, get down low, get down real low, photograph up, photograph at an angle photograph straight down and get those different perspectives. 18. Repeating Shapes: okay. Repeating shapes. That's another thing, toe. Look for that can really make some some neat graphic images. Um, this was taken from a Black Hawk helicopter, uh, in in Bosnia, in near Sarajevo. And, um, I know I was not flying. They don't that's not allowed. It was one of the few times I got to sit in the back, but it's still one of my favorite aerial images that I've made. Hair was at a lake. I saw these canoes kind of piled up together, and I just really like to the repetition of the shapes and the color and the contrast to the green and the kind of corners also kind of pointing into the corner. And they kind of looked like abstract fish as well. So here repetitive shapes of the of the light posts and of the lights. This image was made in Paris, living in Sonoma County. We've always have grapes and those little globes and round circles definitely repetitive. I never get enough of those little guys. Becca Arlington, leaving after a funeral and just the repetitive nature of them and the rose and the trees makes it for informational as well as graphic in here even though they're out of focus on the depth of field is narrow. You can still see the repetition of the shapes of the hats and the rifles and so forth. So look for repetition of shapes and make you some of your images a little bit more graphic in nature. That's a little interest, so repeating shapes. 19. Sense of Place: sense of place. You can think of this as an overall, giving you an idea of where is something happening or where is your subject at? This image was made in Versailles, in France, and it was just a nice overall, I thought, with the people picnicking on the side and people riding their bikes, that it just kind of gave the mood and feel for the day in the location. Here is a sense of place for Arlington during the winter, Uh, the wind was blowing the fresh snow, and it just kind of gives you an eerie sense of not just winter being also symbolic of death in the end of a season and end of life. So it works together in that way as well. And then this one also about Arlington. This is the chaplain's office for the old Guard. And so this one is not so much as a big image and covering a lot of space. Uh, but it still gives you a feel for the environment. So you've got these new military pictures that he has on the wall. This image was made in 2000 and nine, but he's got this antiquated old TV here. This probably looks like it's from the seventies or something, and I think it just gives a feel for what the military convene like. Sense of place doesn't necessarily have to be a big, wide, overarching image of a location or space. It can be a little bit nearer like this room, but it can still give you information about what a place or location is about and how it feels and how it looks so sometimes pulling back from your subject, you can actually tell the story better than if you're getting up close. 20. Shadows and Silhouettes: shadows and silhouettes go together. If you have a shadow, you can usually make a silhouette at the same time. And so I have several here to show you. This was Ah, Bartel couple at a wedding and the sun was low in the sky and I saw their shadow on the on the fence. And then I asked them to. I saw the shadow on the fence and then we kind of maneuvered ourselves so they were face to face and then made this image. This one here the sun is over in this back corner just out of so it's I'm not doing so. I don't get a flare. But it was the nice repetition of them kissing in the grass back by Darlington. A shot of a soldier bending down to pick up the empty casings or late afternoon light was casting shadows of the glasses on the table. But then this glass had the initials of the bride and groom, so you could even get some information. This would be your own example of photographing straight down. Now this one's interesting because he is about 636 e my being 6465 and she's like 54 So in order to make this image, there was about or five feet between the two of them. She waas closer to the wall. Then he was. He was further back, and then she was closer to the wall so she could be higher up, and that's how we were able to line their shadows up. Otherwise she would have been way down here. They were like, exactly face to face, like in that 1st 1 and it just would have looked weird. This one is interesting because the light sources behind them. And so if this sheet wasn't here, it would have been a silhouette. But because the sheet is there, it's actually their shadow cast on and on on the back side of the shadow opposed to the front side. So it's a silhouette and a shadow at the same time. This is a silhouette of my husband. While we were exploring Paris and I exposed for the light background and then not darkened him and made the silhouette. Now you can do this on your mobile phones fairly easy. You can you touch the screen and select where you want the we'll light reading to be, and so you would just select the light part. And then, um, it would automatically kind of go down and you can then adjust your lighting slightly to make it even more of ah, of a silhouette. And then later on, in certain APs and editing, you can increase your shadows and your blacks, and then that could also but make and the silhouette. This was it. Chalk Hill Winery, Alexander Valley. Beautiful place on you're on top of the some rocks and we just had the sun setting and mostly cause I'm exposing for the sky and the sun here that their insulin, this is back at Arlington and it was kind of up on Origen there there were, they were all gathering and waiting, too. Proceed down to a funeral Together is holding place. They were almost completely in silhouette for my eyes, but when I made the image, I liked having a little bit more detail. I thought it was too hard to read what it was if it was completely silhouetted. I'm completely black. Make sure that my shadows weren't too dark and that you could still see that there was some horses and hands and people and things, and I felt that it was much better image that way. And I photographed it with a lot of empty space. I envisioned using this image, maybe in my table of contents or something for the book project. And this image is the reverse use of shadow where instead of using the shadow as the main element, you're using the shadow to knock out elements so that you can focus on something else. So you're financially is gonna go to the lightest and brightest thing so that I placed myself so that I could split the difference. Reverse use of shadow. But shadow and silhouettes can be very cool. It could be very fun. Underestimate the power of a good shadow in silhouette. 21. Sun Flare: Okay, so sun flare You This congee used to kind of convey a certain look and feel for your image or your portrait. This one here is the sun is over here and the basically in the way you make a sun flares that you photograph into the sun. And so you have light beams from the sun going directly into your lens. Um, this one, I'm just slightly off of our direct. So are you still kind of You can see this kind of hazy, um, feel about it. But I don't have the flare necessarily. I was right on the edge, but I'm still kind of getting the effective of the soft haziness of it and in this situation, photographing drug cling to the sun. But I've positioned myself that the leaves of the trees were breaking it up for me. And then I was able to make this, you know, star opposed to having it just a big, big round ball. The sun is right here, and the circles that you're saying actually the aperture and in the light going through the different lens elements. So that's what you're seeing them. That's the giveaway for sun flare this was used using a lens baby, and so that you can see him shooting directly into the sun. I'm using their hands to stop a little bit of it, but you get that soft hazing than the lens Baby itself softened and disperse the light even more. Here's another example of using the lens baby in into the sun and making a neuro bright sun flare and softening the image. Very ethereal romantic sense to it. So sun flares are when you photographed directly into the light and you can maneuver yourself around them. Sometimes it's desired. Sometimes it's not depends on your subject on what you're trying to do in the mood and feel you're trying to convey, but that can be very cool. 22. Thirds Rule: Okay, so if you've gone through the sun order, you've already heard me talk about the thirds world. And what that is is quick on the crop tool here. It actually pulls up a grid of the third. So you're at your images divided thirds, top to bottom and then also from left to right horizontally. This is an example of putting the city center the sink on 1/3 center of the covered in 1/3 and using 1/3 to my advantage. Okay, you can see this image here. You've got the wine glass almost exactly on 1/3 here, if you can, you can see that I've cropped this image in a little bit just to make the you know her face , their kiss. That's the That's the power of the punch of the image. That's where I want your eye to go, and it's placed right on the intersection of the two lines. Now, here's example of an image that it's not. You can see that the different colors here are not exactly 1/3 but I When I played around with it, I liked it better. Full frame. When I brought it in and made it more technically 1/3. I didn't like isas much for me. That is something I could move it down this way. I preferred it the way it was before me on this is somewhat subjective. Of course. What? What pleases you is not gonna necessary please me or somebody else. But you bring that siding a little bit. So I include this image to show you that you the thirds rule, is not a hard will. You don't have to have something exactly on the 1/3 mark to still have a pleasing image. This image was used on some marketing materials when we had pecs and type all over here on the side. But the original image was this and I purposely photographed it like this because I knew we were gonna be using it with some marketing material. And I knew we were gonna need some blank space on the sides. The Rally Point label is almost completely in the center, and it just looks. But then when you pop it over to the side, it looks much better. And you can see now that the circle of the logo is in from the center of it is right on the intersection of the two lines. The bottles. What's the difference on the 1/3? Exactly. So you can't get any more targeted than that. And you said as a guide, you know, it doesn't have to be exact, but getting it close will often improve an image. So don't forget about the rules of thirds. 23. Yummy Light: you emulate. This is back in Arlington and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Typically it's considered, or when somebody says the yummy light, nobody's gonna say You mean like that's my term For me, like the one you'll hear more often is going to be like the golden hour the hour before sunset in the hour after sunrise. That's when the sun is low on the horizon and is going through a bigger slice of the atmosphere, and the light is dispersed and becomes. And that's how you get all those different colors and often a really nice gold. Hugh. So this is this image was made at Arlington. It's not technically in that golden hour timeframe of our before sunset, but it was still really nice light. It was still low still see some long shadows behind the headstones. The sun was low enough that it was casting shadows with from the trees that were around in the in the cemetery. So for me, I consider that yummy light. Here's another example. What made this one super yummy was you can see all these big, dark clouds overhead, and so the clowns is what softened the light and gave it a really nice below about it. You can see here by the people that were standing there, that this is pretty late in the day and this one I used earlier for sense of place. But it is one of my favorite pictures. I just wanted to reiterate about how having a right clouded sky can really give you some nice soft light in this example. Here is that cold light where the sun is coming through the trees or branches and it's kind of spotted, and it's not all completely in shade. This was also fairly late in the afternoon, but not technically. In that golden hour. I waited for the bride and her father to come in, so she was let in one of those spots and it just made her stand out even that much more so For me, this is again yummy light 24. Final Thoughts: So when it comes to a photography and it comes to composition, there is a definitely are subjective aspect to you can have own style and own tastes and do things your own way. In fact, the more you could develop a certain style and feel the better off you are. Think so. When you're making images, really listen to your visceral response. Listen to how do you react when you look at your images? When you look at other people's images, go through on interest or other books and other photographers and note, which will images you like the most and then start dissecting Why you think you like him? Um, go through and look at other painters and art of the artists. They're lighting their composition, what else they choose to put in the in the painting. In the frame of what happens, they don't. All those things can help sharpen your I make you a little bit better. Is a photographer and just a little bit more observant? Viewer. A lot of this stuff you can do with your mobile phone as well as a DSLR. There's ah, lots of different absent. You can use that before and after that will help give you some of the effects of the death of field and learn. Um, there's one that by no particular camera plus that will allow you to kind of have a macro mode on your phone. So that's a cool thing. Just experiment and look and see what what it is that you want to see, what it is that you want to do. There's a lot of things out there. Just because you have a mobile phone doesn't mean you're you can't make some amazing images . It's all about what's behind the camera, not the camera itself.