Seeing Through the Eyes of a Professional Photographer | Jay Scovel | Skillshare

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Seeing Through the Eyes of a Professional Photographer

teacher avatar Jay Scovel

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Photography Course Introductions


    • 2.

      B.A.S.E. What Does it Mean in Photography


    • 3.

      B Stands for Background


    • 4.

      A Stands for Area of Focus


    • 5.

      S Stands for Speed


    • 6.

      E Stands for Exposure


    • 7.

      More On the Exposure Triangle


    • 8.

      Message From Jay Scovel


    • 9.

      Rule Number One in Photography


    • 10.

      Rule Number Two in Photography


    • 11.

      Rule Number Three in Photography


    • 12.

      Photo Project


    • 13.

      Course Conclusion


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About This Class

My name is Jay Scovel, I am a Professional photographer of over 30 years. I am now retired. However, photography is still a huge part of my life.

In this course, I will take you from seeing the world as an amateur photographer, and start seeing, thinking, and feeling the world the way, I do, the way professional photographers do.

By the end of the course, you will never use your camera the same way again. You will learn a simple four-letter formula and three basic rules of photography.

The same techniques, tips, and tricks that professional photographers use when they bring the camera up to their eye. Professional photographers never just point and shoot. After this course, neither will you every again.

While taking the course, you will also learn to walk around the scene, look at it from all sides. You will learn that everything has more than one side. To often we forget that in our busy lives. We see something of interest. Grab our camera most often than not that is our phone. We then grab a quick picture before moving on.

In this course I want to break you of that habit. Stop and smell the roses as they say, and enjoy photography.

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Jay Scovel


Related Skills

Photography Creative
Level: All Levels

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1. Photography Course Introductions: Hello. My name is Jay Scoville, arm of a personal wedding photographer. I would like to welcome you to this course. Now in this course, the main objective is to get you to stop thinking. Stop taking pictures like an amateur. Too many times. Amateurs, when they see something, they will, though they're Campbell up and they'll take the picture in the nail. Move on. With today's technology, cameras have come a long ways expressively. Our cell phones. They have some outstanding cameras built into them now. But Destiel doesn't take away from actual technique. It is that technique that I want you to focus on in this course. I want to teach you how a professional photographer looks at analyzers and takes their pictures. Now why should you listen to me? But as I stated earlier, I'm a professional photographer. I've been doing photography for over 30 years. My studio was located in Springfield, missouri and my primary focus was reading photography. Now are no longer practice reading photography. I'm Ashley, kinda semi retired. I moved to Bangkok, Thailand in 2017. My photography has taken me all around the world, all corners. And I've really enjoyed IT, meeting new people and exploring exciting new places, new opportunities for that photo shoot. So I would love to be able to pass on some of the knowledge that I've learned over my 30 years to you. Somebody you are here because you just want to learn to take better pictures. Others are here because you want to be a professional photographer or pursue a photography career. Whenever your motives, that is perfectly fine, but you're going to learn in this course will help you. You don't need any special camera gear. You can use your cell phone throughout the course or professional camera if that's what you have. You don't need any prior experience and matures to professionals. Everybody can learn. Without further ado. I would like to again say thank you for taking the time to check out this course. And I will see you in the lessons. 2. B.A.S.E. What Does it Mean in Photography: Welcome to Lesson one. In this lesson we're going to talk about the formula base b, a, S E. Now when I say base, but comes to mind, for most people, we're talking about like a base of operation or the foundation of a structure. Take for instance, a house of cards. Who's ever built a house of cards? You know that when you go to build that house, you got to have a good solid base. If the base of the cards are not structurally, say on immensely, the cars are going to crumble down to the table. Another example would be like cheerleaders. Have you ever been to a game? And you're asked to cheerleaders putting on a show and they build a pyramid. The girl on the top, it's got to have pretty good confidence that the base, the two liters on the bottom can support her or she's going to come crashing down, hit pretty hard. So the base has to be solid. And that's true in anytime the base of a building. If you build in a sky rise building, an app base is not solid. That be honest, not going to stay in, is going to crumble to the ground. So base, in the case of our course here today, is talking about the foundation, the building blocks to a photograph that was separate you as an amateur and move you into the category of very professional. Simply put, if the base of your picture is not solid, fundamentally, fundamentally say on your picture will be weak. Base B a S, E is what we're going to talk about over the next four lessons. I will break down each letter one at a time, starting with the letter B. I'll see you in that lesson. 3. B Stands for Background: Welcome back. So as I have discussed earlier, we're gonna be learning base BAS and the three rules of photography, as well as the exposure triangle. Now, a triangle only has three size. And if you'd look at the resources that I've provided for you, you'll have a cheat sheet for the exposure triangle. Now, since the triangle only has three sides, but there's four letters in our formula. B ASE be is standalone. B represents background, and that represents the entire picture 100%. Now, background does not just include background. Background can be the foreground. It is the entire picture or subject and what is surrounding our subject. So with background, it's very important that we are aware of what is going on in our picture. If something does not mean alone, we need to try and remove it. If we cannot remove it, then we need to move ourselves. So we need to shift either to the left or to the right. Maybe just step a few steps back or a few steps forward. Whatever it takes so that we are eliminating distractions, undesirable items in the picture that do not bring value to our picture. Have you ever had a person or maybe not a person, an animal or anything? Photo bomb your picture. It happens. Sometimes we leave them because it makes a funny picture. Sometimes it does not. But that kind of relays to what I am talking about. Sometimes the items that are in the picture, plane bow you should have picture. Other time that you'll just mere distractions that do not need to be there. Let's take a few minutes to look at a few pictures. And as you are looking at these pictures, I want you to be thinking, is there something in the picture that shouldn't be there? Is it distracting? Or did the photographer do their job in isolating involving you're tensing to what they were trying to photograph. Did the photographer do their job? Whether you think Was there anything distracting in the pictures or were the pictures on point? Remember, if it doesn't meet loan, remove it. If you can't remove it, then move yourself so that the item or items are no longer in the picture, degrading, taken away from what you are trying to photograph. Let's move on now to the next three letters in our formula, a, F, and E. Now, these three letters all refer to the exposure triangle. So they tied together to make up, aim to give us the formula that enables us to have be the background or the entire picture as a whole. 4. A Stands for Area of Focus: Let's start now with the letter a in the remainder of our formula. Now a stands for area of focus, or you might say aperture. Let's look at our exposure triangle for a second. Only I suppose, or triangle as I mentioned, there are three sides and one of those size, if you look at temperature. Now, temperature or area of focus is what a formula stands for. Area focus to be simple. That is, what is in-focus in our picture from the item that is closest to us, to the item that is farthest away or depth of field. If you look at Amateur here, in this picture, you will see that the bigger the opening, the more light into our camera, onto our sensor, the smaller the opening, the less light that we're letting into our camera onto aren't sensor. Aperture does not just control how much light is coming into the camera. A lot of photographers do not know. Amateur photographers do not know. He's at aperture, also controls what is in focus. Look at this diagram. Here you will see that the bigger the opening, the less that is in focus, and smaller the opening, the more that is in focus. Now, recall that depth of field. And you'll see that in a lot of pictures. Take this picture, e.g. if you notice that our subject is in perfect focus, but the background is all blurred out. We got that very blurry effect. And that is a desired effect that a lot of photographers shoot for. And that is all accompanied by the opening in Orleans or aperture. The bigger the opening, the less that is in-focus, the smaller the opening, the more that is in-focus. We will go into more detail about this when I actually get into the exposure triangle. The main thing I want you to take away from this lesson is that a in our formula stands for area of focus. What is in focus in our picture? What are you trying to achieve? You want everything? Or do you want to isolate your subject? Let's revisit the pictures that we looked at when we talked about background. Again, I want you to be thinking about these pictures as you look at them. What is in-focus? Did the photographer isolate one specific item in blurt out everything else? Or did they give us any penalty of focus from the closest to the farthest in the picture. 5. S Stands for Speed: Welcome back. I do hope you are getting some value out of this course. It is now time that we talk about the later S in our formula. Now S stands for speed. Speed. In case of our formula is, what is our subject doing? Is our subject standing steel? Or is our subject moving? Now when most people think of speed, this, look at our exposure triangle one more time. You'll see that speed is one of the factors in our exposure triangle. And if you look at this diagram, you'll also see that the faster the shutter speed, the more Rican freeze or subject lock it in place. Who has the slower the shutter speed, reintroduce more motion blur, more blurriness in our picture. Now, just like we have an aperture, the shutter speed also controls how much light is coming into our camera. How much light hitting our sensor. The faster the shutter speed, the less light hitting the sensor, the slower the shutter speed, the more light hitting the sensor. But in the case of our formula, just like with temperature, we're not focusing on the light aspect. We are focusing on what is our subject doing. Let's talk about some examples on what I'm talking about. Let's take a cheater. For instance. There's, a cheater is sit and steel. At rest, not moving. We do not need a super fast shutter speed or a slow shutter speed would be more desirable. However, if that cheetah is in hot pursuit, racing a class to Savannah, then we're going to need a fast shutter speed so that we can capture that cheetah. Or we will have to develop a painting technique. Whereas we'll painting in moving our camera, grief or subjects, trying to maintain the speed as we pan so that we can capture the image. Otherwise, it's just going to be a big blur. Like for instance, let's look at this car picture here. You can see that everything is just blurt out. We can make out that as a car, It's all blurred out. Now. Maybe just maybe that might be the effect you're going for. But what if it isn't the effect you're going for? You have to be aware of what is your subject doing? Again, is it at rest or is it moving? Take sports for instance. Here I have a pair of basketball shoes and a basketball. So now moving they are at rest. Steel. I don't need a fast shutter speed. But take this guy, he is in the process of Dunkin the ball. You can tell he's in the air. If you do not have a fast shutter speed, this would be a blur. And you will not be able to capture him in flight. As he speaks in the dunk, the ball. Reuse shutter speed a lot of times in nature, in scenery photography. Here are a couple of pictures of walked through where we actually stopped. The water in action, flows it in place, and you can seed into reusable water droplets. Now, flip the coin and let's say we don't want to see all these individual water droplets. We weren't that silky smooth, the majestic of bag rule. We would want to slow down or speed so that everything kinda close together and you get that mysterious, majestic look versus speeding up the shutter speed and capturing each individual watered well. So in our formula, S, S is speed. And when I'm talking about speed, I'm not talking about how much light is hitting or sensor that we're letting into the camera. We are talking about what are we trying to achieve? But desired effect. Do we want in this picture? Do I need to freeze my subject? Or do I want it to flow and be a silky smooth effect like in the case of a waterfall. Or capturing an athlete in flight during a sporting event, I need that fast shutter speed. But if they're just sitting there idle at rest, like in the case of the cheetah. Didn't know, I do not need a fast shutter speed. 6. E Stands for Exposure: Hello and welcome back. We are now going to talk about the lake to e. The letter E is for exposure. Let's take a look at our exposure triangle one more time. Now, as you can see on near suppose, explain goal. We have aperture, resource, the area of focus a. We have shutter speed, was speed. And we have the last side of the triangle is ISO, which stands for the exposure in our formula for base. Exposure is the light. How much light is in the scene? Too much light, and the picture is billowed out. Too little light in this picture is dark, underexposed. Let's look at an example here of a picture that is just like there's plenty of light, nice and bright. Now let's look at a picture where we, it is very dark and there's not enough light. Now we have the exposure, we have to take into account just how much light is in our scene. If there's not enough light, we need to find a way to introduce to bring more light into the scene. If there's too much light, we need to find out how we can take some array so that is not as bright, not overexposed. Light is wanted the key fundamentals of photography. In fact, the word photography in Greek means painting with light. Photography comes from Greek, painting with light. In this diagram, you will notice that we are talking about ISO. Iso is the sensitivity of the sensor. The lower the number, the better the quality of the picture. If you'd look at an ISO of 100 or pictures nice and clear. But if you look at an ISO of the scope Judy extreme on this diagram of 51,200. The picture is very noisy, very grainy, very undesirable. So the lower we can keep our ISO, the baker. But the I is 0, relies on light, relies on near exposure coming into and hidden or sensor. If there's not enough light and we cannot introduce if we can now add light to the scene, option would be to increase the ISO so that we have more sensitivity on our sensor. But when we increase the ISO, we also introduce more noise and our pictures start to degrade. Now there's other ways to introduce more light into the scene if we need to keep our ISO down lower. And we can do that by temperature or by shutter speed. Making adjustments to those. Remember I told you that expose a pyramid is a balancing act. It uses aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to balance out and give you a good exposure of your picture. Now for the purpose of this course, I'm not going to be talking about IS, Oh, I'm gonna be talking about actual light in our scene. Can I add light? Can I take away light? Sometimes it's just as simple as changing your position. Take a look at this picture. Now here you can see that it by staying in one area, the sun is very bright. If I stand in another area, we are standing in the shadows, so a little bit darker. And a lot of times, just picking the proper place to take the picture can make a big difference. As I discussed in our formula, is exposure in simple terms. It is how much light do we have to work with when taken our picture? Underexpose, overexpose, or just the right amount. 7. More On the Exposure Triangle: We have been talking about base BAC, and each of those letters stands for, as mentioned earlier, I would like to take a few minutes to actually talk about the exposure pyramid. Because this suppose a pyramid is the key factor in base b, as we mentioned, is the background or the foreground is the entire picture as a whole. But B by itself cannot stand. It needs help of the other three letters, a and E, a, B and aperture. You look on your exposure pyramid. You'll see that wanted to size is aperture for a. Now, the bigger the opening, say f, one point for the less that is in-focus, but the more light that is coming into the camera and hidden or sensor. If we go the opposite direction to say F32, we have a very tiny opening. Little light is coming into the camera and hitting the sensor and everything is in focus. The next letter in our formula was S. Russ, I said stood for speed. Now speed is, what is your subject doing? Is you're subject moving or is it steel? When calculating a N D sound on how to capture your picture? We need to take into account what are subject is doing because that will affect the end result of the picture. Now, speed does not only affect what our subject is doing, moving or at rest. It also controls light as well. The faster the shutter speed, the less light, the slower the shutter speed, the more light in that in turn controls sharpness. Rather, the picture is crystal clear, or is the picture very blurry? A fast shutter speed, sharp picture, a slow shutter speed blurry picture here. And if we keep moving around on our explosive pyramid, the ISO, ISO is how sensitive our sensor is to light. A lower number like ISO 100, be less sensitive, but give you a far superior picture, very low if any noise or grain. A nice clean picture. However, less light is hitting the sensor. And if we move to the opposite side of the spectrum, ISO 25,600, more light is hitting the sensor. But as a result, the picture is very noisy and very grainy. It's not a very good picture. So here we are talking about actual exposure on the light, how much light are dealing with. And as I mentioned, E, for exposure. Can I add light to my scene? Can I take light a wave from my scene? This is very important when you're trying to compose and trying to position yourself so that you can capture the images that you are looking to capture. The exposure triangle plays hand-in-hand with base, background, area of focus, speed of the subject, and exposure, the light that we have to work with. There you have it. This section is now complete and you now have a understanding of what base and the base formula is and how it relates to the exposure triangle. In the next section, we will talk about my three moves up a cartography. Now, not just my walls, a lot of my colleagues use the same three sets of rules. And you will learn those. I'll see you in the next section. 8. Message From Jay Scovel: Congratulations, you've completed the first section in this course. Now we will talk about the three rules of photography. Now these walls, I follow with every picture I take. When I bring the camera up to my eye, I do it without even thinking. They are a natural part of the process that I go through. Just like what you learn in the first section, base and the exposure triangle. I no longer think about it. I just do it. It just happens when I bring the camera up to my eye in me as a professional photographer, I use a digital SLR camera. I do not use the LCD screen on the back of the camera. I actually physically bring the camera up to my eye when I am looking and I am taking my pictures. Not just say that, that's what you have to do. You take the pictures that you feel more comfortable with, even if you're using a cell phone. But I am teaching today applies the same. It doesn't matter what the cargo PU you use cell phone, digital SLR camera or a tablet or computer, whatever you use for it. Now, like I said, I apply these principles every time I bring the camera up to my eye. I don t think about it. I just do it. E.g. when I have the camera up to my eye, I'm always, always scanning my background, my foreground, I'm scanning, I'm looking at what's in the picture. I do this even before I bring the camera up to my eye. When I arrive on location of where on one big taken a picture, immediately scan in the area. I'm deciding what would be the best place to get this picture from. What angle, what composition, how do I want to approach to achieve the maximum result? I'm always looking at what do I want in-focus? Do our adjust my subject? Or is this a very interesting scene? And I want everything in focus. I'm always evaluating what is the subject do and are they moving? Are they sitting still? Do I need to account for that? I'm looking at the lighting. Is it too dark here or is it too bright? Now, I think this will work. Gas by, I think an ISO will 100 will be great. I can keep my noise down. There's enough light that I'll have a good clean picture. I'm always doing this is natural. It comes second nature to me. And it will for you too. The more you practice your photography, the more you will start implementing base, the exposure triangle. And the three words about Tartuffe that you're going to learn in this section. You'll do without even thinking. It'll just come natural to you. So, without further ado, let's dive into wool number one. 9. Rule Number One in Photography: The first row of photography that I'm going to talk about has to do with what we are going to be photographing. Now, I don't want you to look at these as actual wars, but more as guidance, guidelines. Some rules are made to be broken, others are not used. These three rules that I'm fixing to give you as guidance. So the first rule of photography, as I mentioned, we're photographing something, correct. So the wool is know your subject. Now when I say know your subject, I'm not talking about their name. This is uncle or aunt Sally. I'm not talking about like this is a Chevy truck. No, that's not what I'm talking about when I say know your subject, what I mean by know your subject, every photograph has to have a primary reason for taking the photograph. What are you photographing? You see something interesting that you wanted to take a picture of. Is that your subject? If that is your subject, that is what we want to isolate. That is what we want to bring attention to in our picture. That is our subject to know your subject. If there's anything in the picture, that doesn't mean alone, that's not going to bring value to your subject, member base, background. Try to eliminate it, trying to remove it, or try to change your position so that your subject is brought out in their best light. Rather that is a person, place, or thing that does not matter. What matters is that you know what your subject is, what made you stop in the first place? Why did you decide to take this picture? Know your subject. And we've been, you know, your subject. When you get a firm understanding of war number one, you will find yourself looking at the pictures, looking at the scenery, looking at the area. And I'll totally different light. You will start thinking like a photographer, instead of like a random tourists who just those two camera up to their lie and snapped a picture. You will actually put dot into your picture in that separate you as an amateur versus a professional. Professionals always put thought into everything they do. 10. Rule Number Two in Photography: It is now time to talk about my second rule of photography. In the first module, we talked about know your subject. And that is very important. You don't want to guess randomly, be snapping pictures of everything. Your subject will get lost in the process. Your viewer will not know what. To look at. The second row of photography ears bring attention to your subject. Now what do I mean by brain attempting to your subject? What I mean is there are certain other voice of photography that we use. You've may have heard of them. The rule of thirds. The wall or bleeding lines frame your subject. Beyond the frame with your subject. These were all different ways you can brain accessing to your subject. The idea here is that you want your subject to be flattened center. You want them to be the main focus of the picture. You want to bring attention to your subject. Now you can do that in various ways as I have just mentioned. But the key takeaway for more number two is to bring attention to your subject. 11. Rule Number Three in Photography: In now we come to war number three. Now wore number three, combined everything we have learned in this course. It combines base, combines the exposure triangle. It combines one, know your subject. It combines all to bring attention to your subject. Wolf three is simply hold the attention on your subject. And what that means is that is growing in brain, in the entire picture together, brain and everything into sync. You've got your background straightened out. You have your bulk is straight now, like do you run in-focus? You know what you're doing as far as your subject. Is it moving it since deal, you have the proper light to light the subject. Are they in the dark or is it too bright? You know, your subject wore number one. So you know exactly what you're photographing. You have you have a purpose, not just randomly snapping pictures, willy nilly, you have to have a purpose. And more, number two, you bring attention to your subject. Now, I mentioned that brain or tensing to your subject. There are other rules that we follow, e.g. the rule of thirds. As you can see here, the Woolworth there is simply divides the picture into thirds. Left, Miro, center, top, middle, bottom. If you look at this picture, you can see that this jar with the flowers is on the left thirds of the picture. And if we look at somebody's other pictures, you can see the same vein. You can see where the subject is in a third of the frame. The next rule that we talked about was leading lines. In. If you look at these pictures, you can kind of see that your eyes follow a line, they follow a pattern. The next rule that we talked about was framing your subject. In. If you look at these pictures, you can see how we kinda flamed or subject. Sometimes we used three limbs or trees. Sometimes we use leaves. Sometimes we use arts raise, or in the case of this picture, curtains with the chairs and the table kind of framed in between. Now, the final way of glowing attempting to our subject is to fill the frame to make them larger than life. As you can see in these pictures, are subject literally fills the entire frame. Sometimes we enlarge the Emmys an blur out the background GS enough. So they are, you can still make out that something is layer. But your focus is on the main subject. They are in nice and sharp. They feel the frame and everything else isn't blurred out. So well, number three is simply tie in everything you have learned together to make that perfect picture. And once you start doing that, you start applying base, utilizing the exposure triangle. Utilizing the rewards over cartography. Know your subject. Grant accessing to your subject, hold the attention on your subject. Your pictures will go for air. Yeah, it's nice to, wow. Who took that picture? 12. Photo Project: Time for our final project. In our project, I want you to go out, find a place, any place. It could be your backyard to be the park. Anywhere. The place of your choosing is totally up to you. Then you bind a subject. Any subject, something that you feel worthy of taken a picture of. A, can be, again, a person, place, or thing. Object can be an animal, a family member. Again, this is totally up to you. Whatever you do. I want you to use. The photo check sheet that I included in the resources on that sheet, you will see base BAC. I want you to check the background. Make sure there's nothing in the picture that shouldn't be there. I want you to decide your area of focus, your aperture, what you want in focus, the human gesture subject? Or do you want the entire scene in focus? I want you to look at the speed, but it's just subject doing. Did you choose a subject that is at rest or is your subject moving? Then I want you to check the exposure. How much light do you have? Do you have enough light? Or do you need to add some? Maybe you have two months and you need to take some away, whatever you can to try to control the light after you've gone through your checklist of base. Next, I want you to focus on the three wars. Know your subject. Make sure you know what you are photographing. Too many items in the picture that do not bring value will make the picture that's desirable. So make sure you have an understanding of what you are photographing. Now, we're going to do our testing to our subject. Use. One of the other wolves that I talked to you about used award thirds. Maybe leading lines. If you can, maybe you might try to frame the subject or enlarged in the frame so that it fills the entire frame. Whatever choice you choose is totally up to you. You know, the situation, you know what you are looking at, what is in front of you. So choose the best option that you think would bring attention to your subject. An EN row number three, as I stated in the course, ties everything together. Rule number three in this case is, hold the attention on your subject. So after you've gone through this checklist, take your picture. If you are happy with your picture uploaded to the project gallery so that other students can see how much you have improved in your photography. Show off your picture and why you added, take the time to comment on other students pictures. Db be back to them. And they will give P back to you. And I, myself will give be back. I do hope you got value out of this course. And with that said, keep taking pictures, happy photography. 13. Course Conclusion: I would like to give my gratitude and thanks for taking this course with me. I do hope you got some value out of it. Even if she has a little some of this, you may have already known somebody. You've may have never heard of. Hopefully, something good came from it. My hope that you will start to apply base store to utilize the exposure triangle. An applied of three rules that I talked about in this course. Over time. You'll stop even thinking about it. They will come second nature. They will come naturally to you. When you go to take a picture, you will automatically, without even thinking, starts again in the area. Looking for the best possible angle position to take the picture. You will spark means it should be there and you will automatically remove them or reposition yourself. You will know instantly what you want in focus or what you don't want in focus, or maybe the entire picture. You will know, do I need to adjust for movement or is my subject sentence deal? You will be able to analyze the light and know if you need a introduce more light. We'll take some away. If that's not possible, maybe just change locations to where the lighting is better. All of this was starting to become second nature to you. The same thing with the walls of photography that I discussed. You will learn to identify what your subject ears so that you can draw focus to your subject and not have your viewers eyes just wondering everywhere all over the picture. You will borrow attention to your subject so that when your viewer looks at the picture for the first time, they go instantly to your subject. And again, not just all over the place. And you'll be able to maintain the viewer's attention to keep them from wandering off the page. Because once their eyes leave the picture, you have lost them as a viewer. So we want to maintain that focus. We want them to be engaged in our pictures. Applying what you've learned in this course will enable you to do just that. To keep your viewer engaged in your pictures.