Frame a Great Shot: Exploring Photo Composition | Learn with EyeEm | Porter Yates | Skillshare

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Frame a Great Shot: Exploring Photo Composition | Learn with EyeEm

teacher avatar Porter Yates, Photographer

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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.



    • 2.

      Finding the Right Environment


    • 3.

      'Exotic' as a Crutch


    • 4.

      Exploring the Unexpected


    • 5.

      Photographing the Fringe


    • 6.

      Controlling Your Background


    • 7.

      Finding Cleanliness in Chaos


    • 8.

      A Note About Gear and Settings


    • 9.

      Adding Layers and Visual Elements


    • 10.

      Shooting Non-Descriptive Elements


    • 11.

      Making the Viewer Ask Questions


    • 12.



    • 13.

      Bonus Exercise: Masters' Work


    • 14.

      Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare


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About This Class

Go beyond the expected in your next photo adventure! Join EyeEm’s Photographer of the Year, Porter Yates, for an inspiring one-hour composition class about capturing images that evoke intrigue — whether you're shooting digital, film, or Instagram. 

In this class, Porter critiques a selection of his own work from his travels to Asia, Africa and the Americas — sharing insights and tips on how to make a good photograph great:

  • finding the right environment to shoot 
  • controlling your background (even if it's the foreground) 
  • layering and visual elements 
  • incorporating "non-descriptive" elements 
  • creatively cropping to add a sense of mystery 

This is not a technical class about camera settings and gear – it’s a creative exploration that will help you develop your eye for compelling imagery and hone the way you shoot.

You’ll leave this class with newfound inspiration and an arsenal of techniques to apply to your next photograph!


What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. Photo processing aside, for now, you’ll learn how to create a compelling photographic image using compositional techniques that Porter Yates uses to make his photography not good, but great. Whether you’re focusing on iPhone photography or using high-grade equipment, Porter will help you compose a powerful shot.
  • Finding the right environment. You’ll get tips on how to put yourself in the right places at the right times to capture amazing photographic moments.
  • ‘Exotic’ as a crutch. You’ll learn that becoming a photographer means more than just capturing the unfamiliar — you have to get involved in the environment where you shoot. Porter will show you the difference between a good tourist photograph and a great, professional-grade photograph.
  • Exploring the unexpected. Expanding on Porter’s last tips, you’ll take a look at some photographs that depict an event and compare those to photographs that tell stories, raise questions, and feature characters.
  • Photographing the fringe. When it comes to photographing big events, you’ll learn to avoid taking the easy crowd shot in favor of shooting subjects on the edges of the event for more intriguing compositions.
  • Controlling your background. You’ll learn to capture compositionally relevant backgrounds that focus attention on your main subject(s). In addition, you’ll see how light can illuminate and shade your subjects to create different narratives.
  • Finding cleanliness in chaos. You’ll find that being a photographer means being in charge of your work. By controlling your photograph’s background, you’ll learn smart methods for getting colors in the background to interact with those in the foreground, and you’ll learn how to strategically leave visual elements out of your shot to form narratives.
  • A note about gear and settings. You’ll get an introduction to adding layers to literally and emotionally bring more dimensions to your work. Porter will go over technical camera settings that increase depth of field and otherwise allow you to capture clarity in your photograph’s foreground and background.
  • Adding layers and visual elements. You’ll learn how to take set-up shots that allow you to carefully hone in on the scene you’re aiming to capture. Porter will teach you techniques that will help draw viewers into your photographs, like only capturing parts of an object/subject and relating forms to each other in such a way that establishes your photograph’s flow.
  • Shooting non-descriptive elements. In order to truly engage a viewer, sometimes you have to hold back certain information. Comparing a descriptive and a nondescriptive photograph, you’ll learn how to tell a story with a cliffhanger ending and how to become part of the scene that you’re shooting to more effectively reveal your subjects.
  • Making the viewer ask questions. You’ll learn how to avoid the easy way out when it comes to obscuring information in your compositions. With Porter’s tips under your belt, you’ll be able to figure out how to start a photography business that produces work for clients that not only captures scenery, but also keep customers wanting more.


EyeEm is a community for all photographers — new and experienced — to unleash their creativity and get discovered. They connect over 18 million photographers and promote a talented global community through exhibitions, brand missions, and a marketplace to sell and buy authentic, royalty-free images.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Porter Yates



Porter's interest in the varying levels of connection between himself and the people he encounters is the primary theme in his work. He looks to reveal universal elements that express the human condition as well as capturing people's relationships to their community and environment.

He has traveled extensively to Asia and the Americas, finding inspiration in the beauty and uniqueness of place and its culture. Venturing into remote places, and introducing himself into a new community, has made him question what it means to be an outsider, what it means to be part of a culture or community, and how people connect to the world.

Porter was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has worked in Colorado in the oil industry, and researched sustainable heating technology during a residency ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: My name is Porter Yates. I'm a photographer from Brooklyn, New York. In 2015, I was named as IM photographer of the year. IM is a company that is dedicated towards fostering a global community of photographers. Today, we're going to learn about how to make a compelling image using compositional techniques, and creative ideas that will take it beyond the expected. This is not a technical class. I'm not going to be focusing on the specifics of camera settings or anything like that. This is a class for people that maybe feel they're in a creative road, and they understand how to take a photograph, but they feel maybe they've run out of resources to help them evolve their photography to the next level. Whether you're shooting with an iPhone, a DSLR, or you've only been shooting for six months or maybe several years, these concepts that I'm going to be talking about are philosophies that help me produce successful images. I hope that you'll be able to apply them to your own work as well. To make a good photograph great, there are two concepts that are important. One is to have strong subject matter, and the other is to show that in an interesting way using composition and visual elements. Those are too complicated and very lofty ideas. But don't worry about that, I'm going to break it down in the following lessons. So, let's get started. 2. Finding the Right Environment: Okay. So, to start, I'm going to talk about the first step in creating an interesting image is not necessarily with making the image itself but behind the scenes, how to find the right environment. This is important because, if you put yourself in an interesting environment where events are happening that might be photogenic, it will improve your odds of making an interesting image. Back in 2013, when I was traveling, I visited an area of Tibet, and I met a local guide, and he took me around, and he showed me the area, and I found it really fascinating and a beautiful place. One of the things I saw was, at certain mountaintops, a ritual that Tibetans do is they throw prayer paper called 'longda' into the air, and it scatters in the wind. They do this at mountain passes, in very high altitude areas. I saw that, and I always had an idea of photographing it, but I never had a chance. In 2015, I returned to Tibet, and I met my guide again, and I still had that image in my mind, and I said, "This time I'm going to try and photograph that." We were talking, and he said I can go visit some of his friends that were monks, and we went and had lunch with them at their home and got to know them a little bit,. Then they said they were going to go and throw some of this prayer paper at a nearby mountain top. So, I had my opportunity, and we went to this nearby temple on a hill, and they brought some paper, and I decided to photograph it. Here you can see the approach to this area, and you can see all the paper that's been thrown on the ground. When we arrived, there was a Tibetan nomad, who had been traveling on his motorcycle, and he had stopped to basically do this ritual of throwing paper in the air to bless his journey and hope that he gets safe passage to wherever he's going. So, you can see getting closer, there's now, as I'm walking up here, I'm starting to assess the scene, and he is maybe someone that might be interesting to photograph. When I originally met the monks, my intent was to photograph them. Now, we have another character that it's just in my mind that he might be interesting. You can see the monks are throwing paper in this photograph, and so is he. This image is just a setup, and it's getting the scene, it's getting in the light, it's getting the subjects, but, it's a little too descriptive of, it's just people throwing paper into the air. You can see, as I get closer, the image becomes a little bit more compelling. We're starting to get more compositional elements. It's not there yet, but I'm just trying different angles. You can see, I'm looking at the background, things are starting to fall in place. The focus is becoming on the nomad, and the monks are starting to fall off the frame. Here you can see, now the paper is becoming more prominent in the frame, becoming an element itself. That content, if you remember when I was talking about the two important things in an image, you need the composition, the visual elements, and also the content. You can see the content is the nomad. He is someone that you're going to be able to identify with and create a story about, and the rest of it. The mountains, the background, the sky, the paper, that's all supporting the content of him. It's creating that marriage of those two elements of that required for an interesting image. I shoot some more shots, and you can see the monks are back. I think this is important because you never know when that good shot is going to happen. One thing I try not to do is look at my screen too often. I don't want to chimp, and say, "Do I have the shot?" You might miss the action. It's okay if you just wanted to see if your exposure's right. Sometimes you do see some elements you need to fix, but for the most part, keep shooting, keep trying, and later, you go back in and analyze, and say "Okay. Here's the shot that really worked." Finally, we have the end of it. You can see the paper scattering in some different angles, different approaches, one of above, it's always worth to try and keep shooting while the action, while the event, while something interesting is happening. Finally, there's a shot of me with the monks. The monks were very interested in me. I don't know if they've really had very much contact with travelers, foreigners, and they wanted to photograph me more, or as much as I was interested in photographing them. The point that I'm just trying to show here of our group photo is that I didn't get the photograph that I got by being a stranger and walking up and taking one photograph. I put myself into an environment. I had lunch with these people and got to know them, and that is how you end up seeing interesting things and having people around you that you can photograph and fall into the background, and they don't notice you, and allow a natural, interesting elements of the environment to start taking over so you can photograph it. 3. 'Exotic' as a Crutch: So, everything that I was talking about here is finding the right environment. I want to make it clear that the right environment isn't an exotic, interesting place, that even though I was showing Tibet, which is far away, what made this work was that I got into an environment that I was close with people that allowed me to understand a little bit of their behavior and who they are and what they're doing, and that was why I was able to produce a successful photograph. My recommendation is, photograph what's familiar to you and your friends. The environment can be your house, it can be when you go out with family or friends, and you can make compelling images by being close and being proactive in constructing shots with people around you that you can understand and will allow you to do that. So, this brings up a point that I want to touch on. I think, if you look through the images here in Tibet, I was guilty of this when I first started traveling, is that the first time I ever saw Buddhist monks praying in the temple, that blew me away. I'd never seen that before, and it was amazing. I took a photograph of it, and I felt that photograph was a good photograph because it emotionally was a special moment for me. A lot of people travel, and they see unique and exotic things, and they take a photograph of it and to them, that's it. They don't need anything else. They show friends at home, and that becomes, oh, wow! What a cool place. The photo itself might not be a very interesting photograph. There's not compositional elements. Maybe the light is bad. The photograph really is only relying on the exotic for people to engage with it, and that is not enough to make a great photograph. When we were talking about good photograph versus great, the exotic is not going to be enough. When we look at these photographs in Tibet, there's not just the monks. It's not the cultural elements that are carrying the photograph. There's more to it than that. I think a good way to judge whether a photograph is too exotic is, if you can step out of your hotel, if you are in any country, we can think of India or Cuba, if you're in Cuba, you step out of your hotel and you see an old car, there are a lot of old cars, beautiful cars in Cuba, and you see some decaying buildings that in America, in New York, we don't see that sort of stuff. So, it's very interesting, and you want to take a photograph of it. Any tourist that goes down there, that visits Cuba can step out of their hotel and take the exact same photograph. So, what this class is about is how to make the photograph interesting. You could have a car or the decaying building in your shot, but you have to do more than just have the car or the decaying building. That's not going to be enough. So, I first visited Cuba in 2012. This is when I was kind of just traveling with a camera and documented what I saw. Here's a photograph of a beautiful red car and not falling apart, but you can tell it's aged and it's a beautiful building. Boom! Quintessential Cuba. Look perfect in a magazine. Go to Cuba. Travel to Cuba. But let's just look at the image itself. There's really not much going on there. There's a car and a building. Let's replace those elements with the building in New York, current building. That's not an interesting photograph. Here's another shot that it has a car. There's no building. So, there's a little bit of difference here, but there's more mystery and definitely, there's content here. There's a woman in a car, and the light is interesting. There's a hint of some rows, fabric that's been upholstered. There's a little bit more of a narrative that can be constructed within the shot. Okay. So, to summarize, there are three main lessons here. First is to get involved. You want to be able to find in your environment elements that you understand and can be comfortable shooting. Number two is to not rely on the exotic or the novel elements of where you are, and that ties back into number one because if you understand the place and get involved, the exotic is going to start to disappear. It's when you really start understanding the place, the exotic and new elements start to become familiar. Number three is to not stop at the obvious. When you see the obvious thing, the car in Cuba, the shoot, you want to be able to explore how are you going to shoot that in a more interesting manner. Now that we've covered how to put yourself into an environment, up next, we're going to talk about what to do when you're actually there. 4. Exploring the Unexpected: Let's imagine that we're now in a interesting environment and it's a place where we want to take photos. Let's talk a little bit about how to make interesting photographs in this environment. A couple years ago in 2013, I traveled to India and I went to the largest gathering of humanity on the planet. Over a month long period, about 100 million people showed up to this festival called Khumbu Mela. I was there for about seven days. The things to photograph and the amount of subject matter is just unbelievable. I shot everything from crowds to the holy men, to people bathing in the river. So two months ago, I returned to India and I visited the same festival. This festival happens every three to four years and I photographed it again. I want to show to illustrate the point of how to make interesting photographs in a unique environment. The first time my photos from 2013, I've selected some shots that are really not that successful as a photograph. Then from my recent trip, I'm going to show some images that are what I feel are better and stronger images and we can contrast the difference. So the first image that I have here is from 2013, it's from a procession of holy men, and you look at it and you see, wow! Here's these old bearded men and they're adorned in flowers and robes and under umbrellas, they're on the roof of cars and slave. What is going on here? Structurally, there's not much to the composition. It's okay. It's not a terrible photograph. I've thought a little bit when I was shooting it. But when I see this, this is a very typical photograph that you would see from this festival. It's a procession. The manner described in this photograph, they are what they are, and it is to anyone who has been to this festival or has an understanding of Khumbu Mela. You know what this is and there's really nothing beyond what I've shown in the photograph to let you dive deeper and nothing to create intrigue in this photograph. The next one shows a pretty similar scene of men in a parade, procession, they've just come back from the Ganges, and they're really happy that they've bathed, and it's a very spiritual moment for them, and they're happy, but my photograph is not really showing much of that. It's just a very descriptive shot that I was there and I was snapping shots and I wasn't thinking how to control much of the composition whatsoever. Say to the next shot, basically the same thing. People come in at the camera, it's a procession, you're seeing a lot of different people but it's very hard to control the elements. Very hard to structure this shot in any kind of visually meaningful way. Here's a shot of the crowd that shows, oh wow! Look how big this place is, which is, send this home to your friends and say, wow! What a what a wild place. Look where I am. Put it on Instagram. But it's just a shot of a crowd. There's nothing unique about this shot of the crowd. It's just showing a lot of people that are there in the ground. It's very descriptive. Now, let's look at the other shots that I took recently and we'll look at the difference. The first shot I have here is, it has one of the holy men. Remember, we saw those holy men on top of the cars. It's clear who the subject is, he's focused on but there's something mysterious about it. We don't know what he is doing. The light is better. It's obviously sunset. We have some people that are interacting with him. They're dancing. It looks like women that are, maybe they're praying to him and there's a little bit of air of mystery that draws me into the photograph. I want to know more about this. Here's a shot of a man in a pink environment. It's hard to even tell what this is. What is he doing? It raises questions that it makes, it's not just here is where I visited and here's a photo that shows where I was. There's more to it. There's a character here that I can construct a narrative about in my head. Whether that narrative is true or not, we don't necessarily care about that. If he's sad because he's visiting this festival on his own and because his wife couldn't afford to come. Sure, that's a story there. Or maybe he's a security guard and he's checking to make sure this tent that I'm in is safe. But that's the point, is that I just was able to create two narratives that and at least let me have intrigue and interest in this photograph rather than, here's a procession, here is what happens, here's an event from 9 a.m to 10 a.m, and quick there's your photo of it. 5. Photographing the Fringe: So, with that in mind, we can just look at a few more photographs here that I've selected that I think have not a clear description. We know there's some stuff. Maybe we identify they were in India. There's the exotic elements hard not to show that when you're in India, you're going to have all the saris, all the colors, all the things that are quintessential India, but those are not what the image is relying on. This is more the structure, more the composition, more the characters and the actors and that's what we want to look for when we're in the environment. We want to move away from the precession and go one block, two blocks, three blocks away and into areas that are not just the main event. The main events are usually pretty hard to photograph as anything other than the main event. These elements, it's a little bit more difficult because you have to rely on yourself to find them, and that's what we're going to try and teach and explore here. The next shot is of this man sleeping in a tent. He looks very relaxed, but he's in this environment almost like Princess in the Pea. He has 20 mattresses that he's on, and this ornate pink wallpaper that's this fabric that's draped. I see this, who is he? What is he doing here? What is this place? I have all these questions turning in my head, and it's not this was a tent off to the side and I went in and I kind of talked with him, and he had a friend that was happy to see me as a foreigner showing up and this was more of an environment that I was looking for trying to get off the beaten path. Here's a photo of another man. This is at a almost like a side show. It was for kids and they had rides and one of the rides that you could pay not very much, 10, 20 rupees, which for a trampoline you can jump for 10 minutes. No kids were jumping and this guy was kind of fixing it and he decided to do some jumps himself and here's a trampoline which is a pedestrian subject. Everyone's jumped on a trampoline but at a festival, you've run into a trampoline, this is not what you expect to encounter and that's what we want to look for when we go into an environment. We put ourselves in an interesting place. Now we need to go find the unique in unexpected places and try and photograph that. Compositionally, what's nice here is that the trampoline isn't shown and we don't know that he's on a trampoline. So it looks like he's floating, his head is up in the air, what's this man doing? Why is he here? Again, raise questions. Two women looks to be their photo taken but the woman doesn't have camera. So there's an interaction between subjects in the shot. There's a nice light. Why are these women standing in this puddle? That's not a place where people like to stand. People stand where it's dry and these women are doing something in the middle of this lake, but it's not a lake because there's a tent and, again, why, what, who? That's what allows people to be drawn in and engage with this photograph. The last one we have here is of, again, it's a puddle. There was a huge storm when I was there, which rain and water adds drama in this environment. It's, again, what is it? We're not real sure. There's plastic that it looks like some fake mountains and we have three, four different characters here that are all doing their own thing. The main subject that we're focusing on is this little boy that has this shirt is in an interesting manner, the way his legs are mimicking the shirt. He's got his tongue out, what's going on here? That's kind of the main point here is creating intrigue and looking for the environment and the characters within that environment to do that. So, if you're looking for something to shoot subject matter-wise, often a great thing to do is look for a street fair or look for a parade, and there's going to be characters, there's going to be activity, there's going to be life but don't go and shoot the specific parade. Don't take the precession shots, don't take the street fair descriptive shots. Great thing that you can do is go one block away from the parade. The side streets where people are resting, taking a break, we'll have a little bit of that life and activity overflowing into it, and you can construct a more interesting photograph that isn't just the specific parade shot. If you go to a parade, let's think about, imagine you're at a parade. Think of all those video cameras and cell phones that every spectator is going to be taking photos of. The normal pedestrian photograph of a parade is just going to be, there's nothing else to it. So, yeah, try looking one block away and see what you can make in a more controlled environment. So, that brings up the next point of certain environments are better for creating interesting photographs than others. A lot of environments and if we look at some of these shots that I took in 2013, they're really busy. Remember there's millions of people that are all visiting and in the background and it's too chaotic. People coming in front of the camera, behind the camera and, as photographers, we want to control the scene. We're responsible for everything that falls into that frame. If something isn't right on the right side, move to the left. We have that control and we have the control of when we're going to take that photograph. If it's too busy, it's very, very difficult to control the frame and then the composition. On the flip side, if you go to a place where there's almost no activity, no life, you can take interesting photographs, but it's going to be hard. You need elements that are going to allow people to connect to that photograph, and you can make a statement of, "Here's a still life, and it's very quiet," and it might work as a series, but we want to focus on making every photograph strong and then maybe later we'll look at putting them together in some overall narrative. But if it's just a quiet photograph that is an empty street by itself, let's not focus on that right now. Let's try and look at having strong subject matter, good content and usually you're going to need a little bit of activity. So it takes a while to get a natural feel for this. I find myself when I'm walking, if I'm in a really busy environment, I try and push to the fringe and if it's too quiet, I try and go search out a little bit more life. The last tip is don't take easy photographs. Just an example here of India, it's almost on the other side of the world from New York. You spend all this money and you take all this time and you travel all the way to this other faraway place, and you get there and you finally make it to the main event and you take easy photographs. The whole difficult part of your photography experience is the travel part and that's not what we want to focus on. We want to be able to have interesting photographs that are more difficult to take but the difficulty shouldn't be in the travel. It should be in the construction and that's going to make an interesting photograph. So far, we've been focusing on how to work within an environment, how to find the environment and then what to do once you're there. Up next, we're going to be talking about the specifics of shooting and composition and how to make an interesting photograph. 6. Controlling Your Background: We've covered a lot of techniques that show how to make the foundation of a good photograph. Now, I'm going to talk about how to use a controlled background to focus the attention of the photograph to the subject. Three years ago, I was in Mumbai, India and there's an area down on the southern tip of the city that is big causeway that it's kind of a public space and a lot of people come to visit it in the evening and it's a nice environment. Exactly what I look for. Lots of life and people interacting and there's a photo I have here that just shows the environment, and you can see how busy it is. There's maybe a thousand people in this photograph. There are going to be interesting characters here but there's also a lot going on and if I shoot in this direction that I've shot, there's buildings and trees and the ocean and these pieces of concrete. They kind of all take attention and it's going to be hard to find a specific subject, and so with that in min, when I was walking if I look out the other direction there is a clean background of the sky and the city skyline and the ocean and then you have this part of the concrete barrier and I'm seeing there's girls selling flowers and I interact with her a little bit and I take her photograph and you can see it's a very simple photograph. There's not compositionally too much going on here but, it really is a start changed from just the chaos that you see in the scene. And the point that I'm trying to illustrate in a chaotic environment, again, you are in control of the scene. That you might find yourself in a chaotic environment and say "Wow, that's pure chaos I can't take any photos here," but it's up to you to look into and construct the scene that you want and control that background. So, this one is just by changing your position, you can get that controlled background. The next shot is again in Mumbai. Same trip, it was probably mid day the sun was hard light was bad outside. So, I said I'm going to go to the railway station. See what's happening in there. It's not too busy trains or coming people in transit. It's not just pure chaos and there's some life there. So, I have a photograph here. There's two boys waiting for a train and then you can see there's some other boys in their school uniform but if you look at the background, the lights back-lit it's kind of windows are too strong the light coming through them and look at all these other characters. Probably 15 people in the scene, it's too much. There's not a real clear moment of what I want to depict here. You know it's just a kind of a descriptive scene in the same place. There's trains coming in and out, and I was able to use the train itself as the control environment. The same exact place but the wall, the window of the carriage is controlling my environment, and here we have a very clear subject. It's a woman in the car by herself. The colors are working better here, if we look at the last shot. How many colors do we have? There's no specific color palette. And here three or four colors. There's entry, we're not real sure it's a train. I see this and she can be, maybe she's being detained. Maybe it's, look at these windows with the grids. She's got her feet up which is kind of interesting. We can just catch a little bit of her expression and again this is just done through looking for a control environment to shoot, a controlled background. The next shot is in a market in Wahaca. You can see that there are these two women. There's these two rays of light that are coming down and kind of illuminating this darker market from within, and I saw some activity going on here. These women were walking a distance, fetching water and coming back and I thought maybe that could be interesting. I saw them passing in and out of the light. I was able to get very lucky here. Time a shot where the two women with their buckets hit the shaft of light and a kind of illuminates everything and you get this visual element of glowing buckets. The shot works because on the very fundamental level, where we're looking is into a clean wall with these stripes of light and if we look at another shot, where I just was further to the left, all these activities going on behind me and I've purposely position myself to have that activity at my back where what I'm looking and when I'm shooting, is a controlled environment. It's the wall and it's the women and their interaction in front of that. The next shot, is in a market in Ethiopia. Again, this is just going to demonstrate how where you position and where you stand is 100 percent your control and you can see the difference between maybe three feet to the right and standing in a place that gives you a controlled backgrounds. So, here's a shot of a man standing in the back and there's market and there's draped tarps and kind of really beautiful textures and the light's kind of mysterious. This environment is my construction in my control and if you look at this blue tarp on the left, if we look at the next shot, you can see that that tarp I was using to close off this pathway where people were coming in and out of the scene, this shot right here was just kind of a test shot and there's really no compositional elements but what you want to focus on here is just look at the difference between the backgrounds, and a lot of times, you might have one scene that it's almost there and you'll see what an interesting character and the light is perfect but there's going to be all this chaos in the background, and sometimes it only takes here's this blue tarp that's covering something. If I move, then now that tarp is going to block whatever was there. And you can do this with all sorts of elements. It doesn't have to be some giant big tarp. You might even find something close but if it's a small but if it's close to the camera, that might obscure crazy, busy distracting background elements that again, it's up to you. It's your control and it's a 3D environment that you can move within and kind of construct your own reality there. 7. Finding Cleanliness in Chaos: The next shot that I'm showing here is just, it's not so much about left to right it's just, again it's kind of this crop it, and you can see this is a barbershop in Ethiopia. It's kind of in this market area and I'm walking and then I see this and colorful forms that catch my eye. So, here's a guy that I chatted with and when I took this photograph it wasn't really with the intent of this is the amazing scene that I want, it was a little bit to take a photograph, show I'm non-threatening, get him used to my camera, see how much I can start getting into the scene, because what I'm more interested in is what's going on in this business behind him with all these shapes. If we go to the next photograph you can see inside here is a man that's getting his hair cut, and you can see just in the framing here's a very descriptive scene, it's a business, there's some tarps that are hung up, and then the next one I've used those shapes to control my background and then focus the attention on the one subject inside. I want to talk a little bit more about the background and everything up to this point has been about how to control it, move yourself, what to look for, and I just want to look at the few shots that have the background somewhat interacting and becoming part of the subject, either a secondary or maybe a tertiary subject within the frame. So, here's a photograph of two women in Ethiopia and the background is a grove of trees, by itself it's a little bit busy but it's because of it's one uniform color and it's natural, it's not just kind of chaos that you don't know where to look. You see these two women they're in here praying, they were at a church service and there was a grove of eucalyptus that they had gone into, and one the way that I've structured this to obscure kind of one of the secondary woman in the back to obscure her face adds an element of mystery, and the other woman she has a very kind of beautiful face, and she looks a little sad and you kind of wonder what she's thinking. In the background here is also more of a subject, the other ones that I showed it's a background, let it be the background and kind of be quiet. Here the trees become part of the story and part of the narrative of raising questions of what's going on here, and it also if you notice it's a background but it also comes around and surrounds the two subjects. The trees, I think that gives it more of a interaction. So, the background doesn't always have to be just dead background, but it does need to be clean, it needs to be kind of non-distracting. So, the next shot again here in Ethiopia is more of just by the colors it's a character within the story, it lends a little bit of understanding of this place because of the environment we have, this yellow door, there is these green crosses and then there's blue wall, but it's still even though it's not just a clean flat background there're many shapes here and there's many levels to it, but it's not just chaos. I think that's an important point to really focus on, don't get too caught up with it has to be a white wall, it has to be just flat boring nothing, you can find very interesting backgrounds but they need to be controlled, you need to see how those are interacting, the way the door balances with his green shirt, this old tree that kind of anchors the image on the right side, all those things. It's a slightly more complex and advanced way of looking at a background but it doesn't help construct a more interesting photograph. The last one that I'm going to show here is this boy in kind of this asphalt. The reason I'm showing this one is because in this scene there are parked cars all the way around the edge, just through selecting where I was shooting, where I was looking, I don't have to tell any of that story, the viewer doesn't need to know that there are parked cars here, and, what's important about this shot as instructional shot it's a parking lot. You can find an interesting background in a parking lot it doesn't need to be if we go back to the Ethiopia shot with this aged wall and beautiful colors, and of course you find that environment you take that photo it's going to be an interesting background, but you might not find yourself in Ethiopia, but everyone can find themselves in a parking lot. It's not just the parking lot that makes the photograph there's different visual things and subtle lines and the shapes that all help here but it's still just a parking lot and you never really know exactly where you're going to find these kind of places where interesting photograph might be. As you're thinking about your composition and you're looking at a seen here are some things to think about. Number one, is you are in charge, the background that you select and the elements that you decide to include that is why you're a photographer. If something isn't working within that scene find a way to change it, it might be by moving yourself, it might be by looking at a different angle, but you are in charge of that background and it's up to you to make it non-distracting and help focus attention on the subject. So, number two, is that the background doesn't have to be the background, there's a little bit of maybe confusing terminology, and when I say background I'm referring to a two D plane that exists as the photograph. The world is not two dimensional, so in two dimensions there might be an element that's in the foreground that acts as the background and helps focus attention onto the subject, that it's kind of actor that's not important and it's playing its role to be the background, that doesn't mean that it is everything that's behind the subject and I think that's an important point to think about. The goal of the image is to focus the attention on the subject, and when you're shooting in color, distracting colors within the background are going to compete for attention and is going to take the viewer's eye away from the subject matter, so, it's important to keep the colors of the background controlled when you're shooting a photograph. We just learned how to control the background of a photograph, now let's learn how to add layers and visual elements to create a more compelling and entry in image. 8. A Note About Gear and Settings: Let's talk about layers. Layers can add a lot of complexity to an image and they can add a lot of depth. There's a certain way that we can construct layers to have secondary and tertiary subjects and how that all is going to interact with the background. Before I get too deep into the actual composition techniques of layers, I want to talk a little bit about the technical gear and the settings that might be required to shoot layers. I know I said this wasn't going to be a technical class and this is going to be pretty simple but it's an important note to put out there. If you shoot with a wide open lens, if your aperture is very wide and you decrease your depth of field so your focus on your subject is very clear and you end up blurring everything in the foreground and the background, that can make a controlled background and it can also put the attention on the primary subject, but it doesn't make for a very complex image. A lot of times you'll see beautiful portraits with everything blurred behind the person and that works well for portraiture but it's not really what we're going for here. We're trying to make a little bit more of a complex image that is going to have interaction between different elements. If we start blurring things, that makes the interaction and the construction a little more difficult. So, my recommendation is to shoot at a higher aperture, usually half [inaudible] or above and that's going to be in normal daylight. It's, you might have to open up if it's going to get into low light situations. The other thing is the focal length that you're going to use. At different elements and layers are going to look differently if you're shooting on a very wide lens, a 35 millimeter or maybe the telephoto at 100 plus millimeters. The telephoto is going to compress things, and you can still get layers but it becomes very hard to control the composition. One small change in your position is going to completely throw off the composition. So, I don't recommend, really, any focal length more than 50 millimeters. If you're shooting extremely wide, you almost capture so much that in order to precisely control what you want the viewer to see, there's almost too much of a scene going on. So, usually, if you're shooting at 14 millimeter or a 20 millimeter, it's very hard to control and you also get a lot of distortion. So, I would recommend just, when we're going to practice, any lens between 35 to 50 is going to fit our criteria. I personally use a 35 and I think that's best, so if you have that, that would probably be ideal. Just another note is that I'm talking about a 35 millimeter full-frame equivalent. So if you have a crop sensor that's going to be maybe a 28 millimeter depending on the crop factor and if you have a phone, you can definitely shoot on your phone like I said before. Most phones are going to be within the 25-35 range, that it might be a little wide but pretty much they're going to be a 35 millimeter or equivalent. One nice thing about a phone is because the sensor is so small, the depth of field is going to be very large that the foreground to the background is going to be in focus. A lot of times people are frustrated with this, they want the DSLR look of a blurred background to focus the attention on the subject. We're not necessarily going for that so with a phone, a phone is going to be a great tool to try and make some of these shots because automatically due to the small sensor size, you're going to have a large depth of field to try and arrange your layers and your subjects within them so we can get some nice interaction. Let's get into the shots and look at what I mean by layers. The first example that I want to look at is from a trip a couple years ago I took to Indonesia and this is on the island of Java. I was driving and spotted some farm workers. It was a nice environment, the light was nice and I stopped to go check it out. So, the first shot that I'm showing here is when I approach these workers. There are five women in an onion field. They are arranged somewhat in a line and we have a little bit of a layer going on here. We have them in a field and then there's a background behind them. It's not a bad shot, it's my intro shot as I approach to see, maybe I get close and they don't want me to photograph and I have to walk away with nothing. So, this is just a test shot to see how they react to me photographing. The next shot after I got a little bit closer and played with the angles, is much more engaged and you can see the layers start to really develop here. I've put myself down inside one of the [inaudible] of the onion field. The women are now arranged in multiple layers themselves, but then within the onions, then the women, then the background and kind of the sky, and you get a much more complex interaction between all these different layers. What I was paying attention to here is primarily the main subject. Again, very clear who the main subject is and then just looking at the different elements of how they all interact, the same shape of their hats, those triangle hats that they have, a nice visual rhyme in elements that tell you even though, for instance, we see the woman on the left that's down below, we know that's a woman because of this hat that all the other woman have. It allows us to supply information that necessarily isn't shown. I wanted to put the women within the mountain background. I don't want intersection between their backs and the ridge of the mountain. I wanted to make that clear encompassing boundary. So, I think, the shot is successful with how the layers developed in. Again, going back to some of the previous lessons, getting close within the environment, looking at the background, limited color palette, all that's starting to come together. The next shot going back to Tibet. Here is a monastery that has hundreds of monks and they are all out in the front of the monastery and they're debating. So, here's a shot that shows me getting close and you can see there's two people on the ground, maybe three people here on the ground that are sitting. They're taking one side of the debate and everyone else is crowding around them. It's an interesting scene but the way that I've captured it here is not that successful. There is somewhat of a clear subject of this main standing monk in the front but it's not real clear what's going on. The layers are definitely, it's possible to get them in there but I didn't do a great job here. It's just more of a straight on one shot and then any layers of the people behind have fallen off. Fifty minutes later I find another scene and I shoot this shot that shows one the subjects are much more clear but you have more layers and you have a clear idea of where this is. The layer of the mountain and the temple and the background provide context. The layer it doesn't always have to be structured through depth, you can also get layers going vertically or horizontally through the frame. Here, you have a nice separation of the monks in their heads. Then, they are focusing the attention on this interaction between one monk who looks like he's about to slap another monk that looks not very happy about it in the face. That's a much more complex, more interesting photograph that develop just due to some slight compositional changes. 9. Adding Layers and Visual Elements: So the next shot that we're going to look at is in Peru, and it's a local woman in a small town, kind of this rural village in the Andes with their horses. The scene itself, I always love animals, I love seeing the interaction that animals have with people and I saw this scene and was attracted to it, and this first shot that I'm showing is again the setup shot. Looking at what do we have here, one, two, three, four horses kind of a clean color palette and here's this woman in red with an interesting hat. We're already halfway there and now it's just a question of how are we going to set this up? So this shot here it's descriptive and we can see it's just a woman with their horses by getting closer and I think this is an important technique that especially with layers that if you can only show part of an object, it allows for the viewer to create the rest of that object in their head. So by only showing part of this horse, the brown horse, and only showing part of the white horse, one there's kind of a puzzle piece of how they fit together, but two it allows the viewer to, it's not so descriptive and lets the viewer come up with, what are those horses? What's the rest of them look like? What's this? I'm missing the eye on the horse and it makes me want to see more. I want to see that eye and it draws me into the photograph. There's a nice interaction of the layers here. I'd say there's one, two, three, four, five, six subtle layers between the horses and the women and then the mountains again in the background. If we go back and compare to the other one, you can see it falls flat and there's no engagement whereas this is maybe just 10 minutes and just working the composition and paying attention to layers. Next shot, very similar situation to the one in Peru. It's a man outside Jaipur in India, Rajasthan that is washing an elephant. In India there's a culture, there's a material, it's called a Mahout that is basically a caretaker of an elephant. They have very close culture or a close relationship, they stay bonded for life. I came in the evening again trying to catch good light and to see what was going on. Here's the first shot of, okay this is interesting, nice controlled background of the lake, there's some visual forms of the elephant. If we look at the lake here we know one thing that this shot is missing, there's like a big area, white area to the left of the lake that has nothing. My eye goes there, it wants something and there's nothing. So, it could be a very successful shot if there was a boat or maybe some rock with birds on it or maybe something there that add balance, but right now I'd have to move or reconstruct this or which is what I did, and if we look at the other shot, I've come around to the profile which allows for layering and also visual elements. If you look at the shape of the man, the drain hole, the elephants crawled it's trunk, all those make nice circular forms that add interests into the photograph. There's also these children that luckily, they came, they're interested in what I was doing and pretty soon they got bored and they went into this zigzag pattern on the wall that if they were just hanging out in a chaotic pattern maybe not as interesting, but here there is visual element that lets this photograph be a little bit more interesting than if it's just children playing on the wall. The next photograph is in Ethiopia when I went to visit this tribe, they're called the Bodi tribe in Omo valley. Very rural, no electricity kind of off the grid. I got up very early to go visit them and we show up, it's overcast, decent lighting conditions and here's a shot that I would say is a pretty typical shot that you get in, that you would see just going back to the exotic or when you rely on the exotic. Here is a boy, he is in-front of his cows. Just the structure, just the idea of a boy in front of his environment isn't necessarily that complex or interesting of an idea. Many people may like the shot because, "Wow, I've never seen a boy like that, this is so foreign." Does he really live with all these cows? There's some exotic elements that are here, but structurally, the photograph is kind of, it's fairly basic, and by spending a little bit more time and paying attention to the composition and the layers. Here we can see the next photograph that has much more interests. That there's first off two people to look at, we have a very clear primary subject, the second girl is adding some mystery, she's covering her mouth, we have again going back to not showing the full item. So, we have two arms. That one is coming across is a nice visual element that's layering and then this other one is coming in and draws you into this tree. They're all connected into this tree and through the structure of having two people, two hearts, two cows, there's more to engage with. The viewer can start to pick up pieces of information that in the other one it's not necessarily there. So I think this one is a very good example of what, I think a lot of people maybe look at photographs from a foreign place and it's harder to put your finger on, "Oh, this is a good photograph, this one's not, because there's so much of novelty of seeing something that you've never seen before. That just gets in the way and it clouds your thought process. So I think this is a good one, I'm just looking at the structure and the different elements and comparing and contrasting the two. The next shot is again in Tibet, and I know I showed the one that's more typical of the monks and this one's what you wouldn't expect as much to see from Tibet. It's a billiards hall, and here's this girl that is hanging out in white and she's clearly defined, and what I want to focus on here is the structure and the flow of the image that's been created through the layers and the visual elements. So if we look at the man that is getting ready to take his shot, he's framing and controlling the bottom part of the frame that takes us up and around to this arm and then we come back up around the other side to the two players, there's even another man in the back, we have this three silhouette going on on the other table and what's going on with the layers that we have a full frame circling of activity and interest around our subject. You could get lost in this for 30 seconds which is much more than two different approaches. If it's just the girl that's not enough. I see a girl, that's it. If it's the men that are playing pool and I've specifically shot them playing pool, I don't want to see them playing pool because if you show me a photograph of men playing pool, it doesn't matter where they are, if it's just a descriptive shot of them playing pool then I know what it is and I don't need to look anymore, I don't need to investigate. This way of having these elements that heed to it and show and are secondary and tertiary layers that all add to the story and then we focus on the girl, that's what I want to show here. To make this point clear, let's look at the next frame and we took two frames of the scene and you can see the change of how all those elements within I don't know, there's a half second, a second later and then the frame falls apart. So it's not going to the exotic place and taking the photograph in the exotic place, it's the construction of the shot that really makes this photograph work. So some key takeaways when we're thinking about layers and visual elements. One is within the visual elements, how do you rhyme and relate forms to each other? There's really no strict rule about this, but if you can add interesting shapes that people want to look at that's just a great place to start. So the next point, I've been talking about focusing and having a clear subject in a photograph. Where layers really come in is almost as like the supporting actors in a play where they are there to relate and help tell the story, but they don't necessarily take the spotlight away from the main subject. Another point is that you're in control of these layers by where you stand and where you position yourself. You can control what layers come into the frame and how they interact with the subject. Then finally, by showing less you can say more. what I mean by that is by only showing a partial arm, or only part of an animal, or part of a face, that allows the viewer to construct a little bit more of the narrative and the story of the image within their own mind and that lets them engage with the photograph and it makes it more interesting. Next up, we're going to explore how to make a good photograph great by going beyond the literal description. 10. Shooting Non-Descriptive Elements: So now, I want to talk about how do we make a great photograph. One thing that is really important is to engage the viewer. If the viewer takes a look at your photograph and sees everything that there is to see within a second, that's not very engaging and is not a very interesting for them. We want to make an interesting photograph. One way we can do that is by using non-descriptive elements and that's a little complicated but basically what that means is we don't want to describe everything that's going on visually. If we show very clearly here is exactly what happened, there's no room for interpretation and that gives the viewer no chance to think about it or to make their own story or to engage with it and they will take a quick look and be done. So, by using non descriptive elements we can create questions. For instance, who is this person? What are they doing here? Where is this? Why is this happening? Those are the type of questions that if we can provoke those, that will peak people's interest, they want to find out more, they want to see more and that's just like a successful movie or TV show that has a cliffhanger. You want to try and create that in image, make something that doesn't end with a full answer. So, let's take a look at some of the images and we'll see how to do that. This is going to be again compare and contrast, I've got two images that one is more descriptive and one is non-descriptive and we can just see how that affects the feel of the image. So, the first shot here is of a fireworks festival in Mexico which is a very interesting place to begin with. The first shot I have are some beautiful fireworks and we have some silhouettes of people watching it, not a bad shot, but it is what I would expect of a fireworks festival, people watch fireworks and maybe it's not the ones that are directly up in the sky but I know exactly what's going on here and after taking a look at the colors and the forms, there's not much else. The next shot is much closer, much more engaged, there are some layers and some forms that are interesting but we really don't know what's going on here. It almost looks like people floating in space, like some nebula that I can create, all interesting storylines that go along with this, so this is a good example of a non-descriptive image. So, the next one that I have is going back to the Elephant village in Jaipur, outside of Jaipur. Here, is another mahout that is washing his elephant. This photo has a lot going for it, it is a beautiful photograph, we have nice light, we have visual forms, if you look at like the way the hose matches the elephant's foot in the water stream with the light on the ear, there's a nice connection between an elephant and the man. Maybe it's not even how we expect to see an elephant, it's not a bad photograph, I like this photograph but if we look at the next one, this one is a very different image, it provokes different feelings and the only thing we get here of the elephant is the trunk and it's not even a clear trunk, it's this s-shaped, it blends in with the color of the boy that's behind it and we just see a little bit of his face. When I was talking about visual elements and layering and only showing part. By only having half of this boy's face, there's more intrigue. Who's this boy? Why is he here? What are these other people doing? The men on the right and the left create a nice visual frame that focus my attention right onto this boy, but it's done so in a non-descriptive manner and this image compared to the other one, it is more open ended, it's that unknown that we can have a discussion, we can project onto it. The next image I'm going to talk about is in Cuba. A lot of people are going to Cuba now, there's a lot of photographers that are going, that's a very popular place. Traditionally, what you see there is the decaying building and cars shot and I talked about that. When I went there in 2012, here's that shot that you would expect, beautiful green car and there's nice green ground. There's really not much left to interpretation here, it's a described scene of a car on a street in Havana and that's it. If we look at the following photograph which was from my recent trip to Cuba, there is just through the use of layers, I found a screen that had transparent bars inside of it, was a security screen and just by shooting through that, I almost had the exact same scene, you can see that it's a car and a street and a arcade and decaying building on the other side, but by adding this visual layer, it creates so much more intrigue and unknown into what's going on on the street. You can just make out the car, you can just make out this man's face, you can see two other supporting characters in the background that are rhyming, their arms and their shape with the man who might be on his phone, we can't really tell. To me you don't usually see a photograph in Cuba that is like this, so I want to know more, I want to get into that and stay some time with the image and investigate. The next shot that I'm going to talk about is of a beautiful waterfall in Iceland, it's a huge waterfall, really impressive when you walk up to it, it's thundering loud. I visited Iceland in 2011 and here's a shot that there's one man that there's a lone silhouette in front of this waterfall and it's not a bad photograph. I see a lot of these types of photographs on Instagram, I think they're very popular a lot of people like them. Compositionally, this is not a hard photograph to take, you wait for that one person there and if you're in the right scene, you'll make this photograph, the person to my right can also make this photograph. Compare this to an image of the exact same waterfall that I took when I visited Iceland in 2015. There's definitely a different feeling here, the composition is more interesting, there's more subjects that I can engage with. One thing that's a little intriguing about it is here is the tourist site that everyone in Iceland goes to visit and none of these tourists are engaging with the waterfall, they're all looking the other way, they're all not interested in this beautiful scene that's happening behind them and it's not the typical descriptor shot of one, the waterfall or two, the tourists. So, there's a nondescript element in here that allows someone to look for a little bit more and wonder what is going on. If you remember what I said about making great photographs, we want to raise questions and this one I think raises, who are these people and what are they doing here? 11. Making the Viewer Ask Questions: The next slide is in Ethiopia at Billiards Hall and I stopped for coffee, walked next door and found this really cool environment inside and there's some guys playing pool. I knew I didn't want to shoot them shooting pool. That is, here are Ethiopian men shooting pool it's a boring photograph. So, I looked around and the first shot I took was to get them aware that I was there with my camera and they seem to be okay with it so I shot a little bit more and I circled round into another room and the light the way it was structured was falling on this man in the yellow jacket and you can see here is in the other photo. A man in the yellow jacket. This one, he's a little bit cut off so we're only showing part of them and then we also have this structured layer compositional element that puts him, where is he? Is he in another room you get a hint that is playing pool. There's this very dark figure with a pool cue in the foreground that indicates it all supports the story that we're somewhere. It's a mysterious pool hall and it raises questions like what are they doing in here? And I want to go in there and I want to see more. The first one I see everything it's not that interesting of a photograph, the next shot is two street scenes that are very similar and it's just how things are positioned and again this one is relying heavily on the visual element to succeed. So, the first shot which is not that successful that shows a woman walking away from the camera in the streets. The streets are beautiful, light's nice. Look at the green color with the Earth. Everything there is like it's a cool place but this photograph is just a boring photograph. If we look at a similar approach but wildly different in results you can see there's the green walls it's in a much tighter more focused area, we don't know who this woman is. There's something that shooting someone from behind where you can't see their face, there's two things here, one does like I said you're not showing the face so there's a little bit of intrigue but you have to be very careful with that and I think it's too easy to shoot someone from behind and if you only show their back often that's to the point where there is I can't even engage. There has to be something for someone to engage with and often, I think a lot of photographers are a little scared of taking someone's photograph from close and if they have their back turned and it's easy. You can usually tell when those photographs are just over someone's back. I really try and avoid shooting the back I think it's not something that is really going to be successful that often. This is one instance where I think it works because it's such a visual image in the texture, the hourglass shape the way that it's a very limited palette. That creates intrigue and it's harder to do with strictly visual elements if you just line up abstract forms that's harder to engage with it's not something that I try and do very often I think you'll notice in a lot of my photographs. There's generally content that you can identify with and you can engage with. This image here is of a woman in Omo valley in Ethiopia and what I consider kind of failed image on multiple levels there's bad light. It's just a descriptive straight photograph of this woman and she's an interesting person, she has these necklaces, she's very exotic. I think people would see this and if they've never been to a place like this there is like, "Oh, wow look at that". But as far as a photography goes this is not a very good photograph. I took this when I visited this tribe. You get a lot of people coming up, they want you to take their photograph because they get paid and she was kind of hustling me to take her photo and it was like okay no problem, so there wasn't really any intent there and it was just like I wanted it I think it shows the more typical descriptive portrait. Now, let's look also in Omo valley at a non-descriptive portrait that is successful for several reasons. The light is good which is important. We have this kind of beautiful background of the trees with the kind of ominous storm clouds maybe rolling in. Then we have our clear primary subject that we're looking at and it's not just a boy. If there was just a boy I think this photograph would work that well the fact that he's under this net already raises questions. What is he doing here? We know mosquito nets exist in Ethiopia and this one was probably sitting out to dry. What is he doing? Is he playing? It reduces the clarity of his face so there's just a little bit of features that get washed out and then the silhouette of the other boy that's standing there that's blocking in one of his eyes,this goes back to again that you don't have to show everything in its entirety, leave something out and by obscuring one of his eyes we don't know everything there is to know about this boy visually, at least. I want to see that other eye and I want to pull that shadow away so I can see him but I can't because it's stuck in this photograph. I think that creates a nice level of tension within the viewer that they want more but they can't get it so they come back. That's what we're going for. That's what being non-descriptive is about and I think that's what will elevate a good photograph to something great. 12. Conclusion: So I just want to thank everyone for making it to the end of the class. I know we covered a lot of complex subjects and ideas, and I just want to say it's important to go out and practice, and even if you can't put all these together, try just one. Maybe work with layers and see how well you can work with that. I have a lot of bad photographs that are what I consider failures, and it's okay to fail. Learn from them, and you'll become a better photographer. So with that in mind, I can't wait to see what you guys can go out and shoot and share here at Skillshare. Keep in mind, make me ask questions. I want to ask questions about your photographs. 13. Bonus Exercise: Masters' Work: As a bonus exercise, I went through some books of my favorite photographers that take some of the ideas that I've been talking about and they have mastered these. They are very good photographers for a reason. I selected some images that really help support the ideas that I've been talking about all day. I've shared those images, and what I want you guys to do is to go through the video, look at each one and if you see a theme that I talked about, add a note. So, if you see like a great use of layers, add that in there, or maybe you can tell that this photographer was at a procession and moved away into the back scene, or maybe this photographer was really using visual elements in a masterful way. So, I want to hear your thoughts on it. So, in this video make sure you add a note and share your thoughts with the class. 14. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: