Great Composition: Creating Better Photographs | Aaron Raymond | Skillshare

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Great Composition: Creating Better Photographs

teacher avatar Aaron Raymond, Photo Instructor, Nat Geo Expeditions

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.



    • 2.

      Composition Deffinition


    • 3.

      The Rule of Thirds


    • 4.

      The Golden Mean and the Fibonacci Spiral


    • 5.

      Leading Lines


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.

      Force Foregrounds


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Sight Lines and Room to Move


    • 13.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

It seems like everyone has a DSLR these days but relatively few people take great photographs. You don’t need a good camera to take awesome photos. A good photographer can make amazing images with any camera or even just a phone. It’s all about seeing the image and great composition. In this class we are going to learn about  many of the tools of composition, what composition actually is, different techniques to create great photos, and how to avoid common aesthetic pitfalls.

This 40-minute class is broken into 13 short, easy to digest videos in which we will learn about:

  • The Rule of Thirds
  • The Golden Mean and the Fibonacci Spiral
  • Leading Lines
  • Balance
  • Symmetry
  • Pattern 
  • Simplicity
  • Force Foregrounds
  • Framing
  • Sight Lines and Room to Move

It’s important to know these concepts but, with a lot practice, you eventually won’t need to think about them.  Great composition will just come naturally. 

Please leave feedback and positive reviews as it effects my ranking in on Skillshare algorithms.

If you enjoy this check out my other SkillShare class about Exposure Basics

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Meet Your Teacher

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Aaron Raymond

Photo Instructor, Nat Geo Expeditions


I started my career as an underwater photographer, which blossomed from my love for the ocean. I grew up on a sailboat diving for abalone off the coast of California. I love to photograph landscapes, nature, and wildlife - anything that allows me to capture fleeting moments and showcase the interaction of light and the natural world. I have traveled as a photographer from the depths of Madagascar's oceans to the heights of the Himalayas, cresting them at 18,500 feet on a Royal Enfield motorcycle to capture life on all sides of the planet.

After studying marine biology for two years, I attended and graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, one of the world's top photography schools. I have taught photography workshops in the San Francisco bay are... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Aaron Raymond. I've been a professional photographer and photo instructor for about 15 years. I've taught college level photography at a school in India for a few years, and I've taught workshops in California. And most recently, I've been teaching for Lin. Glad of National Geographic expeditions. I'm on expedition with them in this photo. Today I'm going to teach you about composition, and I'm going to show you a little slide shows of my work while I'm finishing my introduction and through to the next video. Before we get into the specific techniques, this class is going to briefly go over many of the concepts of composition. And I'll show you some examples that I took to illustrate these concepts for a class project. I'd like you to actually go out and try these techniques. You don't have to do all of them if you want. You can just try the ones you haven't heard of before, where you can look through images you've already taken, analyze them and see which rules any they follow, but also like to try to six and images that break the rules, then upload them to the project section. and I will give you some feedback if you want. In the first video, we're gonna talk about what composition is. 2. Composition Deffinition: So what is composition? Composition is what's in something, anything you could ask, What's the composition of the soil or what is air composed off with art? Because we create it, since what we put into something and where we put it, or how the elements relate to each other. This definition could be applied to any art. It could be literature or music, which have people called composers in music or dance or painting. But what we're going to talk about today is photography. Good composition of photography is simply what looks good in an image. It's subjective. You can have competition, tastes what some people, like others might not. Just pay attention to what you like and what you don't and try. Figure out why. Make sure you're the one making the decisions, not letting the image fall together without care. Pay attention to where your eye moves. With viewing an image, it will tend to go to the brightest, sharpest contrast yes parts first, and then it may follow lines or drift around if there aren't a new lines. But it's always good to pay attention to where your eyes moving when viewing a photo, and it's usually best to try to keep the I'm grooving around the image and towards the center. If you only take one thing away from this class, take that. Pay attention to where your eyes are moving When analyzing a photograph. All photographs are static, but if there's no movement of attention than the image will feel static, you control the way you arrange your composition. In many ways, you can physically move your camera to a different location. Sometimes a small move just a step or 21 way or the other will make a huge difference to the composition. You can control the competition by moving the subjects. If you're posing a portrait or composing a still life, you choose the focal length of the lens. You choose your camera setting and your angle of view. You choose what you have in the frame and what you crop out. Just about every choice you make will affect the final composition. The fruits. You'll have to work at it, but with time and practice, good composition will come naturally. I'm going to go over a few guidelines to help you make your image is more interesting. They're not. Rules just guidelines 3. The Rule of Thirds: The idea I'm going to start with is called The Rule of Thirds. If you're very new to photography, you may not have heard about the rule of thirds. But most photographers have. It states that images that have strong lines, such as horizons or buildings, seem to look best when they fall on or near one of these lines that the intersections of these lines are good places for your subject. Do you want your viewers attention to linger? This image is from a small village in southern India that wanted the viewers to focus on the goats. So I put them on the third's. The focal point here is the I. It's the brightest. Sharpest contrast is part of the image and all the feathers air guiding our eyes to it. So I put it right on an intersection composing a photograph. You should always pay attention to negative space, which is anything that is not the subject. The negative space should be thought of his compositional element to so the subject on one side and the negative space and the other will feel more dynamic than having the subject dead center. Unless the subject and the background are perfectly symmetrical. It's generally not a good idea to have the subject in the center of the frame. This is a friend shed off the coast of California, and again the attention is on the I. It's the brightest contrast to his sharpest part of the image. So I placed the eye right on the intersection, and the negative space in other side is making the image more dynamic. That's I lightfoot crab in marine iguana and the Glock because, and once again, I put them on the third's the crab in ago. On our balancing each other out, we'll talk more about balance later. Try to place the more interesting part of your image in the larger part of your frame, the 2/3 side. If you have a beautiful sky, place the horizon at the bottom of the frame to the sky takes up 2/3 of the image. If you have a fantastic foreground place, the horizons and sky of the top 1/3 in the foreground is the bottom 2/3. Here, the foreground is more interesting, so it plays the horizon at the top to have more four grand. Here is the Seascape in Central California in the lighthouse is the subject. So I put it on the thirds and I balanced it with rocks and the negative space of the sea and sky on the other side. In the next video, we're going to learn about the golden mean and the Fibonacci spiral. 4. The Golden Mean and the Fibonacci Spiral: the golden mean is a powerful compositional tool that has been known about for thousands of years, much longer than the rule of thirds. Supposedly, you can use any of these intersections like the rule of thirds, but there are a lot of intersections. They're so I'm not really sure how accurate that is. But it's a really nice curve, and any part of this ever tightening curve is great. A circle viewed from an angle or something like a spiral staircase viewed from the top or bottom, can fit right into the Fibonacci spiral. Fibonacci spiral is based on Fibonacci sequence, which is achieved by adding the previous two numbers, So zero plus one equals one. One plus one equals two. One plus two equals 32 plus three equals 53 plus bicycles, eight, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You can carry it on as far as you want to go. Do you understand the math? Don't worry about it. You don't need to know the math to use the principles. If you want to go strictly with the ratio, it's about Oneto 1.618 This is a golden mean grid laid over a Fibonacci spiral Can you see it so you can see how the golden mean is based on the Fibonacci sequence, the spiral can be flipped four ways to line up with the four intersections. You can treat this grid like the rule of thirds. Some people think the rule of thirds is just a simplified version of the golden mean. So I'm not gonna talk about how to compose with a grid again. You're gonna be a bit loose with the rule of thirds, as it could be loose with just about everything in photography, it will work out just fine. I am, however, going to tell you a bit more about the golden mean and go into more detail about this nice curve. The golden mean is all over the place in art and design that can be found in the Great Pyramids. The Parthenon, the last supper of the Mona Lisa, the golden mean is all over nature to the ratio of your hand, your forearm, the Reggie ical of each of your finger bones. The next one. It's an ice crystals and spiderwebs. It's in most shells and flowers or leaves unfurling. There's some common examples in nature. This is a Fernand, really a spiral galaxy, this image and the next I downloaded from the NASA website a hurricane and an egg. Easiest just to find a small section of the curves. Here's a jelly I took while diving and Big Sur. The curve of the bell is after Banacci curves, and we have two of them here, one on the outside of the bell and one on the inside. They're too. Here is, well, the cult bulb, and the Norris stops now fish eating an enemy in northern California. I don't know if this is a really perfect example of the golden mean, but it's a great example of a nice curve. Nice curves are always good is a stone staircase. At four point in San Francisco is the backroom monument to Mr Rogers in Pittsburgh. SSM hoot and his elephant at Temple Elephant Retreat in southern India. The trunk is making a nice topnotch e curves that leads my eye back and forth from the man to his elephant. My I am moves in a Fibonacci spiral hair. The new to break isn't making a perfect one. It's an implied Fibonacci spiral. It's just guiding your eye and spiral. It's not the actual shape of the things in your photographs that's important. It's how they make your eyes move. That's important. The next video. We'll talk about leading lines. 5. Leading Lines: leading lines. Leading lines, air any key compositional element that carries your eye through the photograph. Your eyes tend to follow lines that could be horizons, roads, vanishing points or just abstract elements. They don't have to be straight. If you have more than one subject in your image taken, guide your viewers eyes from subject to subject. Almost all photographs have lines in them. If they're no long lines than short lines will often lead the viewers eyes around the image used well, they should lead your eye into the image or towards your subject. You generally want your viewers eyes to be guided into the image. Here we have the boards of the pier leading our I to the old fishing boat lines here, moving from foreground to the background, creating a sense of depth. And here we have the bridges leading the eyes towards downtown Pittsburgh. Lines air always all around us and as photographers, our job to control them. By moving our cameras or changing our perspective, we're changing our lenses to direct the viewers attention to wherever we want the attention to go. The new lines don't have to be obvious, like roads or railings or rivers. Here we have the brightest part of the image, the cigarette pointing at his face and the horizon leading us back to his face. When our eyes starts to wander, we also have the implied line created by our eyes, following the repeated pattern of the people in the background, usually want to keep away from leading lines that are pulling the viewers eyes away from the subject. But it works for me here. Leading lines in this image are leading our eyes up, away from the subject and out of the frame. But the bright contrast the foreground keeps pulling my eye back down. I like the back and forth tension it creates. It's not for everyone, but I like a bit of tension in the photograph. All kinds of lines here. But the big ropes coming from the corner are the important ones, and they're pointing directly at the subject. Leading lines that go from the foreground to the background often do a great job of lending death to your image. It could be argued that this kind of leading line is the best compositional technique for creating a sense of depth in an image here is another photo where the leading lines are giving a sense of depth. The sky really was this color. There was a fire somewhere nearby, and it just made the sky crazy. Orange is a self portrait I took on my phone just a few days ago. As I'm recording this, it is at the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh. The leading lines here are incredibly obvious. In the next video, I'll be talking about balance. 6. Balance: balance, violence and photography is a concept that your viewers attention should be equally divided between both sides of the image. It's important. Remember, the images don't have to be balanced to be good, but a balance image is usually going to make your viewer feel more comfortable. Unbalance images can create tension in the viewer and maybe even make them feel uncomfortable. His first few images are balanced asymmetrically, meaning both sides aren't sane. This is a balanced image. My I immediately goes to the sea lion on top, next the sun and then to the diver at the bottom and then over to the left sea lion and then to the right. But my tension keeps moving from there because goes up to the bubbles and then to the seat to sea lions behind the bubbles and then back to the first see line. And it keeps kind of repeating that pattern. It makes a nice figure eight with my eyes, and that's pleasing to me. Here we have an Indian boy being balanced by a merry go round on the beach, and tonight different subjects in the frame have different visual waits, determined by how much they attract viewers attention. You can imagine a fulcrum in the middle of the frame just under the bottom edge. Each side should have roughly the same visual. Wait for it to be balanced. The things that give a subject visual wait are the same things that attract the eye. Are the viewers attention brighter Things contrast your things, sharper things more colorful things, especially warm colors like reds, oranges and yellows. But when we're talking about balance, we also need to take into account size how many things there are, how close to the edge they are and how high in the frame they are. I feel like this is a fairly balanced image on the right. We have a large rock in the foreground and bright clouds in the background, giving a lot of visual weight to that side of the image. But the other side has four smaller rocks, while smaller in the frame. There were much larger in reality and their higher in the friend. So my attention is evenly divided between the two sides, and this image feels balanced to me. You re very balanced and very simple image of true boobies. Looking at each other We have only got two colors in this image and only silhouettes. The bird on the left is slightly higher, but the right side has more colors, and it's a warm color. So I feel like the attention goes to the top bird immediately and follows its beak down to the other bird and then back to the first and repeats a few times. That may move out to the rest of image, and we realize that there is nothing that is interesting. And the attention is back from the left to the right and the motion from the left, back to the rights pretty much feels balanced to me, so I feel like this isn't balanced image also, who have won Galapagos Tortoise scratching himself on a branch is rather large in the frame , but he's being balanced out by a smaller tortoise, plus the mats of branches that air over on the edge of the frame and the contrast e black branches up against the white sky. If you know something is heavy, it can also influence how an image feels. For instance, here we have a huge, heavy rock balancing out very light pelican, even though the Pelican is a bit larger in the frame and a bit contrast year than the rock . Here we have, ah, moderately toned Indian woman being balanced by a smaller and softer silhouette. But this little it's super contrast e, and we're hardwired for attention to go to the human form, even if it's barely recognizable as a human form. This is unbalanced image. We have a big lion fish right on the right side of the frame and nothing on the other side . I made this image unbalanced in photo shop so you could compare it to the original. This is how the image originally was, and I like it better this way. It's not totally bounds, but the fish in the foreground is much bigger and contrast year and sharper, and the one in the background is brighter and higher. I think this is a nicely balanced image. We have three many icebergs in the foreground, and they're making a nice triangle which is pleasing to my eye. And we have, ah, an interesting glacier in the background. Glaciers are always fun to look at, and here I photoshopped out. The left iceberg was a quick and dirty Photoshopped job, so don't judge me on that. But the image no longer feels balanced. You could possibly reframe it while you were taking it if there are only two icebergs to start with, but I think this is much inferior image and it did the same thing here on the other side, just so you can see how it looks and feels again. Not as nice. This is an image that is intentionally unbalanced, and I like it that way. This image feels good to me, even though the most interesting thing, the brightest thing and the darkest thing are all on the right. Here's another one. The doc takes up a massive part of the frame. It's touching the right side of the image, and its feet are standing right on the corner of the frame. There's a man on the other side. Be smaller and closer to the center and out of focus. I like this one in balanced. I feel like you shouldn't really feel comfortable with the dog totally in your face like that. Even if he does look super friendly in the next video, I'll talk about symmetry 7. Symmetry: symmetry. Symmetry means that both halves of an image are the same or very similar. The dividing line is called the line of symmetry. It could be their horizontal or vertical. The symmetry of the human face might be a big contributing factor to the appealing nature of symmetry. Perfectly symmetrical images can feel static. It's important to avoid that unless you want the image to feel static here. The lighting and the hair part are breaking the symmetry, but it's minor, and it's still a pretty much symmetrical image. This is a praying Mantis portrait, dead center, and with nice symmetry. You typically only want to have your subject dead center or your horizon in the middle of frame. If you're going for symmetry, fire a commodity old photography instructor, I would say that it is the only time, but I'm not, so I encourage you to try a variety of compositions and see what you like best. Here is a symmetrical gash left in the fast ice when our ship backed up after parking in the ice. I like the diagonal lines, sort of leading our eyes up to a foe. Vanishing point and the three triangles created on the bottom of the frame. Three. Is a strong number of objects toe have in your frame. I also really like the design created by the broken eyes. The captain and the ship's bridge are very symmetrical, with the exception of reflections and animal portrait, so you don't get a lot of symmetry in nature. But you get a whole lot when shooting manmade things, especially architecture. Some people call symmetry a type of balance, asymmetrical balance versus symmetrical balance. But I feel like symmetry is by definition balanced, so I refer to them simply as balance and symmetry. This is the bow of the National Geographic Orion in the fog with a tiny iceberg. This Sally Lightfoot crab, in its reflection, are almost perfectly symmetrical, from left to right and top to bottom. Reflections and water make for some great symmetry here. My I immediately goes to the sun, then its reflection in the water. Then it moves horizontally back and forth along the base of the mountains that starts to drift around looking for differences. It finds the sea ice just below the line of symmetry. The next video. We're going to talk about patterns 8. Pattern: patterns. Patterns are a little more vague, and they may not guide your eyes around. The image patterns are simply repeated objects, shapes, colors or anything else that repeats their patterns everywhere. They are all over the man made world, and they're even more about the nature. In this image of soft coral, the tentacles are guiding my eyes up towards the top. But the brighter light at the bottom is pulling my eyes back down. I like the back and forth movement. There are also nice curves that my eyes were being guided along. Each individual animal isn't guiding my eye and a curve, but is a pattern they do. If you don't see any pattern somewhere, just get closer. The piece of clothing is in a pattern, but fabric viewed very closely is a flower isn't a pattern, but the flower petals generally are. The house is in a pattern, but the bricks, the shingles and deciding our the screen you're watching this on is just a bunch of little dots. And if you photographic close enough, it could make a decent pattern picture. If you don't believe me, this is a macro shot I just took of my monitor with the last image displayed. It's not my best work by far, but it's also not my worst, and I didn't even have to stand up to take it. If you're just shooting a pattern with no subject you're photographing may feel boring. It depends on what you're shooting and the mind of the viewer of your who's fascinated by soft corals. And I love this image. While sports car enthusiasts may not, this is another photo of soft coral shot at the same time is the 1st 1 But this image is in guiding my attention, and it's a little less interesting to me because of that, he feels a bit more static. It's still a nice image. This is a successful image, in my opinion, because of the sameness of the buildings. I think the same. This is the point of this image. If there was a subject that would be a completely different image, one bright blue building would make a great image, and it would be utilizing patterns, but it would be a completely different image. It's not a particularly attractive image, but I really like it, and I think it's hugely successful. Lots and lots of digits make a repeating pattern of chicken toes echoing the woman's hand. The best part of a pattern could be when the subject is breaking it here with a flatworm breaking. The pattern of the hard coral to warm breaks the pattern of bubble coral right at an intersection of the rule of thirds. Here we have a pattern in the background, girls face breaking the pattern. I feel like this image is really all about the face and not so much about the pattern, but it is utilizing batter. This one is just the opposite. If you look for a pattern here, it really isn't one. Well, we have the echo of the boy's face that feels like a pattern. Not feeling of the pattern is the point of this image. You can use pattern to turn a construction site into something dramatic and eye catching. Here we have pattern and symmetry and a woman breaking both. In the next video, we're going to talk about simplicity 9. Simplicity: simplicity. Keep it simple For all of your compositional techniques, it's a good idea to keep your impotent images as simple as possible. Don't clutter up the frame. You shouldn't ever have things in the frame that aren't adding to the strength of your composition. But if you take it to extremes, that becomes a compositional technique in itself. The idea is that your eye doesn't have anywhere to go. Besides the subject, this is a langur monkey in the wild. Well, I do a lot of my work on a seamless in a studio. This isn't I'm using a bright, cloudy skies, the background and overexposing So I have detail on what would otherwise be a silhouette. Usually want toe puffy clouds in a blue sky. You can make any day work. There's no such thing as bad light, just more difficult late. This is exact opposite of the last one. This is a juvenile lobster writing a jellyfish in Madagascar. Well, this happened to be at night. I could just as easily do this by day, letting it entirely with Flash to make the ambient light go completely black. That isn't what I'm trying to teach in this class, though I'll probably do another class on flash technique in the not too distant future. Making the background black is a super simple way to assure your viewers attention stays on your subject. This is a moon jelly shot straight up on a cloudy day underwater and Big Sur. The blue is from the water that I'm shooting through. It doesn't have to be black or white. Any other will work. Accepting some really bright, distracting colors where you can have things in the background as long as they're not at all intrusive. Solid color and shallow depth of field make for a very simple background. Here we have a blue area with some interesting swirls going on in the background, but not nearly as interesting. Details or contrast is this man's face. This was at a train station. Roger Stone, with the side of the train, is a background. Do this character I found in the Mekong Delta. I had the texture in the background. I tried to keep it as out of focus and unobtrusive as possible, and include Onley in the frame, the things that improved my image for places where the background is in deep shadow. If your subject is in relatively bright light, the background will be so dark it's almost black. This was an old tribal southern Indian woman standing in the doorway. You can change the angles tough shot over the background, or just ask your subject to move if you need to shoot with texture and bright light in the background, really better to try to keep the tones as neutral as possible and the textures as soft as possible. One of the easiest ways to simplify your image is to simply get so close that there isn't room for much else in the frame. It seems like you might not want to get too close to this guy, but wolf eels are really friendly. I've never heard of one hurting anyone, but I've heard lots of stories of them playing with divers like puppies, simple, clean subject and simple clean composition. It's almost monotone. In the next video, we'll discuss Force Four grounds 10. Force Foregrounds: force four grounds forced four grounds really grabbed our attention. They're usually taken with a very wide lens. It's important. Have something interesting, usually remain subject popping out at you in the foreground. I like to have something going on in the background as well, but that could be less interesting and just be adding context or telling a story here, the wide lands distorting the subject the camels face and making it look like it's popping out of the frame, kind of like leading lines in reverse. And we have the camel driver packing his camel in the background, telling a story and giving context. I suppose the sky is really the background. Then the camel drivers the middle ground. But I'm gonna call it background for simplicity. Sick. Here we have a fishmonger in Vietnam. The bull of fish in the foreground is the major compositional element, and the vendor in the background is just adding context, telling a little story. The fish seem bigger than they are because they're very close to a very wide lens. Here's a pelican in the foreground and a fish market in the background. This one doesn't tell as complete of a story is the last few. It would be better if there was a fish being cleaned or a pile of fish for sale in the background. But the foreground is popping out so well that I just had to include it. Yeah. Here the peppers air a strong, sharp, colorful foreground element, and the shopkeeper is a less interesting background element. Either element on its own wouldn't be nearly as interesting. An iguana cooling himself in the shade of a cactus in the foreground and the cactus in the background again either on its own wouldn't be is interesting. Here we have a man boiling sugar cane juice down to molasses is the boiling molasses is popping out at you in the foreground, in the man stoking the fire in the background to tell a little story. A wave crashing over a marine iguana in the foreground. And the out of focus Nat Geo endeavor to in the background. You can have forced four grounds that don't have something happening in the background. The important thing is the foreground. Here is a landscape utilizing forced foreground. If you like. The front of this rock is pushing out towards my face and the rest of the rock just sort of trails off into the distance. Here's another landscape. This one just has something in the foreground, not necessarily something interesting. Here's a picture of poppies that is utilizing a forced foreground, and the background is helping give it a sense of place. More flowers utilizing it, forced foreground. In the next video, I'm going to be talking about framing. 11. Framing: framing framing. It's kind of obvious. Put a frame around your subject will draw attention to the subject and most likely be a stronger image, just like frames for photos or paintings. You can find a frame or any composition, really, and wait for the subject to move into it. That's what I was doing here. I have framed up a nice shot of this window through a doorway, and I was waiting for someone to just walk by. Then this man walked into the frame and unknowingly posed just perfectly for me. Here we have the pillars of this monolithic temple in India, framing these girls and bringing attention to them. The bright, colorful dresses don't hurt either. Friends don't have to be in the same clan is your subject, and they don't have to go all the way around your subject. Here we have the door creating part of a frame around this tribal Indian woman in nature. We could use a tree branch or some rocks in the foreground or background frame subject. This is a red footed booby in the Galapagos, nicely framed by foliage, in foreground, in branches and background. You were using rocks to make a complete frame. The mouth of the Sea cave in the Channel Islands made a really great frame window. Friends obviously make perfect friends. I found this man playing with his toes and Roger Stan. Most strong compositions take advantage of more than one compositional technique. For instance, in this shot we have framing. But we also have repeating patterns, UH, leading lines and color, simplicity and the meat frame. In the next video, we're going to talk about how sight lines guide your eyes and leaving room to move. 12. Sight Lines and Room to Move: sight lines and room to move. People tend to look at other people's faces, especially the eyes. If the eyes are looking at something besides you, we want to know what they're looking at, so we follow their eyes. We can use these lines like leading lines, but because there are no actual lines there, we call them implied lines that the person is looking at the subject here. I will also move to the subject. You can use sight lines to control where the viewers attention is moving in this image, my eyes immediately drawn to the girl's face and then to the boys. And then I follow his eyes back towards her implied line is driving my attention to her face. I really like this image. Here's a vendor in Taiwan. He is looking behind the display case. But that doesn't matter because the implied line is moving your attention towards the case . This is my friend Jonathan Kingston in the Galapagos. He's an awesome photographer. Google image. Check out his work. His face and hat are where my eyes immediately drawn because it's the brightest part of the image and it's his face and he is looking at a giant tortoise. So my attention news there don't have to be human to direct your attention. This heartbreaking image of a mother langur monkey looking and cradling her dying child really guides you to the subject. The baby monkey. I'm not sure what was going on here because no one spoke English. It was at Fire Walk and this man was obviously being honored in some way. It is an interesting image because his eyes and his arms are both guide s right up out of the frame, the sight lines here breaking the rules. But I still like it. Room to move will make a much more comfortable image. If you give your subject room to move, it's obvious they're moving in one direction. Put more space in front of them rather than behind them. Here we have a bull charging through a crowd and I gave him space in front to run. This is a great blue hair. And in Santa Barbara, the way originally took this image, it looks too crowded. He's flying to the right and almost touching the right edge of the frame. But there is a bit of space behind him and even if it's going to be crowded, I would rather they're not being more space behind him than in front. Being in the background was black. It was easy to add some space in front and Photoshopped. There's space from to go now, and I feel like this is much more relaxed image. Here's another example of the subject moving from left to right with room in front of them . It's also framing going on here and both the bottom of the window and the girl. By right on, The rule of thirds was framing and the rule of thirds here, too, but with the space behind the girl, there's a lot more tension in this image. You might like this one better, but I don't even if the subject isn't moving. If there's a sense of direction to the image, it's best to leave room for the attention to move into. In this shot. Nothing is actually moving to the left, but I like having the space on the left because there's a movement of attention in that direction. Having a space on the right makes the image uncomfortable for me. In the next video, we're going to talk about experimenting and learning from your mistakes 13. Final Thoughts: experiment, play, have fun, but pay attention to what you're doing and see what you like and what you don't and try and figure out why. You sure look at even the images you don't like and think about what you could have done better to make it a better image. You're a few examples of images that break a lot of rules, but I still think are successful. This image, the person is moving towards the edge of the frame and facing away from us and all the detail falls right at the very bottom edge of the frame. And that's pretty unusual. Not a very typical composition. I really like this shot. Some people really don't octopus. I dead center and not very symmetrical. It's not on the thirds doesn't seem to be following any of the rules, but I still like it. Taiwanese boy at the night market in Taipei, dead center and again, not really symmetrical. The subject here is in the center and looking out of the frame that is driving our attention out of the frame again, pretty much facing away from us and all the negative spaces behind our subject. So the take away for this class is to think about how your attention moves through an image , pay attention to it and pay attention to what you like and what you don't and try and figure out why, Henri Cartier Bresson said. Your 1st 10,000 photographs or your worst and he was shooting film. So maybe we should update this to the 1st 100,000 or 1,000,000 for the digital age. So don't worry about taking back. So does for a while through a class project, go out and practice these techniques, or look through your images for examples of these compositional tools and upload them to the project section. I love to see what students true, and I love to answer questions, so feel free to ask me whatever you want and thank you for watching my class.