Composition-Beyond the Rule of Thirds


Lesson Info


I'm going to get to continuity. Continuity, or leading lines, as you may know it. And continuity basically says that when a viewer's eye is compelled to move beyond an image and continue through it, you get leading lines. The line should be straight or curved and are not always obvious and Guide the viewer's eye somewhere else in the image. Recall all of that stuff we talked about when we were talking about lines and implied lines and psychological lines and physical lines. All of these things apply here. And it creates a more fluid relationship between different compositional elements. Lines can lead to something or they can reinforce where the viewer should be looking. Those S curves, those Z curves, this, okay? Here we're looking at, in both of these images, we go right where we should. So on the left image, we go to the dog. On the right image, we go to the three girls, right? But all of the lines reinforce visually what we should be looking at. So we have the converging lines of t...

he shadow, the gate, the path, are all drawing us inward. And we look at the dog and he's looking out and you just see a hint of the car on the top tight hand corner. So it kinda draws you around the image in a few different ways, kinda illustrating where you should go. And then with the girls, of course you go to them first. They're saturated, they're red, they're right in the middle, they're the only human figures, they're red on green, which is a compliment. But the shape of the rocks and the curve inward reinforce all of that space around to where you should be looking. Now on the other hand, you can use lines to direct the eye where to go. So in the left image, you follow the diagonal line and down and you get to the little dog tail. Or in the right image, you follow the lines around and you get to the guy's breakfast in a bag. But it takes you a second to get there. And so you get to decide how you want the viewer to get there. Either obviously or after a little bit of a split second.

Class Description

You know the basics of composition – now take it to the next level. Good composition is more than following a strict set of rules and guidelines. In fact, those very things can stifle your creativity and make your work fade into the pack of other photographers. In this class, Chris Knight shows you that there is more to composition than a few lines – it’s about creating balance in an image. He’ll introduce the Gestalt Principle and encourage you to look beyond the rule of thirds and utilize contrast, leading lines and more for interesting and dynamic images.



I have to say, perhaps if you are an academic or a college trained photographer/artist/painter etc., this may be old hat to you. However, if you are like me and have never been exposed to definitions and descriptions of composition, this was a shock-and-awe inspiring reveal of these artistic concepts. I can guarantee I will watch these over and over again while I try to absorb even a little of this material, but Creative Live could make an all day class of this guy explaining this material. material he quite obviously loves and uses and his passion for the subject matter is very obvious. This class is making me consider a trip back to the campus to get more information on this subject. Quick, contract Chris Knight to develop a whole class before I end up in college!!! Highly recommend this class.

Matthew De Moraes

Really useful tips and tricks to improve your understanding of composition and why you like the images you like - which you can then use to further your own ability to take great images in camera.

a Creativelive Student

What a FANTASTIC presentation! I loved it. Best instruction I have ever seen/read as a graphic designer for 33 years. I majored in art and graphic communications in college before becoming a designer. Well done Chris. Definitely buying the class.