Composition Basics


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Composition Basics

Well, welcome to the composition segment. This is a lot of fun, and this is going to change the way that you look at things from now on, well, along with the light, but whenever you're out and about wanting to take a shot, if you could just remember one of these compositional rules, I'm going to share with you, and hopefully some of the ideas will will resonate with you. Your photos will immediately improve. Are you ready? Okay, so composition, composing the shot. So what? I'm going to go into our some composition basics, and I'm going to cover everything from the rule of thirds framing, line, scale, color, there's, all kinds of things, pattern and angle now that's a lot to cover and you might think, wow, that's that's kind of a lot to think about, but when you start seeing the visual examples that were really start to make sense and these compositional rules are are that they're really just guides it's not a hard and fast kind of rule, but this is something that people learn in art sc...

hool or this is something people oftentimes learn, and they're taking creative classes, and my message to you is you don't have to be an artist or have gone to school to understand what these concepts are and to use them in your own photography start off with telling you that the only time you want to place someone plunk in the middle of a photograph is for a passport photo my old passport photo. Um, you know, I think the reason a lot of times we compose shots and maybe put someone right in the middle plunk in the middle is because you look through the viewfinder and your camera, and you see that little focusing point in the middle and you think, well, that must be where I'm supposed to put things. Well, not necessarily you can you could have a shot that's, like, perfectly symmetrical, if that's what you want, but I'm going to share with you some things that you really want to start paying more attention to, and these are going to help improve your photographs. So for instance, I'll start with my friend maria here and kind of give you the story of the day we're out and about in my neighborhood and needed to take some shots, and she just came over that day. She had on cem jeans and tennis shoes and a t shirt, and I said, well, I would kind of want to add some color to these photographs, so I'm gonna throw a little scarf around you, I'd like collect these things I think I have them in every color and fabric in piles at my house but I use them a lot for photographs because it's really helpful to add in some color or some handsome some flow in the photograph and anyway so here we are we're standing next to a wall and it just the picture just really doesn't do anything for me I mean yes we've got that pop of color but she's sort of plunk right in the middle what's the meaning of the genes in the wall but you know what? The lower half of the photo it's not really it's not that special so here's how it changed it up I changed it from a land a vertical shot two horizontal shot a landscape shot and now I have more room to kind of work with the upper part of my friend maria so I had her hold up her arm because I wanted her to take advantage of what was going on with essentially it's a prop that that scarf so if you give someone something to use in photographs have been kind of play around with different things they can do with it don't just throw a scarf on him and have him sit there you know have them see if they can play with it or do something with it so that's why I had to do first is I held up had her holding her arm and now I'm using this space and notice above her arm, we have a list like with negative space, but negative space can actually be a very positive thing, because it creates a sense of a place for your eye to travel through the photograph and kind of rest in the photograph, and I've essentially moved her off to the side, and I've done something something called using the rule of thirds, so the rule of thirds is just at its is, if you're dividing, you're seeing visually into a tick tack, toe board or grid, and some cameras on the viewfinders actually have this grid on there, but what you're doing is kind of visually dividing the scene in two thirds, and then you place something of interest at one or more of those intersections, so notice I have her I sort of over one of those intersections and she's off to the side, so that is the rule of thirds you're visually dividing the scene in two thirds, and it doesn't have to be precise. I mean, no, notice her hands off on one side of of the shot and it's, not exactly over the intersection, but that's ok, just as long as something is kind of roundabout near one of those intersections, and so someone, someone or something is kind of moved off to the side now, you could also use this negative space, if he wanted to create, say, an invitation or something where you wanted to put text in that in that negative space area, like come to my tea party or something like that, so you can really use that when you move things off to the side. And if you have let's say, an interesting environment behind someone, this is just a wall, so it wasn't all that interesting, but may be an interesting environment. You want to incorporate more of that into the shot, just move someone a little off to the side, it will create some more visual interest much more interesting than just putting someone plunk in the middle of the shot, you know, for no particular reason other than just you think that's where they're supposed to be now you can also use the rule of thirds vertically. He wanted to come in close and take a portrait shot of someone it's a good idea to try to keep people's eyes in the upper third of the image, and unless there's some reason that there you need all that space on top of their head. This is what happens to me sometimes when I'm traveling and I'm by myself and I want a picture in an environment and someone is kind enough to offer to take a photograph of me, so I hand them my camera they take a shot you know and then I get it back and I look at it and here I am like cropped here in my head and then all this headroom above me and nothing is going on in the photographs I'm thinking why did why did they put me so far down with all this head room come in close you know cropping close to faces if you can and if there's nothing going on above their head don't include that up there just coming close and if you're in this close try to get the eyes in the upper third of the frame all right, so speaking of free ming I wanted to share with you a fun little thing I did um with my friend maria I wanted to kind of show off these pictures that would represent what framing is what framing does in a photograph now this is just kind of a literal example of I went out and got a frame just like this one at the friends thank you very much at the frame store and gave it to her and said hey let's let's play around with this and we'll take some shots so what a frame does is any kind of frame and this is you know, one that you could use this frame without the glass what it does is it frames your subject and kind of calls attention to whatever it is in the frame and with this, we have a lot of fun playing around with it and you can use I've seen pictures with all kinds of really interesting frames that people use where they're holding him up, and you can see behind them a beautiful landscape or something so you can have fun with a actual with an actual frame. But the meaning of framing is to place an emphasis on you know, whatever is you is the creator of the photograph, whatever you want to emphasize. So here's an example of other kinds of framing that you can use. We walked around my neighborhood if you looked at the picture on the left, I wanted to frame her with an overhanging tree branch, so a frame is usually something that covers at least two sides, if not three or four sides of your frame. Now, if you look at, say, landscape photographs or looking photographs of nature in magazines, you'll off time see a vista, and then you'll see an overhanging tree branch in it, which is kind of framing the shot and giving us some perspective. You could do that to whenever you're trying to frame someone or something out and about, you can use an organic framing element element like a tree, so the picture on the left is a little busy that backgrounds like too much is going on right? So you see her but then years all that stuff behind her I do have the framing element of the tree kind of overhanging and even some of that grass kind of becomes a little bit of a frame to place emphasis on her, but what I did for the picture on the right is I just kind of moved around a little bit this way so that I've been in the background had a nice, simple background behind her which even mohr helps pop her out of the picture and so I've got this framing element now that goes around three sides of the frame so you can really play around with different ways to frame I was in crete, greece and saw this fabulous sculpture the one on the left and I told my friend to go hagel's stand and go stand in that hole over there and I'll get a picture of you you can find amazing architectural elements to use as framing and it's so much fun you can really get creative with this so they're organic framing elements there are architectural ones you might even think of big archways things like that and remember yesterday we talked about shooting pictures of people where they're standing in an open doorway, which is that nice open shade light which creates nice beautiful soft diffuse lighting on their face well also just kind of stand back and look around see what is around your subject that you could incorporate as a framing element it's really going to add a lot of interests and punched your photograph all right let's talk a little bit about line line isn't everything we see you might just not know it but now that you d'oh look around and you'll see lines everywhere you've got the horizontal line of the horizon vertical lines of trees I've got lines and bricks of god you know lines here in the wood paneling that's going this way but you can incorporate line into photograph to help draw the eye through the frame and this is a way you could really help the viewer get into what you want them to and they're looking at your photograph so for instance the picture of this baseball runner running across the frame the line in the photograph is his leg right that's a diagonal line whenever you can incorporate a diagonal line into your photographs it creates a lot of energy it's it's like a dynamic line so it's like a runner moving forward but think about ways you can incorporate line into your photographs maybe it's an organic line like you know the trees that you kind of see in your view finder you know move around when you're looking through the viewfinder we're looking at your lcd screen viewfinder and see where you can even tilt your camera a little bit to try incorporates a line that comes from the lower left of your image and goes through to the upper right it just really helps your I travel through and this is just so much more dynamic picture that would have been if I just taking a picture of her in front of the tree trunk or something you know I'm incorporating line because our brains want to connect the dots that's what we want to do all the time in many ways on and visually is a big part of it we see things that kind of go together and we want tio connect the dots so you can create a visual line in a photograph just by a couple things that might lead into something else so think about that as you're looking through the viewfinder and lines are in all sorts of things that may draw your eye up this is um the acropolis which is you know, unless you're kind of shooting in straight like this is one of the few angles that you could get to get the whole thing and is looking up but it does draw your eye ups for the frame so line is important but so so its color and you know color can really be fun to work with. I love black and white photographs like a lot of people if you've seen those ansel adams photographs of nature yosemite it's a lot of it's all black and white and it's really it's about shapes and dimension and form but when you incorporate color into photograph it's like it's another dimension, so to speak so here's how it works I have a color wheel here and so what I want you to think about is that color wheel all the various colors the waves that you can intensify your photographs by doing a few different things one is an example here I've got complementary colors working together here on the right complementary colors or anything opposite the other color on the color wheel interior decorators, artists uses all the time and you can too or maybe you already are, but you're just haven't thought about it for photographs, so what I want you to do is think about how can incorporate complimentary color and a complimentary color is called that because those colors intensify each other when they're put together so it really becomes more vibrant so here I am using complementary color now another way you might use color is maybe if you wanted to evoke a mood in the photograph like something very zen and cool and relaxing you might incorporate colors together that are on one side of the wheel maybe the blues and the lavenders and the greens in a photograph if you wanted that to be the feel of the photograph or if you wanted something here's another color wheels come in many different shapes and sizes but it's always kind of the same with the color but maybe you want something a little more vibrant this was a high school senior that she and her brother wanted some great photographs and before they graduated and they were asked me all kinds of questions well which we wear so we're capping gown and like, well yeah, you can do that but I want you to bring a lot of other things with you too so I told her bring bring like some pink and some orange and maybe some blue shirts whatever colors you look good and but I wanted it to be colorful and I also went out and bought some props that day I just went to the local flower market and got some flowers something fun for her to have and hold I met her once and she has like this really bubbly personality and I just thought that would really depict mohr of herd have something that was like fun and fresh and colors and then I just hung up a piece of pink cardboard backdrop paper behind her on the wall and we tried on different shirts to see you know what would look the best we really like the orange with a pink because it just those colors there kind of together on the color wheel and they create a sense of energy and they're very vibrant, so you can think about using color that way to or if you want to kind of cool things down or make someone really pop out of a photograph I love to do this is if I see someone his skin tone is really pretty or maybe they got blue eyes or I'll put him on, say, a blue eyed person on a blue background and haven't have some shade of blue on which really makes their whole skin tone and eyes just pop out or in the case here my friend maria her has pretty brown eyes, dark hair and skin tone, and I threw one of those pashminas when those scarves over here on the piles of scarves I have and said let's, try this one and let stand over by that wall because it's the same color might look kind of cool, so she just sort of popped right out so you can use the colors that kind of monochromatic also so colors it's close to each other, but not quite to create some emphasis in your photograph. So you know, um traveling about? I look around and see different colors of architecture doorways especially I was in the caribbean and there were a bunch of bright green doors and the friend I was with had on a bright orange hat might go stand in front of that door because I knew that orange and green wood just like pop amazing in a photograph so start thinking about you know how you could incorporate color tio evoke a feeling in your photographs who are just even something that might look kind of boring on dh just plain but it really becomes a big, vibrant kind of message if you put some color into it like alex here in the studio has on some groovy blue shoes and uh I could see doing some kind of fun photograph with you you know, if you're blue shoes and I don't know red red door red wall or something like that it could really be fun okay? Pattern well, here we are back under where the manhattan beach pier so now everyone's in the middle that's where you that's where you go to find erin I just go underneath the manhattan beach pier and there shall be I actually go other places that I have found this to be a great place to shoot just because it's you know, it's at the beach and because the shade underneath the pier provides a lot of nice even lighting on people and different times a day it's just an amazing place to be and a lot of other photographers know that too, so come yeah october november we're all kind of battling each other for our spot beneath appear to take pictures but anyway back to pattern the pattern of the pylons it's a repeating its repetition, and it creates some interest in a photograph. And here I have placed my model, right plunk in the middle of the picture, but for a reason there's symmetry in this picture, where everything is pretty much the same, going all the way back. That's, that's, the message I was trying to send and he just had, you know, kind of an interesting bald head and just the shape of his head and his body and reading looked kind of interesting, juxtaposing it to the architecture you know, of the pier. So that was kind of interesting to me, too, but it was the pattern, and I was trying to capture there. You confined pattern in so many places, these air beans I found in a market and just took a close up shot of the beans or here's a bunch of mo peds all part together, the repeating pattern of the mo pez creates a little visual interest. When I was teaching on a cruise this summer, I brought my mom with me and you know, his mom, go stand over there next to the whatever was in this case, the columns because they were repeating columns that created some visual interest, and then the shadows from those columns, we're creating a repeating pattern also kind of that this, you know, looking back so you're looking although with a perspective of its wide and then it gets narrow all the way going to the back of the shot, so I don't know this is kind of an interesting way you might incorporate patterns, so whenever I see anything repeating itself, I tried to go and take a picture, but what creates even more visual interest in this pattern is to have something that punctuates it like having my mom pop out, you know, of those columns creates it really puts an emphasis on her because everything else is this pattern and repetition behind her and then boom, there she is in the middle of it. Another idea might be I saw really cool shot of once of these movie theater seats and they were all empty, but there was one person sitting in all those seats like one hundred seats and then one person who was punctuating the repeating pattern of those seats. So think about that when you're if you find some pattern out there, scale is really fun to play with two and human scale that's that's how we see the world, you know, we're are human size, we measure that against other things to see how large they are, but you can kind of play with scale in your images to in this instance this is a big door way at a cathedral in cadiz, spain and it's in a men's store but if I just took a picture of the door itself with nothing else next to it like a human being to show the scale you might not know how large it is that's one way you can incorporate scale but here's another way you can incorporate scale whatever is closer to the camera is going to look a larger than whatever's farther away and you can play with that so here I've got my foot good thing I had a pedicure that day sticking out in front of the camera and then the scene behind me and same thing with this on the beach picked up a show have it you know, not too close to the camera cause otherwise it won't focus but a little bit farther away and I just went like this and took the picture so the scale of the shell is so much larger than the scale of that huge shift that's behind it so you can kind of play with that in your photographs to create some visual interest and get creative think about some other ways you could you could play with scales in large and small together to create some interest visual interests and contrasts in your images angle angle all right here's my message to you if you go anywhere do anything and you're taking photographs of anyone don't always take them from the same angle and same distance, because when people look at them later, they're going to go to sleep and you aren't going to get the gratification of showing your fabulous slideshow to your family and friends because they're going to think it's boring. So the lazy way to take pictures is to go somewhere and go click, click, click right, put your camera way and keep walking known in and I know what you want to do is think about all the different angles you can capture something from. So if I was going to take a picture of anyone standing here, I might think, ok, I'll take a picture of this way, and maybe I'll get see if I could get up above and have him sit down, or maybe I'll get behind their shoulder and shoot what they're looking at that's a different perspective, or maybe I'll come back and take a wide shot and then get a close up shot of maybe them doing something that's meaningful like they've got their hands on a computer or maybe a closer that their hand holding classes or something like that, different angles, different things. Otherwise things get really boring, so I'm gonna get an example of what I did. With this teenager near where I live who loves to skateboard so I took a shot of him he was just kind of sitting there doing something with the skateboard and I was up above him and what was interesting to me not only because he's looking up and so the faces and focus and everything else is kind of out of focus back behind him but it almost looks abstract in a way the shape of his hair the shape of his face and then you just got this one eye looking at you so that's a visual interest too but think of the angle so coming in from up above also has a meaning to it sometimes too and when you're looking down on someone the camera's point of view is looking down it's a ziff they look kind of diminished somehow in some pictures you want to be kind of careful with that is to the message that you're sending out if you're looking down on someone they're going to look like a photograph so if you want to make someone look strong and important you want to take the picture from down below looking up okay so now he looks like that you know and if you think about say those paintings of napoleon you know napoleon was kind of a tiny guy but the way he positioned himself the way he was marketing himself back then was he was a pretty you know, big important guy and he would have the painters their perspective, their point of view looking up at him it was always from down below looking up so he looked bigger so you might think about that too how you could make someone look more important in a photograph but with this they're also caveats you want to be careful with this to who you're shooting from down below because sometimes the view from down below if someone has like a lot of this going on is not that pretty a site so you figure out you know who you're photographing and what the point of view is, but this is something fun you can really play around with and shooting from down below and does have to be all the way down on the ground it could be just a little bit down below, but think about this also if you're taking orders of someone just like what we were doing yesterday, we had the light you know, position a little bit above someone's eyes the light direction but also the camera direction, the camera point of you coming in on someone if you've got a photograph of someone looking at you, you don't want you want to come in under here so that it looks like they're kind of looking down on you in the portrait photograph and you don't want to be, you know all the way above them in a portrait photograph of this is for business or something like that where they're like like that, you want to kind of be just a little bit above their eye line, but anyway, back to the the skateboarder, so I took some action shots of him kind of a wider space of what was going on and kind of telling a story with this so that's really what's happening is when you're taking pictures from different angles and different distances, you're starting to collect all the little images that go into telling a story. So when you put them together like this, whether it's a slide show, a scrapbook page, whatever you decide to do to show off your image is hanging on the wall. Actually, I've got a really cool mobile app we're going to use yesterday are tomorrow we're going to use yesterday a mobile app we're going to use tomorrow where you could do this immediately from the pictures you take on your smartphone so it's kind of a cool way to show off your images. So I remember years ago when I would go to these meetings where I was trying to learn about how to put my images together, to better show off my portfolio and the message I was getting from a lot of the art directors. They were saying well we really want to see pictures juxtaposed together creates more visual interests and what do you mean by that well have something that's kind of close up next to something that's far away it gives your eyes somewhere to go to and it kind of tells a story with those pictures put together that way so knowing that knowing the end result of what might be a really good way to show off your images think about how you're going to shoot him so work ackwards I want to show off my pictures in this way so the next time I go to a photo shoot or video shoot I'm going to get you know a wide shot I'm going to get a medium shot I'll get a close up shot and I'll get shots from different angles so when I put them together you have a story and if you look at the way television shows or edited movies or edited now really try to pay attention to how did they had a that so they tell a story like here's some guy walking down the street and then you see a close up of his hand turning the key and the knob and then you see a medium shot of something in the room so that's telling a story so think about that as you are photographing or even taking videos because when you put it together it's oh so much more interesting and people are are gonna want to come to your house to see your slide show where they're going to want to see, you know all your stuff on instagram or whatever it is you're doing think about the story that you're telling so angle is really good way to compose that shot and here's a picture of friend took of me just by turning the camera a little bit and working with what was going on on the wall behind me the graffiti adds a little visual interest and draws your eye into the scene just by turning the camera a little bit it's also incorporating some line in the photograph too because it's the line of the graffiti and it goes right up to my face so that's what the emphasis was on this particular photograph here's an example to this is the door on the church in piazza san marco which is st mark's square in venice and everyone goes there and photographs this door and it's really cool of course I have lots of photographs of the store and this is just one angle that I took of the door but you know, ok that's just that's like a snapshot that's that boring kind of shot like okay, I got all the heads and their click moving on no, no, no no no I stayed there and I moved around the lt's heads and I got different angles of the heads, so that now this has, like, more interest to it, and it kind of evokes more of a feeling the picture I took initially it's kind of like a documenting this photograph, this photograph is more like intuit wow, I wonder when that door was made, but I heard a lot of those lions mean, you know it, it creates more interesting draws you in to the image, so just think about all the different angles you can work with, eckstein you're photographing anything really play with it, you'll be you'll be really surprised you look at the pictures afterwards, seeing just how creative you really are and there's another picture from down below those I love to take pictures of kids and a couple things I'll point out here, just one that we've already got a dealt with, but I'll incorporate into this the sky behind him looks just like white and blown out, right it's it was kind of a gray, overcast day, and it was really bright outside, but I was exposing my meat oring on my camera for him on lee, so everything that was behind him just kind of blows out there's, no detail in it, but that's, ok, because I wanted the emphasis to be on him. He is beating his chest like thiss and his hands are a little blurry but that's kind of what I wanted because I wanted to show the movement of him beating his hands on his chest like, oh, so that was that was the emphasis for this and then getting him from down below, you know, makes him seem like more important and kind of fun and he's looking up so it's just a fun way to play with angle on this and you might recognize these people there in the a lot of pictures I showed yesterday great clients of mine become friends and I take pictures of them every year and every year it's like something different they come up with, I'll talk to the to the mom and we'll figure out ok, what are the outfit's gonna be this year? Where should we? Hsu is at the beach, the woods where should we go? And we have a lot of fun coming up with that, but also I always make sure that whatever I'm pictures on taking that I move around, get all different angles and get a lot of candid shots and it's so much fun to take pictures of families interacting together and playing around and we'll be doing some group shots later on today so we'll get to kind of the feel of that what it's like to try and cajole people t get people to do that for you it's like ok great they were just doing that right and she just happened to be there with the camera well yes and no I'll give you some tips later today on how to get things like this to happen in front of your lens and how to capture them the questions about composition so far anybody is what I'm curious has anyone been composing their shots in a particular way where any of these are going to immediately help you you think or one that really pops out well, I don't mean to call anyone out because awesome learning experience but I didn't notice yesterday and I didn't want to comment but as you guys were taking pictures of to show the lighting changes the heads were very much directly in the center of the frank instead of on the thirds and so I was like, oh that's something that they will pick up on tomorrow I was very excited to see that and so I think it's really cool that that's something that you could immediately put into practice this is something that you don't need new gear for you don't have to buy a new lens you don't have to buy new light you have to buy anything just move where your camera is exactly love it this a new way of thought that's the only thing that's new and maybe a couple props. Yeah, that helps. Now, when you are approaching an image with the when you're approaching the scene to take an image of it, are you thinking consciously about these compositional elements? Are you trying to combine them, or do you want to just focus on one and it's time what's your kind of strategy when approaching a scene that's a good question, it's something that you do, you learn over time. So what I did when I first started learning about composition is I just took one I took one idea like rule of thirds and immediately just started moving everything off to the side just experiment with that. And then when I started taking those pictures, I started seeing other things I was already intuitively doing that were occurring in the photographs like, well, I'm using the rule of thirds, but hey, look, there's interesting line in that picture and, hey, I tilted the camera a little bit, so now I have a line and the rule of thirds on dh, maybe I've, you know, I've got it from different angles, so sometimes you can look at a photograph and you might have all the rules of composition in it and not even know that what you're doing, some people can actually do that and not even know that they're doing it and then other you know others you kind of have to learn a couple little tricks and then you start kind of doing that more too but I have to say I need a lot of people that they know just intuitively how to compose something but there unsure about how to technically make it happen so there's a lot of that and then there as we all come from various you know different places in life and different ways of thinking there a lot of people that are very numbers oriented and technical where they and they read the full manual like and they can do all the bells and whistles but then as faras composing it it's kind of it's a little difficult for them so we all have different brains and we're coming at it from different places but I think that learning a little bit about the technology and then learning a little bit about some of the rules you can use all together it is going to help everyone yeah I agree and that's something that I think is really close we've been talking a little bit in the chat rooms is that idea of just taking something learning that then adding something else than learning the next thing and then eventually what do you think about breaking the rules that's a great thing and when I introduced this in the beginning it's it's all about you need to know what the rules are first and then you can try and break him later like, you know, do something where maybe you do like to put people plunk in the middle of the picture and that's fine and that's your unique style, but maybe there are other things going on that saves something in that picture that you're finding. I've seen a lot of the fashion photographs of the last few years. You'll just see models just standing there like this, which is so different than you know, someone doing the pose or whatever, but that's a style that's a look, so that was a unique break, the rules kind of thing, they actually it's a ziff, they learn the rules and then went back and broke them. Yeah, and I think that that is also one of those interesting things where these aren't rules, because somebody just decided them the rules that came about because we were analyzing, why are certain pictures mohr attractive than others? And so the things that are just like you said, a lot of people just naturally you have good composition because they feel that, and so when you're breaking it it's to jar the person it's, too. Break something that they expect and I love I love playing with the stuff we could talk about this for hours I know because there's so many possibilities it's really just whatever you want toe make up whatever you want to do these compositional rules or just sort of guidelines you khun kind of get yourself kick started a little bit just like the and get going with something and then things will start to make more sense and you'll feel more comfortable with it. You look at your images and think wow, you know that's that's amazing! Now I want to try this so it's just a place to begin it's certainly not just a place to stay it's not a fixed place, it's. Just something to think about so it's it's good to know like if if you're learning jazz music maybe it's good to know about classical music also, you know, as you build on that so it's it's just another it's. Another thing to consider another tool to use it's like your pictures of the door knobs. You know those are both very effective pictures for different reasons and size. It's different it's just what's your aesthetic, anyone I know we've got a question in the general I've been yammering on, so I apologize one in the room good awesome let's see here cable and the chat rooms ass I love all of the tips for shooting specific subjects but doesn't even have any advice for photographing a panorama a panorama? Actually, yes, we're going to do that tomorrow with the camera app on the iphone and there are also a lot of mobile aps out there to do that too, and of course you can do it with many compact cameras actually sony's cameras I have to do is it's something called panoramic sweep and you press the shutter button and go like that and it just instantly takes the panorama scene and stitches it all together. There are ways where when I was taking panorama photos with my film camera and then in the beginning of digital I would often times put my camera on a tripod and, you know, take a picture and then overlap the next part of the scene turned my camera over left the next part of the scene about twenty percent take another picture and kind of keep doing that and get like, you know, fifteen pictures and then there's something you could do in adobe photoshopped elements to stitch them all together it's like stitch panorama or something like that that's pretty instant but not as fast as some of the things they're now like it was amazing I was taking panorama photos with my iphone on my last trip just everywhere I went and it really gave me a great this in fact I took a panoramic picture of with my iphone on the day before we started this class and I came onto the set you know, to see it is looking all groovy like what I wanted to send the picture out to my family and friends in fact I think I posted it on facebook and I just did a panorama and it captured this whole place it was great fantastic so we'll cover that tomorrow we're questioning you're so it was so interesting it just really came to perspective for because when I write I screenplay and so I write in dialogue will everything that you were saying about seeing taking the door knobs in a different angle I see I see pictures in my head to help with the dialogue of what's going on in the scene so when you showed exactly the door knobs it's just like a national geographic ok there's door knobs they were there they are right and then when you showed it an angle and you follow it's exactly I mean I just had to say some because it just made so much sense to me because I follow kind of almost like if you went into a shoot and did some sort of ah theme and went through but then angle that it different it would tell a little story yes as you went along and to get into that mind frame of actually being able to see a little bit ahead not just what's there that's an interesting that's interesting analogy just really struck me because that's exactly what I see is I see little photos and then I see different angles and I readjust them in my dialogue adjusts to what it isto where they are to what's going on they just so it was like the picture was talking to me on that well that's great I mean thank you that's great that's wonderful about this because everybody comes to this was something else that we're doing are different different ways we think and the taking the pictures I mean it incorporates thought processes that go through all different areas of life yeah so that's interesting yes julianne relates to your skate border assembly because there was a narrative and so a narrative borrowed from language and then I could see I just thought of this you know I was in that same piazzas that marco this this summer and I took a picture in front of that but of a person you know my husband was in front of it so I kind of use the big it's sort of a large and it's quite large and it was in the morning so it's really good light maybe six in the morning or seven and I think my pictures okay but it could have been better and then it would be really cool to do vacation photos with that narrative style instead of just oh, here's somebody here here's somebody there but have a you know, a little story of a walk you took or in some event or yeah, be nice, yeah, no that's true, and that really is your right and that's a good way to talk about the narrative of where you're at and that is in language also and that's how we think as soon as someone starts telling a story, we start paying attention and you can tell a story in so many ways. So I think that that that's a good point got a question from the chairman we've got one from jell who says, aaron, where would you crop people in the picture in the sense of how do you crop arms and legs and heads? Is there like parts of the body that you don't crop on? Are there places where you tried to rob? You know, when you're when you're chopping a person in half? Yeah, well, that's a good question, and sometimes, you know, you want to be careful about what you do crop out one thing you really want to pay attention to two start with that question is whenever you're framing something, you're looking through your optical viewfinder or your elektronik lcd viewfinder and you're composing the shot don't just look at the one thing that you're photographing that person or place or thing, but also look around all the edges of the photograph are you cutting off someone's foot? It would to me, which is kills me when I look at photographs that I've taken in instances where wow that's so great but the foot's cut off or the hands cut off for something just like it doesn't quite continue you want like the whole hand and there are the whole foot and leg, but that's like the whole frame, but let's say you start doing other cropping what's become very popular now, and you're coming in close to someone's phase to say, cropping off the tops of heads because sometimes, you know what's up here maybe just isn't so interesting and it's a little contemporary and maybe there's a friend of mine who's a photographer, does a lot of tilting and in cropping of heads when she does portrait photographs and there was a bank or something that wanted all there they're people that work there to have these portrait's and they just weren't too keen and this whole cropping off of the head thing, so sometimes that could be a little too contemporary force for the purpose that perhaps it's being used for, but you just have to ask but cropping up the head's ok you want to be careful about limbs it's often good not to crop like below the joint, but to crop above the joint if you have to make a crop, andi, just be care. Like I wouldn't want a crop here, maybe a crop down a little bit further. You just want to be a little judicious sometimes if you're unsure when you're taking the photograph, get a little bit more than you think you'll need so you can always go back in and crop in a little bit smaller later. That's again. Why it's also important to, as I mentioned, to shoot in the higher quality on your camera because you never know when he may want a crop into something. When you crop into a picture, you're losing all those other pixels, so if you wanted to say crops something and printed out it's a good idea, too incorporate as much as possible. But if you have to crop, try to crop above the joint, not below it. Yeah! Teo! Teo cut out lensman adam, I tried tio toe into a picture once. It's really? Already? Yeah, yeah, better stuff can only go so far. Great, I think if we're good here, then I think we're good to go on this is a really cool subject. I think people are loving it. We have gel who says, I want to have a three day course about confidence composition? I know there's so many cool, so much to talk about, there's a lot to cover, and it just opens up this whole new world about thinking about things you know, and also appreciating other photographs you might be looking at our artwork if you look at, say, old are art books of just flipped through the pages and look at the master's paintings and how they've composed things. I mean, this is a classic way of of arranging a scene it's not something new that just developed with photography it's been around a very long time, just the way our mind works, what we intuitively moved towards, like I mentioned, we want to be able to connect the dots in the scene visually, we want to make sense of things, and you can kind of help construct that in your images is for other people, and sometimes you don't have to. You don't have to totally hold their hand all the way through it, but you can kind of throw out some suggestions for ways their eyes might follow something in the scene or what the point of interest might be.

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.