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Elements of Design

Lesson 48 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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48. Elements of Design


Class Trailer

Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


Shutter System


Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


Camera Settings - Details


Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Elements of Design

Alright, folks, let's dive into the next little section here, and this is called elements of design, and this is something that is taught in a lot of art photography classes, and these are just elements that we tend to look at, and it's the way we view images. In many ways. First element that we can use is line. We love lines because it's essentially a handrail for the eyes. Our eyes will tend to look at a line cause it's got Scott strong contrast, and then we'll move through the photo on that line. And so any sort of photograph that has good lines, well, that's a good element doesn't mean it's gonna be a good photograph. But it's at least a good element to start with, and you'll see that this is a very common theme in photography is having a line. Your eyes will follow it from one end to the other, and so definitely something to look for. Now the lines can be broken up into many different sub categories. Alright, so first up is the diagonal on the diagonal line is said to be a little ...

bit more dynamic with humans. We expect things to be either horizontal or vertical, and so having some angled lines in the photograph can make it a little bit more interesting. And so any time you see a lot of strong diagonal lines, that's gonna be a good potential element toe have or to make a photograph around. And so, in some ways, these air kind of good subject choices that might make good photographs. And so these strong diagonal lines are just good elements in any sort of photograph. And so these are found all over the place. No doubt another type of good line to have is a curved line, and that is a more soothing line than the straight line. And so, using a curved line, especially a spiral line, it's gonna be a very interesting line for the eyes to look at this very comforting. This is like a type of place that is a very inviting place, that nice, curved line in there. And it's not to say it's better or worse than a straight line. But having that curve does give it a certain feel, even that little small s curve of the ostrich neck or those sculptures that we've seen a number of times before, trees will often have very good lines as well. Another concept in lines is the leading line, and that is, is that your eyes follow lines and have that bring your eyes to the subject that you want it to be. And so your eyes 10 d just kind of flow go with the flow of the lines following them into the subject. And so, in this case, those black curb lines are kind of some significant lines leading us down the street. We're taking us to the trees and the rocks in the distance, and so leading lines taking us to the point that we want. Now, when you take a line and you create something a little bit more complex with it, it'll be a shape. And so we love shapes, shapes simplify the subjects for us. We can identify shapes from great distances. I was shooting straight down into a river, and I could see a face in this rock, just a subtle little face, and that's a nice little shape to have in there. And so shooting those silhouettes at twilight time good time for adding some shapes into your photograph, finding some details that have interesting shapes to them, using shallow depth of field to really make that shape very, very clear. And a lot of these air, very simple images. But I think they're good at making a quick statement. And so then, using shape and shadow shadows are, of course, a very strong element that we've used. We talked about shadow framing could be very nice, but having the shadows as a significant portion of the frame. Big important element in many cases. And so we've talked about that side lighting for using strong contrast, where we're working with those shadows. And so those shadows really give us, Ah, lot of feel for the texture of a particular environment. They reveal a little extra information that we might not have seen otherwise, and so playing around with shadows and light areas. It's definitely a good arena for playing around. And for anyone who is interested in getting into black and white photography, shadows get to be very, very important, and in this case, a lot of times we don't necessarily need to see a lot of information in the shadows. It's OK if they're very, very dark in there they helped kind of set the tonal range for the entire photograph, maybe one of my favorite photographs for using shadows in there. There's a lot of different shadows of different things going on in there, and it's definitely a much better photo with those little extra shadows in there. I talked about this a little bit in the human scale section, but the human shape is something that could be identified very, very easily and even know the people are not very big in this frame. They do stand out very, very quickly, quickly, and your eyes find them. And so when we see people in the shot we can. I didn't instantly identify them, and we can start putting ourselves in their shoes. And so including a small person in your photograph in this manner is a very helpful element. It's kind of Ah, as one of the photographers I was interviewing on one hour photo is it goes, it's the cookie. It's a little extra bonus cookie that you get to in there. And so having a small human person in the frame is perfectly fine because you're I will be drawn to it naturally, were curious about what all these other humans are doing out there and with humans, and non humans were also interested in exactly what they're doing, What's going on between them and do we understand that? And so the gestures that you see that these animals or people are making, Can we infer what's going on? Tension between these two? There's an alertness that's going on. You can tell that this is more than a casual walk. This is a walk with purpose, a carrying gesture from Bhutan, one of the dances in preparation for their Parlow Festival. They do a lot of dancy, and so we when we see a human body part like this in a position, we can kind of identify what that feels like for ourselves and were drawn with a closer connection with that subject when we can identify more about what they're doing. And so each of those body present positions kind of show us a little bit more about what's going on, and sometimes we'll see gesture with items that don't really move in any real sense for me, This this tree really shows a gesture for me. It kind of reminds me if anyone knows the Pixar logo with lamp that kind of moves around. It reminded me of that. Sometimes they could be funny gestures. All right, this is the biggest gimme and photography, All right, so if you just want a good photograph, this is the easiest one to take a good photograph. That's interesting. I always love as I scroll around on the Internet. Best photos of the air. All right, let me see the collection of 2030 photos and almost 1/3 of them, maybe half of them fall into the pattern category. Our brains love a pattern. It's just interesting when one subject is replicated over and over and over again, and in almost every circumstance, a pattern will make an interesting shot. You could have a pattern of garbage, and if it's the right type of garbage, the right color in the right pattern to it, it's gonna look good and so finding a pattern and then filling the frame. And so that's one of the key things is not revealing the magician's trick going outside the frame. You know where the pattern ends because we like this pattern to go continuously throughout the frame and so there's so many pattern shots, I really have to kind of cut it down in this class to figure out which ones do I want to show you? Because there it is so easy. As soon as you see something replicated and our society is just filled with patterns, because it's a very efficient system, off building and nature and everything else, we see these all over the place. And so I love these. They're very, very simple, slightly mysterious shots. But our brains enjoy looking at these in many ways, so if you have a pattern, you could break the pattern and that could be a lot of fun. And so if you have a pattern of something and then a couple of things or something that just sets apart from that whole pattern, it's going to draw a little bit of more attention. It's back to the old Sesame Street, which one of these things is different than the other. That's what draws our attention is that one thing that's off. We may have a whole bunch of leaves, but we got this one rock that's kind of sticking out that's going to draw your attention. We like something that stands out from the rest going that opposite direction. One thing that's different does seem to be what our society focuses on. It's not the one that's better necessarily. It's the one that's different that gets all the attention. And so when you see that one flower that's a little bit different, that's the one that's going to make it interesting.

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