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Composing a Subject in Multiple Ways

Lesson 19 from: iPhone Photography & Mobile Photography

Philip Ebiner

Composing a Subject in Multiple Ways

Lesson 19 from: iPhone Photography & Mobile Photography

Philip Ebiner

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Lesson Info

19. Composing a Subject in Multiple Ways


Class Trailer

Course Introduction


Welcome to Class


Why Are Smartphone Cameras Awesome?


The Course Challenge: Capture Your Day in 5 Photos


Camera Basics for Mobile & Smartphone Photography


Intro to Camera Basics




Focal Length


Lesson Info

Composing a Subject in Multiple Ways

Hey, fill back here with another demonstration of the techniques that Sam and will have been sharing in this class. In this lesson, I want to go over how you can compose one subject in a lot of different ways. So this morning, just on a very boring day, my wife and I were actually returning some clothes to the store. And so I had the kids and I was walking around a plaza of the shopping center and there's this really, really cool old style old fashioned clock tower there and it's right in the middle of this, this plaza. And so I thought this is a great example of a subject that I can compose in multiple ways. So let's go through them. So the first time the first photo I took was this photo of the clock tower next to or in front of rather the A MC sign A MC is the movie theater chain. This photo tells the story of where this clock is. I use the rule of thirds with the clock in the top left sort of third intersection, not perfectly, but I wasn't like trying to put the clock right in the ...

middle of the frame. And I was trying to have somewhat of a balanced frame. So I have these lines going across the middle with the top of the building and then the bush down below, in terms of it being a creative shot, it's not really a creative shot, but it tells the story of where this clock tower is next. I walked towards the clock and I wanted to use the compositional technique of negative space where you put your subject sort of you try to clear away all the distractions. And so that the attention of your viewer goes directly to your subject. Now, this could be something like this where I put my clock tower in the bottom sort of third of the frame with just the sky, I changed it up a couple in terms of vertical and then horizontal. I even got a little bit closer. And I, I also cropped this photo closer to just have the face of the clock at the bottom in the bottom third of the frame. And uh again, using sort of negative space with nothing in to distract from the clock. That doesn't mean though with negative space that you have to have a blank wall or a blank sky as your background to your subject. Here's another example of negative space where I put this tree in front of the clock to just give it a little bit more depth and make it a little bit more interesting. But the I would still say this is somewhat using negative space because the tree is just the sort of pattern of leaves and colors that uh your eye isn't really distracted by it. Your eye still is drawn towards the clock, which is again using the rule of thirds and the bottom third, right third uh intersection, but still using somewhat negative space. This next photo isn't, I wouldn't call it using negative the negative space at all. It's still somewhat using the rule of thirds. I tried to straighten this out and post but it just has more elements and color that I think makes this photo pop a little bit more. There's these nice bushes in the foreground with beautiful flowers. There's this Arbor on the top left again, sort of creating these leading lines towards the Clock Tower, the flowers and the Arbor and the rooftop kind of converge where the Clock Tower is. This one, I just really love the colors more than anything, the blue sky, the green plant, the ye yellow and red flowers and then that Clock Tower just right in it. I would say this is one of my favorites. This next one I thought might even be more of a favorite. And this is where I chose to have the clock in the backdrop out of focus with the flowers in the foreground in focus. So I shot a couple of these and I think I like the vertical one a little bit better. Uh Just the balance and everything. This with one single flower head. It wasn't as interesting to me as it ended up looking, but this vertical one just I think looks really, really cool and it kind of hopefully gives you an example of where your subject for this photo is the subject, the flower. It was at the Clock Tower. If you didn't see any of the other photos, you might just think the subject is the flower. But if it was in a series of photos, you would know that the subject is the Clock Tower. And it even though it's blurred in the background, it still plays a part in the story of this image. I like the balance of if you put a line diagonal, going from the bottom left to the top, right, how it basically has half of the image, the clock in the sky and then half the image with the greens and the reds of the plant. And it just has a nice balance again, using the rule of thirds with the Clock Tower on the top left and the flowers in the bottom right intersection. All right. Well, I hope that this is an example of multiple ways you can photograph a subject in different compositions and I hope it gives you some ideas for when you're out taking photos instead of just your standard here, I'm gonna be at eye level. Take a photo of you dead center or maybe get a little creative. Put you off to the third, get creative with it. Walk around your subject, put your subject in the background, foreground, cut off parts of your subject. So it's super negative space. Go up really close to your subject, change your angle. Get creative with it. Awesome. I hope you enjoy this lesson and we'll see you in another one.

Ratings and Reviews


Definitely geared to beginners, but the class has a lot of good information. As an advanced camera photographer still trying to get to know my phone camera better, I learned a few things I didn't know (like you can use portrait mode for selfies, what hyper lapse is and the VSCO app). Nice job!


Good course for everyone starting out and needed to have some more basic info beyond the common snap shot. I had wished for more info on using mobile in the more professional field like when switching from camera to mobile. Additional lenses and flashes and things like that. But this course was obviously not targeted at this. So overall still a nice brush up.


Great class. Well organized and clearly presented. Would be very good for beginners and mid level users. highly recommend.

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