Creating a Compelling Composition


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Creating a Compelling Composition

this is when I'm going to show you how I literally think I'm going to show you what do I think about when I'm in the field and I encounter anything that I want to shoot you know what's going on in my brain as faras how organized the scene in and think about creating a compelling composition there how do I think about my gear how do why what I call pimp my gear if you ever heard of the tv show pimp my ride where they like modify cars and things and ridiculous ways we'll show you how I modify my gear to make it more useful also show you how after I've captured an image and I think it looks ok and camera how I polish it digitally in photoshopped or in light room to really make it sing because what you get straight out of the camera is often it has a huge possibility and potential but it doesn't mean it gives it to you right out of the camera also you know talk about apse on your iphone or android device and websites that I find to be essential when I'm either in the field actually shootin...

g something that helps me get a better shot by using the information that's there or by doing things when I'm scouting in researching where I'm going to go and I'm thinking about that type of thing and then we'll show you how I finish up images and photo shop would even put mohr polish on them to really make it so your eye goes to exactly where I wanted to in the scene that type of thing so a little bit about my backstory is uh I've been interested in photography and have been taking photographs since before high school and I thought I wanted to be a professional photographer throughout college became a graphic designer though kind of little distraction from that and then eventually started teaching photoshopped in in the process of doing so realized I can work on my own photos now because I'm teaching photoshopped I started teaching photo shop about twenty years ago though so it's been quite a bit of of time there and I found that it was about eight years ago that I just wasn't shooting enough of what I really wanted to be shooting and so I took kind of a radical step and I sold my home I have sold ninety eight percent of what I owned and I bought a motor home and for the last eight years I've been living on the road in the motor home and just any time I'm not teaching like here I'm cruising around the country looking for interesting things to capture and during those eight years I've really refined a lot off the way I think when I'm in the field shooting and what I'd like to do is transfer some of that knowledge to you I'd like to show you what I wish other people taught me when I first got on the road and started really concentrated on my photography so if you want to take a quick look on my screen I have a map of this year's journey in this year we've actually only been on the road about six months because the first six months of the year I was monitoring a project my vintage bus project and we were staying in one spot so this is a half of a year and each one of these little camera icons is where we did you could say a major shoot maybe a national park or something else rather interesting in this journey will continue right now the bus is actually parked in atlanta georgia and we'll be continuing south into florida for the winter time and so that is kind of gives you a sense for how much of the country we might cover considering we only used half the year imagine if we use the whole year how much we cover then once the bus is parked in florida instead of traveling throughout the u s goods a bit cold we're going to switch gears instead coming up later this month will end up exploring internationally and here's part of that journey that will be doing starting later this month in about two weeks then we'll come back to florida for a short period of time and will leave again in february and will explore another part of the world and so that's kind of the way we like to live is explore the us well the weather is good and then well goto selected areas during the wintertime if there's some really great shots to be taken there's some places where the birds go for the winter and that type of thing and will definitely make a trip there if it's worth it but otherwise we'd rather go explore the rest of the the world during the winter then if you want to get a sense for just some of the types of images that I capture here's just a variety just it gives you some sense for this this one was taken the galapagos islands ah here off gonda africa and I'm gonna talk about how do I think about capturing all these images how do I think about the composition my camera settings my processing my gear all of that so that you can do something similar if you'd like or just learn from this you don't have to take images that are anything like the ones that I do but that doesn't mean you can't learn from uh the way I think all right so let's get in and I want to start talking about composition because I find that a lot of people want to get into gear they want to know what lends us to get what camera to get and all that and I find that that's the oftentimes the worst way to think because the more gear you have the more you have swimming in your head and it's it's distracting from actually getting a good image if you can't take a really good compelling image with your iphone thing you don't need a fancy camera yet you need to be able to first get a really good composition in there then start thinking about the gear and it's that we're really going to help you so let's take a look so whatever something in the scene calls my attention I want take a picture it sure I might just point my camera at it capture what I see and I could do that multiple times and you'll have a tendency if you're new to it this like most people is you're going to find your subject matter is almost always going to be in the center of the frame and that's fine if that subject matter khun really hold its own and be centre stage but that's where most images are in snapshots that people are taking with their iphones that everybody's taking and to make it so it's a bit different then it could be nice too get off center think of the center of your frame is a dead zone and on lee put things there if they can really handle being center stage and instead I try to avoid the centre so here I might have this area here in the center but the body is going off to the side which makes it feels a little bit off center but I just try to push it were nowhere near the center think of it almost like your cameras a gun and you don't want to kill what you're shooting so keep it on to that center and so I'm always putting it off center a lot of people will divide the frame up into thirds both vertically and horizontally input the subject matter right where those lines would intersect I personally don't do it that way let's knows the rule of thirds but if you just find it difficult to think about getting off center then you might be able to turn on a little grid view on your camera and where you can see that rule of thirds grid and try to put your subject right at the intersection of those lines but to me that makes it more predictable and I would rather not have it be overly predictable so with this whenever I'm showing something often times I'll just show you a bunch of examples because I find if I show you just one and then move on that your brain just thinks of it is not that important and and goes on to other things with other examples I'll show you just one or two examples and know that some of these images will be straight out of the camera because that's how you experience the images when you're actually shooting them but also putting quite a few that have been adjusted but if you just look at the position of where I'm putting the subject matter and all of these it's rarely in the middle then when it comes to uh just thinking about placement I'm gonna be putting it all over the frame wherever it feels most balanced and just naturally flowing through that scene it takes a while to get used to that but there's a few things I think about one is if anything's in motion if something's in motion then I'm going to try to give that object room to move because the edge of your frame is kind of like a wall and it's from car or something else is traveling at speed and it's about to hit that wallets kind of feels a little odd and so I would much prefer to give a little bit of room when I am uh thinking about anything in motion if it's a car I'm not gonna have it just about to hit the edge of the frame another thing that I think about is I will come in and uh think about how I want to show it in context instead of just point my camera at a subject in clicking away how can I show how it relates to its surroundings and so here I can't really be it pretty much any road here but now I'm getting a much better sense for where that really is here it I might have found something interesting you don't run into this every day but the background isn't really helping much in all of that so I decided to put in a little bit of context it's a little odd context but here you are actually on a shuttle to the airport and they're stopping you on the way trying to make some money getting their photo taken when it comes to people I find the closer I get to people the much more engaging it isthe so when I get the person I tried to get his closest I could really can to really engage with those people and if you're really feeling a little squeamish when it comes to people than use a zoom lens longer lens will pull you in closer even though you don't have to get physically closer and that's fine but when you do watch out for the eyes if the eyes are not looking at you then that's fine you're not really engaged with the person you might be looking at what they're doing instead like here but the moment they look atyou unless there's some connection in those eyes where it's being helpful I would rather get it where the eyes aren't even looking into the camera because it's it's not really giving me a message of how these people are connecting with me it's more how are they connecting with the environment they look straight at me and now there's a connection straight into me and unless it's a positive one that's not gonna be the most effective way of thinking here though if you look at it she looks like she's engaged in what she's doing he's looking right at me and is engaged as well it's just this one guy in the corner here that's not really helping so that's one where I'd crop him out a little bit s so that everyone in the frame is engaged with what's going on and what where I am here again I thought this was a nice composition I get somebody close to the camera going further away but this person just has a blank stare looking right at the camera and so either I gotta smile back at her because if you're hiding behind your camera that's what you're possibly going to get but get your camera out of the way and smile back or anything like that and you might able to get them to engage but otherwise I thought that was a successful image except for that one face which made it so I'm not overly happy with it so you're going to find it right here I'm just going to give you a huge number of concepts that are swirling around in my head and what I do is these are all things that are just in my head where I'm thinking about him every sound not shooting and the more of these things I can put into my scene think about while I'm shooting the better I find my images end up being and I'll show you how you can end up getting these integrated in your head so it doesn't feel overwhelming that there's so many we'll talk about that at the end so if you ever have something where the reason why you picked up your camera was because it was a grand thing it's a grand canyon which is massively huge just because you felt that way standing there doesn't mean somebody else it's viewing your image is going to feel the same way and so I will usually try to put a human element in because that's going to make it feel much more like you get that grand scale of anything so the difference between this which was actually looks really cool when I was standing there in this which is actually taking my white wife because that's uh me out there I think it's considerably different so this one is just a panorama but on the left side there's a human figure and it makes it that scaring my wife it just makes it so you have a much bigger connection to it in a much for a feeling of a grand scale so anytime the reason why you're picking up your camera is due to the size of something I try to put in a reference for how big is that in a human element is sometimes the best way of doing it but then if you make it so you don't have a scale reference you just give something something to somebody and you don't give him any reference to how big it is then sometimes you can have something interesting to me this image feels like it was taken from outer space looking down at the earth from way the heck up there it's not it's taken in yellowstone national park and it was just taken from this area here is pointing the camera straight down but if I don't include anything related in a scale if you have no idea how big or small it is you can get a different perspective so sometimes I'm looking for that when kanai kind of trick the viewer into thinking that they're just not certain what's going on there and it gives you a much more interesting look other things I think about it isthe snapshots that people take are usually taken from a standing position and that's where most people experience the world and the more I can get away from that position the more unique of a look I can present to people in them or they're usually connect with the photo because they're just not used to seeing whatever it is I'm showing them and so here I'm shooting in dubai and there's a dancer and I set my camera right on this huge carpet that was there this rug and shot from that position which I thought gave me a much more unique look now I think about this all the time in that if I could get away from standard viewing position often times it has to do with getting really low to the ground so here's just a plain picture of some flowers but getting to a position that most people don't experience it from we'll give you a much more interesting looking image if you're sitting on your stomach you're going to find very few people a flower place just doing that so here's another example where this might be what you see when you're standing there but I'm going to get down underneath and just think of it from a completely different perspective we're shooting straight up in this case I took this one just a few days ago uh fall color few more examples just sometimes looking from a normal position ends up giving you busy backgrounds because it's just the way the things are built up but if you start getting closer and point your camera up you can often use the sky as a clean backdrop for what you're shooting and I'm just constantly thinking about what would things look like from the angle that other people aren't used to seeing it from this is just a parking garage looking straight up stand there for a day and a half no one will look straight up and so nobody will see that view ben would you mind quick question yeah from the chats eso pro photographer would like to know are there any particular certain types or genres of subject matter that you would definitely want the image in the center no it it really depends on the actual scene like what is there in the surroundings are there trees anything corporate are there other things or does this thing that's that I'm trying to shoot is it's just so powerful that adding anything else is a distraction from it it makes it less of a photo and if so then put it in the center if those other elements are just going to lessen the photo then it deserves to be in the center thank you perfect so here's not so great of a picture of the golden gate bridge but from getting to a different perspective and I'll show you how I do this later on I actually extend my camera over the railing of the bridge to wear in order to take a photo there if you didn't have the gear I used you'd be jumping off the bridge I was able to get this shot which I thought was more unique than a lot of the other shots I see the golden gate I'm not saying it's the best shot in the world but it was different than what I'd seen before and that's often what I'm trying to do is show somebody perspective on the world that's different want their used to because it's usually much more interesting because they've taken the other photos already with their phones let's look at a few concepts when it comes to the buildings if you have a short building and you tell your camera up then in order to get the top of the building you might need to do that tilting but when you do the top of the building will be further away from you from the bottom when it comes to your camera's lens and it's going to cost the top of the building looks smaller than the bottom and that's fine if you've a tall building it can exaggerate the look at the height of that building but on a short building it could just make it feel like it wasn't built right or like it's about to fall over so any time I have a short building I make every attempt I can to keep vertical lines vertical by re composing my scene and trying not to tell my camera up so here is the same building but using a position that was different where I didn't have to tell my camera well if it's a really tall object that's fine till your camera up the top of the building will look much smaller than the bottom and it's going to really give you a matter much better sense that was really tall building short buildings though that doesn't really work with when it comes to shorter buildings if I do need to tilt up because the position I'm at I just can't get the whole thing with the tilting would end up doing is all shoot it from an off angle instead of being straight on and lined up with the building I'll go on maybe at a forty five degree angle or something else and then I find I don't mind so much that the top of the building is feeling smaller than the sides and I could get away with it a little bit more what it comes to tilting your camera up to get tall buildings you notice that you get a lot of diagonal lines because they're converging knows to get towards the top of the building and it makes it more dramatic I find that diagonal lines in general make my image is much more dramatic compared to straight lines which make it feel a lot more static and just plain feeling so here I'll show you a bunch of examples of trying to incorporate diagonal lines and just angled lines to make an image more dramatic so here's what interested me this doorway and stares in southeast asia but to me this is feeling a pretty static shot shooting it straight on shooting at an angle though getting mohr diagnose in the image I find makes a little more compelling image here's a straight image of a vintage gas station one with an angle here we got angles everywhere you notice they didn't line up with anything other than this one pole going up to give me some reference but otherwise everything in it is at various angles and makes it much more interesting than if I lined everything up and made it straight straight angle to me is much more dramatic straight on angle here if you look at the number of angles coming through there's an angle here at the bottom angle across the waterfall angle over here and it just makes it a little more dramatic than getting it from a lined up perspective the chat rooms having a great time trying to figure out where all of these images are taken well everything one they were like that looks like that looks like that looks like yeah they're all over the place I go all over the place if you ever have any text in your image even though you might not have thought of the text because that's not why you picked up your camera people are going to read the text you can't help it the moment you see text you start to read it and so if there's ever anything text in the frame I always think about is that helping the image or is it not if it's helping the image that I might want to really make sure its ledge a ble and make sure it's in a useful spot if it's not helping the image then I'm going lesson I'm either going to try to make it out of focus I'm going to try to make it too dark or I'm going to try to crop it out of the frame but any texas in a shop people are doing their going to read it and so in this case it gives you a little feeling for this is not taken in the u s because of the text right but you can get completely different opinions depending on what it says this is the most common name for a fishing vessel if you have text though you gotta think about it in this case uh some text appear at the top of a gas station and it's being cut off so people are going to try to read it it's not gonna be helpful so I might need to change my angle to get it so that it is much more ledge a ble need to think about that so more things with diagonals if I shoot it just straight on finally got a nice picture but I try to make it from a completely different perspective than what most people experience it from just think about instead of walking straight up from your standard viewing position how else might I be able to frame that up just with anything this has got more diagonal senate those diagonals though khun send you somewhere if you were to take these lines here they would eventually converge somewhere over in this direction and this is sending me that way towards a trailer in that case or in this case towards train car on engine and so I'm thinking about what happens if I have converging lines were there two straight lines they're getting closer and closer together as they go off into space and in this case I have a boat where the top and the bottom edge is we're getting closer and closer together as I get towards the right side and right now they're just banging into the edge of the frame and I don't find it to be very useful but if I point that somewhere now it's kind of getting my eye to be directed into the distance now if I had something in the distance like a temple or a sunset or something else that would be much more useful because this would send me right to where I'd want it to go but it's something I think about any time I see a converging lines where is it sending my eye and is there any way I can get that to point to something to some sort of rewards when my eye does follow that it gets to the anna goes oh yeah that's what I like like when I had the diner that kind of sent me over to a vintage trailer that was there so here I have a roadway and if you follow that road was getting smaller and smaller as it goes further away it sends me right over here to a a church facility and iceland here the stairs getting closer and closer together so it gets towards the top officially and it sends you right to the kid's head that's there and that's where those converging lines are sending me to a reward there's something there once you get to uh where they've put together doesn't have to be straight lines though it could be anything it's getting smaller and smaller as it's getting further away from you in this case with this little pathway the fact that it's getting smaller as it goes away from the camera is kind of pulling my eye down that path too hopefully some sort of reward at the end for making that journey this one I took just a few days ago uh in the uh great smoky mountains and sometimes those past could be curved but his launch is getting smaller as it's getting further away from the camera it can help push your eye towards where you want it to go so it's one thing I'm always looking for us there anything my frame where lines are converging getting smaller to go further away from the camera and will that help me send somebody somewhere within that frame then another idea that are used for him in the field is instead of just showing something all by itself where it has to stand alone instead I'll try to frame it and so all search my surroundings here are there any doorways are there any archways are there anything that I could use is a frame so let me show you a bunch of examples of where I'm framing things and how it might add to the image and just make it feel like not just a picture of that particular object but a more polished presentation of it this is a church in iceland and this is the top of a gate like just outside the frame at the bottom would be a gate you have to open toe walk into this area this image is fine it's just a picture of part of the temple but to me it could be polished more why not put it in a frame and so this is going into the temple looking for any kind of entry doors or windows and using that as a frame to just give you a more interesting look to that object here's another temple in this case I noticed the railing that was here it's not the most interesting day and that it was overly cloudy overcast but I found this railing this little openings within the railing so I reposition myself and I could frame that building using that so when I walk up somewhere I'm looking at ok I found this thing I want to capture now what else can I add to the scene because everyone else with their iphones are pointing it at that temple click getting it what can I do to make it a little bit more interesting from a perspective other people aren't used to seeing and we're here I'm just framing people in thes monks in a doorway now there are some technical issues you have to deal with if you have an image like this one in that I'm in a very dark temple and in the distance son is hitting that building in the distance and so it's extremely bright and if I try to take this using a single capture I would either have a black interior these little doors that air here would be black or the what's outside to be solid white and so when we talk about shooting I'll show you how I capture this where you get detail in both areas just more framing even in nature I'll look for it here just a tree with an arch behind it it didn't usually look like the arch would frame this but if I get the right angle get really low to the ground this is one of those things where people will find me literally in my belly on the ground which people laugh about and everything but if it makes a better photograph I'm all for it and so here I'm darn near on my belly looking up to try to use that arch as a frame here I'm in iceland and this is one iceberg that has melted down and washed up on the shore and I'm shooting through it at other icebergs in the distance so just looking for anything not just the standard door frames in windows anything that's going to frame that image sometimes I get people to frame themselves this is a dancer at a desert party and getting him to do it and here I am in virgin utah I think which is near zion national park and I'm using a stage coach that I got into to frame stuff that's in the distance now part of this though is even better than just a frame in this case by having the stage coach in the foreground of really established three different depths in the photograph I have the foreground which is mine stage coach the mid which is this uh wheeled vehicle and then a background with this hotel building and that's another thing that I'll try to incorporate all the time it's see if I can get things at various distances from the camera so it's not just one thing in my frame instead something that gives me more depth in the photograph and so let's all get a few examples of when we can do that here in iceland church I find these grave markers they'll put one near the camera one a bit further in and then the church in the distance and that kind of brings me through the photo towards the church and gives it more of a three dimensional feeling because it's not just one object sitting there in the frame instead on khun kind of wander through this in three dimensional space here just having an element near the front of the camera and then having interesting elements way in the distance and stuff in between got foreground mid and background the foreground shape that sear the iguana and then the uh horizon that's bent because I used to fish islands the broken glass that's here for foreground the interior of the car for mid and background of what's outside the windows but it gives it a lot more dimension and so I'm often looking for that I'll find whatever it is I want to shoot and then I'll be searching the surroundings to say is there anything I can put near the camera that adds to this is there anything in the background that khun lineup with this that adds to it so in this case I'm on route sixty six and I found this interesting bridge I like the shape the curve of the bridge and so that's what I wanted to capture I started out on the other end of the bridge and it wasn't all that exciting but when I walked to this and I found something for the foreground and it's hard to see in this particular shot because of how small it is on screen but when this is printed large there's also a stop sign in the distance and it's got a little hint of color so I have my foreground mid and then the stop sign of the trees from my background other ideas went about shooting is sure I'll take a picture of the entirety of whatever object it is that interested in me but then after I've captured that I try to focus in on lee what was interesting about it what specifically about this object really called my attention and so I'll try to isolate the interesting so I'm not going to always show you everything I'm going to try to isolate it down to just what attracted my eyes to that particular object so this might be my subject matter but what was really interesting about it I'll just come in and show you just what I found to be interesting and so instead of always showing everything I often just zero it in on the most interesting parts and part of that is not thinking about just a normal subject a car person or something else it's anything that makes the scene interesting in oftentimes I find that shadows conclude great really interesting subjects all by themselves so here's just one example where I thought that uh tree's shadow on the building caught my eye so I isolated captured it here I felt that these lightbulbs were tre at the neon bone yard in las vegas that the shadows coming through them were more interesting than the bulbs themselves and so that's what I really focused on instead of showing you really what this is the entire object I just looked at what was the most visually interesting here there's two doors or window pieces but I lined one of them up here so it just disappeared and created just an interesting shadow coming down into me that just made for an interesting shape and it was enough to make you wantto capture that so having said that I look around the scene and I'm not just looking for subjects to shoot I'm looking for interesting visual elements in this case I had a boat in the water and this is what I ended up capturing that's what I found to be interesting there wasn't just one boat though I went around found other ones whatever was colorful into me the reflections were enough for really interesting images so I think about reflections quite often in this case I'm in yellowstone national park in this area wouldn't be all that interesting if it wasn't for the reflection this is a reflection of sunset and so often think about what is there around that might be reflective in what could I get to show up in there so for instance I just shot full color in with fall color there are a lot of rivers in rivers are you know the water if you could say shiny so it's going to reflect things and I just need to think about what angle I need to be out in order to capture it whatever angle you're looking at the water from if you were to bounce off of that and go at the same angle bouncing off meaning like the angle that you hit out is the same as the angle you'd leave out you'd be able to see what kind of reflection you get so if you're standing right next to the water low to the ground meaning your normal viewing height you're going to see something about the same height on the other side of the water if the trees that are a colorful or up high you're going to have to get up high in orderto have an angle where the angle you're looking down at the water when you hit the water if you bounce off at a equally equal angle coming off you'd be getting the right reflection and so here's when I took a few days ago this is fall color but everybody sees pictures of fall color by point their camera right at what's colorful right at the trees this instead is pointing out of river and just trying to find what height I needed to be at in order to make it so I could see the reflection if I got too close to the water and too low I ended up seeing the low side if it was across the way and that was just the brown kind of ground needed to get up a little bit higher so I could see a little higher on the other side and then I just experimented with different shutter speeds to make it so if I got a really slow shutter speed where the water's moving quite a bit you got a lot of motion blur or I could slow it down a bit so you can see a little bit more hints of what was on the other side of the water so those white lines would be the trunks of the trees but I'm going to take a bunch of photographs there because it's hard to tell which one is going to be most compelling when I'm just looking on the little bitty screen on the back of my camera now in this image if you printed it large there is one leaf to give you some sort of visual as to that oh there's this might be water something floating on it oftentimes I'll put maurin there to make it more obvious so in this case we've found some leaves that have gotten caught on a rock but I can still get the reflection of the trees that are across the way sometimes I take pictures that you know it's not taking the entire object in the frame it's just picking a little interesting element within it in this case I like the diagonal lines of these tree branches coming in and I like the contrast of the darkness of these leaves compared to what was behind it and so this is some fall color taking just a few days ago so oftentimes they will take photographs that it just don't have necessarily of focus to them there's not one object just sitting in there sometimes I take just pictures like this one which might think is the most interesting but what some of these present is an interesting backdrop that I can use to present other photographs that I took in that environment on so this might not be the most exciting thing it's the countertop on a diner but uses a backdrop for pictures you took in that diner you know here we got just you know some ropes that kind of stuff and use that as a presentation for your backdrop so I'm always looking for that as well ben can I jump in with the questions certainly this is awesome by the way are loving it pro photographer asks when you find an interesting scene do you ever return at different times during the day to capture the changing light in the shadows is that something you're thinking about yes I am but when I do that if I counter a scene and I think that this might look great you know evening light or some other time I try not to dismiss the scene and only come back then because sometimes my schedule changes and I just can't get back or sometimes the weather changes or something else so this might be the only opportunity I have to get it so I'm going to capture it then and I might come back and in fact I like coming back to the same place multiple times just to get a different times a day different kinds of shadows different kinds of light thank you ben and also you guys out there on the internet we want to let you know that our next segment coming up ben is going to talk all about his equipment so I know you guys have been having some equipment questions so we will we'll tackle those then and also want to remind you that with purchase of the class you will get a pdf of band's entire kit all his equipment so just want to give you guys the heads up and are there any other questions at this point because what we've done is this just talked about some of the issues that are I have stored in my head that are just swirling around in there that I use every time I shoot where I incorporate as many of my eyes I can't we're about to go into how I then refine the image an ideal with any problems that there might be in instead of just feeling like okay I got a picture of this and it's in a frame or something like that how'd oh I now evaluate the entirety of the image and make sure it's really polished instead of just a simple you know image instead how can I really get it polished but are there any questions before we get into that yeah yeah we have a couple more a lot of our questions probably are going to be good for the next segment but one for now from just a thought uh they say the doorway and thing in the distance teo your your doorway image is it's all in focus so is that a composite image no we're going to talk about lens choice and I'm gonna talk also we have a session where it's called shooting strategies and that's where I'll describe with him in the field how doe I actually think about my camera settings in which lens I choose and that type of thing and that's when we'll get into that how do you get all those things and focus in all that kind of stuff so like a hold off on that and try to keep the questions more focused on composition meaning how do you arrange what's in the scene more so we'll cover the other stuff later on great pro photographer would like to know and I come across this personally all the time do you ever add something to the scene to create your own frame or manipulate things around it depends on your particular style some people that's all they do is they construct you know what's in front of them for me personally I rarely do it on occasion I will though if I have something like a waterfall and I noticed that at the bottom there's water that slowly swirling zits over on the side in an area that's not really going down the river instead it's a little side I don't know just indented in the in the side of the shore I might go in and drop a leaf in it where a leaf will then swirl around in a circle and I have something where I might be able to do a long shutter speed and get this blurry leaf going around I don't mind doing that kind of stuff also clean up scenes if there are twigs in a scene or something else like that I walk through the scene pull those out to clean it up I think of it as pulling weeds in my garden which is my picture and so I don't mind doing that but it's rare for me to move things around in a scene and arrange them I'm not saying there's anything bad with that it's just not my personal way of of working most the time not your style one more question do you always capture vertical and horizontal shots for each of your scene yeah and that's when the other thing I'll show you later on and here is yes I try to try to challenge myself even though naturally I'm goingto probably end up doing the horizontal just seems to be my natural default way of thinking I'll always try to challenge myself do both horizontal and vertical also will think about the possible uses for the image is this image going to be reproduced really big if so I can have subtle little details within the scene that people can easily see if it's printed huge but if on the other hand it's going to be printed one column wide in the newspaper then those elements are going to be tiny and it's a different kind of photo I would take because now I need to on ly blatantly giveth um uh big elements within that scene that tiny little ones will be lost because it's really small and then at some point in the next two days are we gonna talk about shooting for particular things or we'll talk about in the shooting strategies all talk about how do I approach a waterfall how do I approach a panorama how do I approach shooting through glass how do I approach I'm at the zoo there's a fence between me and the animal hideaway eliminate the fence wide all that kind of stuff and that's also in the session called shooting strategies and so right now we're just talking about how do we arrange the elements in the scene when I'm pointing the camera after that we'll talk about you know what actual lenses would I choose what camera settings would I use and how would I mentally think about getting the exposure right that kind of stuff

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.


Ashleigh L

AMAZING CLASS! I caught bits and pieces of the live stream, but even in those bits and pieces of it, I learned so much! He's a great teacher, easy to understand and great visuals. He "walks around" the subject to give us different POV, tells us the negative/positive/neutral of the photo, and tips. Thank you, Ben!