Foundations of Composition
with Susan Grimes
4 WEEK WORKSHOP
Learn the fundamentals of composition in this four week course.
We will examine some of the basic rules of composition and apply them with weekly assignments designed to help you begin to think critically about your images. You will learn how to use basic compositional considerations such as the rule of thirds, perspective, leading lines, depth, and framing to create visually interesting and strong images. Weekly discussions will help students understand how minor changes in the composition of an image can affect the mood of the image as well as the viewer’s perception. This course also includes several videos on composition and creating stronger images.
All students need to have a solid understanding of exposure. We recommend Mastering Manual Exposure if you need a refresher.
what you’ll get
4 weekly lesson PDFs (formatted for print or on-screen viewing) covering different techniques to make your compositions stronger
DAILY INSTRUCTOR-LED Q&A
Full participation students engage in instructor-led discussion and Q&A for daily interaction and support. Study along students have full viewing access.
INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT FEEDBACK & CRITIQUE
Full Participation students receive extensive personal critiques of weekly assignment submissions.
Study Along Students have full viewing access.
VIDEOS ON COMPOSITION
This course includes several videos to clarify the compositional techniques covered in the materials
EXAMPLE IMAGES FROM SEVERAL PHOTOGRAPHERS
One of the benefits of the textbook course model is that the concepts are explained with examples from several different photographers (different genres)
Shooting threads that help students stay on task and practice the concepts each week
The Rule of Thirds
When Centering Works
Following the Gaze of the Subject
Horizontal vs. Vertical Compositions
The Edge of the Frame
Limbs: Where to crop, where to avoid
Anticipating the Crop
One image four ways
Framing and Creating Depth
Aperture and Depth
Focal Length and Depth
Filling the Frame
Framing/Filling the Frame
Triangles and Circles
Patterns, Repeating Elements & Symmetry
Using Color Intentionally
Moving the Viewer's Eye Around the Frame
Diagonal Lines, Triangles, and Vanishing Points
Shooting From Above, Eye Level & Below
Perspective and Distortion
Working Distance and Perspective
Forced Perspective and Photographic Illusion
Light and Shadows
Changing Your Perspective Intentionally
"This is the course that woke me up to observing life around me in a whole new way. I found myself finding “attractive” moments that previously I would have missed. And I started to learn the secrets that change snapshots into “real” photographs."
about your instructor
This textbook-model course offers students a dynamic learning environment due to the collaborative nature of the materials. Each run will consist of one instructoralthough the course PDF and videos will draw upon examples from both (as well as several other instructors) to illustrate specific points.
how it works
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the workshop and receive critique each week.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.
Class content is organized into simple steps as part of a clear, self-guided pathway inside your private online classroom, so you can check off each interactive step as you go.
GET WEEKLY LESSONS
Each week, you'll receive a set of course materials, which typically includes written & video content. All course materials are yours to download and keep.
STUDY & ASK QUESTIONS
You'll get access to a private online classroom for sharing and discussion. The instructor is present every day to answer questions and offer encouragement.
COMPLETE WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS
Students receive an assignment to complete each week; full participation students will receive instructor feedback on submitted assignments.