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Foundations of Composition

with Susan Grimes

4 WEEK WORKSHOP BEGINS MAY 20

$300 Full Participation | $150 Study Along
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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.

PREREQUISITES

All students need to have a solid understanding of exposure. We recommend Mastering Manual Exposure if you need a refresher.

what you’ll get

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WEEKLY LESSONS

4 weekly lesson PDFs (formatted for print or on-screen viewing) covering different techniques to make your compositions stronger

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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.

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INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT FEEDBACK & CRITIQUE

Full Participation students receive extensive personal critiques of weekly assignment submissions.

Study Along Students have full viewing access.

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VIDEOS ON COMPOSITION

This course includes several videos to clarify the compositional techniques covered in the materials

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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)

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SHOOTING THREADS

Shooting threads that help students stay on task and practice the concepts each week

syllabus

Lesson One


LEARN ABOUT

The Rule of Thirds

When Centering Works

Following the Gaze of the Subject

Horizontal vs. Vertical Compositions

Square Compositions

The Edge of the Frame

Limbs: Where to crop, where to avoid

Anticipating the Crop


ASSIGNMENT

One image four ways

Lesson Two


LEARN ABOUT

Framing and Creating Depth

Layering

Framing Devices

Aperture and Depth

Focal Length and Depth

Negative Space

Filling the Frame


ASSIGNMENT

Framing/Filling the Frame

Lesson Three


LEARN ABOUT

Leading Lines

Triangles and Circles

Patterns, Repeating Elements & Symmetry

Using Color Intentionally

Moving the Viewer's Eye Around the Frame


ASSIGNMENT

Diagonal Lines, Triangles, and Vanishing Points

Lesson Four


LEARN ABOUT

Perspective

Shooting From Above, Eye Level & Below

Perspective and Distortion

Working Distance and Perspective

Forced Perspective and Photographic Illusion

Light and Shadows


ASSIGNMENT

Changing Your Perspective Intentionally

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"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."

- LISA
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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

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start learning

All class content is organized into simple steps as part of a clear, self-guided pathway inside your private online classroom. You'll check off each interactive step as you go, from completing readings and watching videos to student Q&A and assignment submissions.

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download weekly lessons

Each week, students receive a set of course materials, which generally include a PDF and instructional videos. All course materials are yours to download and keep.

Materials vary by program

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study & ask questions

Your registration includes access to a private online workshop for sharing and discussion. The workshop is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule. The instructor is present in the workshop every day to answer questions and offer encouragement.

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complete weekly assignments

Students receive an assignment to complete each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and builds upon class discussion throughout the week.

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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.

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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.