Improve your photography, not your camera…it’s both rewarding and cheap!
If you want to improve your photography then youneed to improve your composition.
Photography is composition, and your camera is just a tool. A camera alone cannot make a great photo. Only your compositional skills and imagination can do that.
You already have imagination, creativity and talent, even if you don't fully realise it yet. What you need in order to translate all of those qualities into a photograph, is compositional skill.
Concentrating on my own personal approach to photography and composition, this course will teach you how to turn what you see in your minds eye into a photograph that turns heads and draws the viewer in.
Composition isn’t just about the dry technical stuff. It’s about your emotional engagement with your surroundings and having moments of inspiration.
It’s about the process of translating that moment of inspiration into a photograph that makes people who have never met you or have never been to that location want to look and linger and wonder at the photograph that you created.
What I do in this course is to communicate an organic and natural learning process, similar to my own self taught learning process but with reference to the standard rules of composition, which helps to provide a structure for the course.
I am still acutely aware of the compositional mistakes I made when starting out, so I factor that knowledge into the tuition you will receive in this course, which will help you to accelerate your own learning.
I will teach you how to spot a composition, and then what to do to make sure that what you see in your minds eye is what we end up seeing when we view your images.
An introduction to this course on composition in photography.
Only good composition can make you a good - or even great - photographer. In this course I will teach you all my techniques and little secrets.
Anyone with an open mind can create great photography. I truly believe that the techniques I teach on this course will help turn your natural born creativity (which we all have) into visually compelling photographs.
Watch this video for an overview of the courses content, and get some inspiration for your photography too.
Every photo has a subject.....photographers are always taking a photograph of something. In this video I will teach you how to identify what the subject of a photograph photographs is, and what the important objects are, so that you will be able to place them in a visually appealing way in your photographs.
Identifying the subject is the first foundation stone of good composition.
Rules, rules and no more rules I hear you cry! The good news is that there are no rules in photography, the bad news is for the rebels that there are therefore no rules to break.
But feel free to nudge the boundaries!
In this video I teach you the fundamental building blocks of every photo that I take. Those building blocks consist of 3 techniques, two of which are at the heart of just about every photograph that I take.
If you want to take better photos, then this section on techniques will provide you with a set of skills and knowledge that will allow you to grow significantly as a photographer.
Here I provide a brief outline of each, and in subsequent videos I go into details.
Placement is a simple but critically important technique that will help to drastically improve your compositions, particularly if you are a beginner. These techniques help you to engage your intuition and gut instinct with the discipline of composing your images.
Carrying on from the previous video with an example and explanation to make everything clear.
With practice you will be able to use these techniques to translate your emotional engagement into a great photograph.
Separation and placement together are two techniques that are at the heart of every photograph that I take. These techniques are the engine room of my photography, and they should be at the heart of yours too.
By adopting these techniques, you'll be much better able to translate what your minds eye is telling you into creating a compelling, visually appealing image.
These techniques are simple to use and add a subtlety and intelligence to your compositions.
The third main technique that I use to compose my images. Together these three techniques will allow you to much better tune into the environment that you are photographing.
So here it is...the daddy of them all.....one rule to rule them all. If ever there was a great big brute in the world of photographic composition, then this is it.
If the rule of thirds was a person, it would be a very loud, thuggish person that pushed everyone around. No subtlety, no intelligence.....and so on!
But if used cautiously, can be used as a basic building block for composing a shot which you then finesse using more subtle techniques.
Learn all about it here.
A brief roundup of all the techniques and how they can be applied to an image.
Here we go...this is more like it...the truth about the rule of thirds.....it's all revealed here...
The truth, continued....In this lecture I make a really interesting comparision between using my personal techniques that I have taught you in the previous lectures.....and I compare them to using the rule of thirds.
A summary, and how to apply the techniques in the real world...how to spot a composition etc...
One of the things that I do constantly and which has really helped the development of my own photography, is to study the work of others.
In this lecture I'll give you a list of photographers to start off with, you can also add your own....and compare their compositions with your own photographic archive. Enjoying other peoples photos as well as studying them for compositional technique is a very effective supplement to learning and practice.
Visualization is the interface if you like, between your emotional engagement with your environment, and your understanding of your camera and processing capabilities - that when all combined - allow you to see the final finished photograph in your imagination (or your minds eye), before you press the shutter.
There are two types of visualization in my photography. Here I will teach you a kind of pre-visualization....
The second type of visualization that I use is more spontaneous and can be used anytime and anywhere, with a smartphone, or an expensive DLSR.
This means that you can take landscape photographs in the middle of the day too.
As you will have learnt from the previous lectures, compositional techniques are transferable between all genres of photography. In this exercise you will do what I do all the time, and that is to photograph things and places that you may consider to be ordinary.
Honing your photography skills is very important, and will allow you to capture that scene-in-a-million when you are on that trip of a lifetime.
To make sure you capture those moments in the future...you need to do this first.
Lines are really important in photography. Nature provides perfectly straight lines as well as quite wobbly lines too....here you will learn how to harness the power of the line in a visual sense.
I will teach you how to use leading lines and incorporate them into better and more engaging compositions.
More real world examples with clear concise and easy to understand explanations.
Vanishing points, leading lines and horizons...are all objects, just like people, cars and mountains are objects, that can be placed in your photograph using my conventional placement and separation techniques.
Here I explain all this in detail. Experience a new way of dealing with these compositional elements.
Symmetry is a lot more than you think. This is where you get to place objects in the middle of the frame....with perfect results every time....
Here I explain why and how you can place the subject of your photograph in the middle of the frame, whilst not having to break any rules......these techniques make the rule of thirds seem so yesterday!
All you need to do is follow your instinct....your gut instinct, and all I will do is show you a very simple technique (another one) that will help to significantly improve your photography
Nature and town planners don't always provide us photographers with leading lines....so how else do we depict depth in a photograph....well, you'll have to enroll to find out!
Using visual contrast with layers to make looking at your images even more compelling.
There is a unique quality about having people in your photograph....it is so simple and effective in making your images more interesting.
Improve the visual appeal of your images by adding people and other living things to your compositions. It may sound strange, but once you learn how a person affects an image....you'll want to rush out and test this straight away. Probably.
Scale is one of the most simple compositional components, but so effective in creating visual appeal in an image. In this video I explore the capabilities of this powerful mechanism.
More examples and explanations of how to incorporate scale into your compositions.
It's an alternative to the vignette....coaxing the eye to the part of the image that you want the eye to go to....
Some more examples with explanations....
How to apply the frame within a frame compositional component to a panoramic shot.
Whether you shoot square format or from a smartphone or DSLR, all these techniques work equally well.
This is an overview of what compositional styles are. They add another layer of creativity to your compositions, and they all dovetail nicely with the techniques and compositional components that I have already taught earlier in the course,
These styles give you creative ideas that allow you to apply your newly learnt techniques, and create even better images.
Whether you are exclusively a golden hour photographer, or you enjoy taking landscape photographs at any time of day, these styles will help to prise open your creativity.
Just a quick video to say thankyou for taking the course and other things.....
I am a spontaneous photographer. And I only truly know what I like after I’ve seen it.
You know, it’s that moment that we all have from time to time when we say something like; “…wow…I bet that would make a good photograph..!”. Those are moments that we all have, whether we are a professional photographer or a dog walker on a blustery day with a smartphone…
For me though, When I get my photos home I have to decide whether I want to sell them at art and craft shows, or whether to publish them on social networking sites, or whether to send them to picture libraries for licensing.
I got into photography as a backpacker and cycletourist. So I started learning without the aid of the internet or photography magazines. I found that I really enjoyed the process of taking photos, and when I got home I found that my photos were liked by everyone I showed them to, too!
My photographic style developed naturally and I learnt how to photograph spontaneously in new places (as a backpacker) as well as to plan ahead for that killer landscape or long-exposure beach scene.
My images are regularly licenced around the world for use in advertising and also for editorial use in newspapers and magazines. They are also sold as high quality limited edition prints, open edition prints and greetings cards and have been sold many thousands of times in this format. I am constantly updating my collection of images.
My images have been used by hundreds of businesses, including the BBC, advertising agencies both large and small such as Saatchi and Saatchi. As well as National Geographic Online, National Geographic Traveler magazine, all the major travel guide books, The Guardian newspaper, The Times, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Washington Post…to name but a few.