Ultimate Photography Composition
3.5 (4 ratings)
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Ultimate Photography Composition

Take Your Photography From Good to WOW With Confidence
3.5 (4 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
26 students enrolled
Last updated 2/2017
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 8 Articles
  • 34 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn and Understand the "Rules" of Composition for Dynamic Photography.
  • Develop Your Artistic Vision.
  • Apply your new knowledge of creative composition throughout the course.
  • Transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.
  • Understand how the "Art of Photography" transforms what you see and learn how to capture it with your camera.
  • See the world differently through your camera's viewfinder.
  • Bind structure, balance and dynamics together to transform them into a photograph.
  • This course takes you on a photographic journey and encourages you to explore your creativity - all without PhotoShop. You are in control of your camera and I'll take you from "Good" to "WOW." You won't look at photography the same way by the end of this course.
View Curriculum
  • A Camera. Any Camera. DSLR, Point & Shoot, Mobile Phone.
  • A desire to be a creative photographer without Photoshop.
  • Ready to learn strong compositional skills.
  • Knowledge of your camera settings - exposure, aperture, iso.
  • Any level of photographer.

Photography is about the frame you put around an image, yet the story does not end there.  Your photo goes beyond the frame, through a kind of intuition.  It captures the gesture of a particular moment and conveys a message through careful targeting and emphasis of certain key features.  It says "Look!  This is special."

To make your photography special you need to understand composition, which IS the essence of photography.  Yes, exposure, aperture and ISO are important, but it is the composition of your photos that will make people take notice of your images and remember them.

When you create a composition there are countless possibilities.  Learn how to make certain decisions creatively and with accuracy.  There are nine key elements utilised to achieve stunning photo composition and I take you through them - step by step.  You'll have plenty of practice and plenty of opportunities for constructive feedback.  And, I've simplified the content of the course so there are no fancy photography terms to remember.

If you are looking to improve your photography from Good to WOW, then join me for a creative photography journey.  

Who is the target audience?
  • Aspiring photographers wanting to master photo composition.
  • Anyone with a basic knowledge of their camera - Any Camera!
  • Beginner to amateur, to novice to hobbyist. If you know how to click the shutter button, you are a candidate for this course.
  • Anyone wanting to learn photography without Photoshop.
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Curriculum For This Course
50 Lectures
Introduction to Ultimate Photography Composition
3 Lectures 09:06

Photography is a creative field of study.  Wouldn't it be great if we could power on our cameras and magic happens?  It doesn't work that way.  In fact, you are the creative one and not your camera.  It is your creativity we need to tap into in order to create magical photos.  This course is designed for you to explore the possibilities.

Preview 02:45

We begin our journey into Mastering Photography Composition.  Composition is the essence of good photography. Fantastic!  But, what does this mean?  In simple terms, composition is defined.

Preview 02:37

In order to take amazing photos, you need Visual Knowledge.  You need a strong visual knowledge of photo composition and photo composiiton does not have to be complicated.  Yes, there are rules of composition but there is no need to be overwhelmed by them.

Let's Not Complicate Matters
Composition Rule One: Simplicity
11 Lectures 26:55

Your camera does not discriminate when you point your lens toward a subject, so you must "tell" it where the focal point should be.  You are the creative decision maker and your camera is merely a tool.  We will discuss the importance of simplifying a scene for the best results.

Why Is Simplicity In Photo Composition Important?

Clutter in a scene is not a photographer's friend.  A viewer's eye needs a place to go (or a focal point) when viewing your images.  Understand why clutter is not good and learn how to avoid this common photo composition mistake. 


Viewing other photographer's work is an ideal way to learn how the elements of photo composition are used effectively.  Through a series of images we explore when clutter is bad and when clutter is good.  Sometimes clutter can work to achieve a nice composition despite what the rule tells us.

Good and Bad Clutter Examples

Strong shadows with a deep contrast of dark and light can lead to a strong photo composition.  Shadows are almost everywhere.  See firsthand how effective use of shadows and light can elevate the composition of your photographs.

Shadows Examples

It is time to put your knowledge of simplifying a scene and shadows into practice.  Test your understanding of Shadows and Simplifying in photo composition with this creative composition challenge.

Composition Challenge: Shadows Exercise

Silhouettes are easy to achieve simply by placing your subject directly in front of a light source.  Silhouettes make your subject simply bold and are often used as a good storytelling tool.  In this lesson we take a look at various examples of silhouettes and how they are used to achieve a good photo composition.

Silhouette Examples

Take your knowledge of silhouettes and put them into practice with this creative composition challenge.  Capture images utilising the element of photo composition called silhouettes.

Composition Challenge: Silhouette Exercise

We often identify with textures because we know how most rough and soft surfaces feel by touch.  Textures can be useful to photographers when telling a story or conveying a particular message.  In this lesson we take a look at a variety of textures and discuss how they can be used in combination with other elements to achieve a strong photo composition.

Texture Examples

The Texture Composition Challenge puts your knowledge of textures into practice.  Find an interesting texture to create a creative portrait.  Try to convey a message combining a soft or rough texture with your subject.

Composition Challenge: Texture Exercise

Our brains react positively to repetition and repetition go hand in hand with patterns.  A pattern simply means something that repeats itself over and over again.  What's more is patterns can be found almost everywhere you look.  We explore various patterns and how they are used to cleverly achieve a strong photo composition.

Patterns Examples

Have a look around where you are at this very moment.  Do you find a pattern?  Choose a pattern - any pattern - then take a series of photographs while testing your knowledge of how patterns can be used to achieve a nice photo composition.

Composition Challenge: Patterns Exercise
Composition Rule Two: Fill Your Frame
3 Lectures 11:12

You will gain a better understanding of why filling your frame is important in photo composition and how to achieve this.  We will view photo examples showing both too much empty space and getting closer to a subject.  See the difference and grasp the idea that less clutter creates a larger impact.

Why and How To Fill Your Frame

Filling your frame equals a larger impact.  We take a look at both good and bad examples of Filling The Frame.  Why does too much space in an image ruin an otherwise good composition?  See the answer firsthand and view strong compositions that utilise filling the frame nicely.

Preview 05:08

A few steps forward toward your subject or zooming in with your camera can result in stunning photos.  Test your understanding of Filling Your Frame in photo composition with this creative exercise.

Composition Challenge: Filling Your Frame Exercise
Composition Rule Three: Horizontal vs Vertical
3 Lectures 07:44

How often do you think to turn your camera vertically?  Many photographers think holding the camera horizontally is the only way to capture a photo. In fact, our cameras are designed to encourage a horizontal orientation.  We explore which aspect is best.

Horizontal vs Vertical

Unsure whether horizontal of vertical is best?  Try both!  View an example with details to understand how both aspects  work.  Ultimately, it is up to you to decide and your decision is based upon the story you want to tell.

Horizontal vs Vertical Examples

Is every photo destined to be shot horizontally?  Test your understanding of when to capture a photo horizontally and vertically in this creative exercise.  We simply use both orientations.  The truth is one must create a habit to think to turn the camera.

Composition Challenge: Horizontal vs Vertical Exercise
Composition Rule Four: Avoid The Middle
3 Lectures 11:36

Learn to avoid the common mistake of putting your subject in the middle of your photographs.  Many photographs do this.  Balance can be achieved simply by being off-cantered.  We explore the notion of moving away from the middle to achieve visual balance.

Preview 03:17

Make your photos more interesting by shifting the balance away from the middle.  View a variety of examples with details to understand why avoiding the middle works.  A simple "fix" can correct a common mistake and lead you to strong photo compositions.

Avoid the Middle Examples

Test your understanding of balance in photo composition with this creative photo challenge.  Take a series of photographs to show you fully understand how moving your subject away from the middle will strengthen your photo composition.

Composition Challenge: Avoid The Middle Exercise
Composition Rule Five: Leading Lines
3 Lectures 11:02

Understand the importance of lines and how to use them.  Lines can be implied by the direction a person looks or deliberate and they control the way people's eyes move around a picture.  Leading lines can draw a viewer right into your photograph which is good because this involves them.  Leading lines help to create a strong photo composition.

Help Your Viewers Know Where To Look

Lines can be important compositional devices.  View examples of photographs with a strong use of leading lines - both predictable and unpredictable.  See firsthand how implied and deliberate lines lead the eye through a photograph and help to achieve a strong photo composition.

Leading Lines Examples

Challenge your understanding of leading lines in photo composition with this creative photo challenge.  Choose an obvious leading line or one implied to achieve a strong photo composition.

Composition Challenge: Leading Lines Exercise
Composition Rule Six: Dutch Tilt
3 Lectures 08:39

Understand how a mere shift in position and/or focal length can introduce drama, movement and even uncertainty in a photograph.  When you use emotions effectively in a photograph, your composition strengthens tremendously.  Learn how slightly tilting your camera can produce strong photo compositions.

Preview 02:21

Using Dutch Tilt with a simple shift of your position or the position of your camera can make a huge impact in photographic composition.  View a variety of Dutch Tilt examples to see how this technique can effectively transform an ordinary photo into a great storytelling image.

Dutch Tilt Examples

Test your understanding of the use of the Dutch Tilt Technique in photo composition with this creative photo challenge.

Composition Challenge: Dutch Tilt Exercise
Composition Rule Seven: Space to Move
3 Lectures 08:38

Sense of movement (Space to Move) can be achieved by having more space in front of your subject than behind it..  Learn how to effectively use a sense of movement to strengthen your photo composition.

Creating A Space to Move

View detailed examples of photographs that utilise the Space to Move (Sense of Movement) technique.   Understand why the use of sense of motion works to stengthen photo composition.  This simple technique will take your images from good to wow.

Space To Move Examples

Test your understanding of how Space to Move (Sense of Movement) can strengthen your photo composition with this creative photo challenge.  Create a series of photos utilising the elements we have discussed thus far in the course.

Composition Challenge: Space To Move Exercise
Composition Rule Eight: Backgrounds
3 Lectures 11:23

Understand how all parts of a photo can be used to make your subject stand out in a strong composition.  Additionally, learn to incorporate other rules of compositions - such as simplifying a scene and filling the frame to achieve an even stronger photo composition.  You can not eliminate backgrounds, but you can control them.

Look At The Whole Picture

No matter how dull the background might be, you can use it to your advantage.  View various examples with detailed information to better understand why backgrounds play an important role in photo composition.  See firsthand how backgrounds are controlled effectively to achieve great results.

Controlling Backgrounds Examples

This creative photo challenge will test your understanding of the use of backgrounds and controlling them to achieve a strong composition.

Composition Challenge: Backgrounds Exercise
Composition Rule Nine: Color
3 Lectures 10:31

Creatively use contrasting or complimentary colors to strengthen photo composition.  Color is everywhere we look whether you love bold bright colors, muted colors or monotones.  Train the eye to seek color in almost any scene to create striking photographs.

Creativity With Colors

Simplicity, patterns, filling the frame and color.  Bring them all together into one photograph and see how it all works together for a compelling photo compostion.  View a variety of examples with a detailed explanation to understand how color can bring a photograph to life.

Use of Color Examples

Test your understanding of the use of color, simplicity and filling your frame to achieve a strong composition with this creative photo challenge.
Composition Challenge: Color Exercise
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About the Instructor
Creative Learning Classes
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61 Students
3 Courses
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