This is probably one of the most comprehensive videos we’ve seen on the topic of composition. Though it was made with the intent to help out CGI artists, the advice educator Andrew Price dishes out to us in the 30-minute tutorial can be applied to just about any creative work, especially including photography and cinematography. Price is able to teach visual artists the foundations of composition as well as some more advanced techniques, making this video a useful tool for all skill levels of photographers.
The Foundation Of Good Composition
Price does such an excellent job of explaining things in his video that I won’t go into to great depth, but here are a few key points that are covered in the clip:
- Focal Element – Having a subject in a photograph may seem like an obvious necessity, but quite often photographs are taken where there is no focal element to provide a sense of purpose to the image. Focal elements can be any number of things such a face, a person, an animal…They can even be intangible objects such as areas of high contrast or a shallow depth of field which works to draw the viewers eye to a specific part of the image. Price further explains in the clip how you can add further interest to your focal element by understanding leading lines, geometry, and framing.
- Structure – During this segment of the video Price delves into all those “rules” we so preciously adhere to such as the rule of thirds, symmetry, the golden ration, pyramids, and utilization of the full frame. Of course, rules were meant to be broken and sometimes it’s fun to think outside the rule of thirds, but a good photographer should have a solid understanding of the rules before they set out to intentionally break them.
- Balance – For the last segment of the lesson, Price talks about finding a balance in your photos that ensures “the visual weight of the image is balanced.” One of the ways he recommends going about this is by assessing the values of light, saturation, and contrast in your photo. You also want to make sure that the objects (faces, figures, etc) inside of your photo don’t overpower each other so much that they take away from other important elements in your photograph. I can see a lot of this information being useful in post production, but the beauty of having a solid foundation in the rules of composition is that you’ll have the instinctive foresight of applying them in camera rather than having to hack up your photos in post production.
Again, I urge you to take a look at the video as Price goes into great detail about the above mentioned processes along with some other great bits of advice. The clip also provides the benefit of giving you lots of great sample images to use as visual learning tools. Very helpful! Take a look…
[ via Reddit ]
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