The biggest, and most obvious difference between amateurish looking photography and outstanding photography is good composition. If you want to improve your photography, there is nothing more important.
A photographer who is not very good with composition is not a very good photographer.
Composition is the arrangement of everything in an image
into an aesthetically pleasing, interesting or compelling
result. Good composition helps you visually communicate and
helps maximize the impact of your photos.
Composition may seem difficult because every photographic situation is different and there are no fixed rules to follow. The "rule of thirds" tries to simplify things and is a good place for a novice to start, but it's just one simple approach. There are plenty of other ways to successfully compose an image. This course takes the mystery out of it and helps you understand what composition is really all about. You don't have to have a background in art. Anyone who completes the Emory Program will come to understand composition. Even advanced photographers will find food for thought to compare and help refine their own approach.
Advanced composition requires complex visual thinking.
This course simplifies that process into words which anyone
can understand and use.
The first photo to the left is of Little River Canyon. Even
though there are several miles of canyon rim to drive along
and explore, getting an exceptional photo is not easy. Most
visitors stop at the most accessible places, point their
camera down into the canyon and come away with mediocre shots
that all look pretty much the same. This photo was taken, not
because of spectacular subject matter, but because of
interesting structural content. Structural content includes
line, shape, color, value, texture, and form. (If you haven't
read the section on "content" you should go back and read it before starting
the composition lessons).
The way to start an exceptional photo is to find an
interesting, beautiful or unique subject and present it
through a good composition.
Selecting interesting subject matter and structural content
is the first step. How well you arrange it determines whether
you have an ordinary photo or an exceptional one.
Shooting landscapes is an excellent way of learning to
compose because composition is the primary tool for enhancing
the beauty of nature. It is often more important than content.
If your compositions are weak, your photos will be weak, no
matter what the content. On the other hand, if your
compositional skills are strong, you can sometimes get good
pictures from ordinary content like a pile of leaves.
Each photo leads to a lesson. It is important to click the first photo to start the lessons.