Just finished the most difficult but also the most rewarding course I’ve taken in a long time: Photography foundations: composition.
Regarding the why – I really enjoy photography, but I have no formal training. I see something I like, and I take a picture with my little point-and-shoot. I’m not interested in lenses and apertures and f-stops and all that. So for a long time I looked for a course that would focus on content, not on technique. This course is it!
Regarding the how – it is a self-learning course available from the LinkedIn platform. You have to pay for a subscription, but then you have access to many hundreds of online courses.
Here are the learning objectives:
- Looking versus seeing
- Understanding when and why to use black and white
- Analyzing lines
- Arranging the elements into lines and shapes
- Working with perspective and symmetry
- Changing focal length, camera position, and depth
- Dividing rectangular frames into thirds
- Weighting the corners in square pictures
- Composing photographs of people
- Composing landscape photos
- Working with light: direction, texture, and negative space
- How to shoot color
- Guiding the viewer’s eye
Here’s the contents of this course:
- Understanding composition
- Composition fundamentals
- Shooting best practices
- Balance revisited
- Workshop: finding light
- Guiding the viewer
- Workshop: foreground and background
- Workshop: exhibition
It’s a rather long course (5 hours and 29 minutes) – I spread it out over several weeks because there is literally too much material to digest. I’d study a chapter and learn something, then spend a few days thinking about it and trying things out with my camera.
Final thought: these are one of those courses that I’ll probably come back to again and again – and that’s a nice feature about LinkedIn, after you take a course it is still available and you can go back and watch the videos as often as you like!