Foundations of Composition
with Susan Grimes or Lisa Benemelis
4 WEEK WORKSHOP BEGINS JUL 23
$300 Full Participation | $150 Study Along
Learn the fundamentals of composition in this four week course.
We will examine some of the basic rules of composition and apply them with weekly assignments designed to help you begin to think critically about your images. You will learn how to use basic compositional considerations such as the rule of thirds, perspective, leading lines, depth, and framing to create visually interesting and strong images. Weekly discussions will help students understand how minor changes in the composition of an image can affect the mood of the image as well as the viewer’s perception. This course also includes several videos on composition and creating stronger images.
All students need to have a solid understanding of exposure. We recommend Mastering Manual Exposure if you need a refresher.
what you’ll get
4 weekly lesson PDFs (formatted for print or on-screen viewing) covering different techniques to make your compositions stronger
DAILY INSTRUCTOR-LED Q&A
Full participation students engage in instructor-led discussion and Q&A for daily interaction and support. Study along students have full viewing access.
INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT FEEDBACK & CRITIQUE
Full Participation students receive extensive personal critiques of weekly assignment submissions.
Study Along Students have full viewing access.
VIDEOS ON COMPOSITION
This course includes several videos to clarify the compositional techniques covered in the materials
EXAMPLE IMAGES FROM SEVERAL PHOTOGRAPHERS
One of the benefits of the textbook course model is that the concepts are explained with examples from several different photographers (different genres)
Shooting threads that help students stay on task and practice the concepts each week
The Rule of Thirds
When Centering Works
Following the Gaze of the Subject
Horizontal vs. Vertical Compositions
The Edge of the Frame
Limbs: Where to crop, where to avoid
Anticipating the Crop
One image four ways
Framing and Creating Depth
Aperture and Depth
Focal Length and Depth
Filling the Frame
Framing/Filling the Frame
Triangles and Circles
Patterns, Repeating Elements & Symmetry
Using Color Intentionally
Moving the Viewer's Eye Around the Frame
Diagonal Lines, Triangles, and Vanishing Points
Shooting From Above, Eye Level & Below
Perspective and Distortion
Working Distance and Perspective
Forced Perspective and Photographic Illusion
Light and Shadows
Changing Your Perspective Intentionally
as seen on instagram
"This is the course that woke me up to observing life around me in a whole new way. I found myself finding “attractive” moments that previously I would have missed. And I started to learn the secrets that change snapshots into “real” photographs."
about your instructor
This textbook-model course offers students a dynamic learning environment due to the collaborative nature of the materials. Each run will consist of one instructor (Lisa Benemelis or Kristy Dooley) although the course PDF and videos will draw upon examples from both (as well as several other instructors) to illustrate specific points.
how it works
download weekly lessons
Each week, students receive a set of course materials, which generally include a PDF and instructional videos. All course materials are yours to download and keep.
Your workshop registration includes access to a private online forum for sharing and discussion. The classroom forum is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.
study & ask questions
Study on your own time, and check in on the classroom forum for interactive learning. The instructor is present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement.
complete weekly assignments
Students receive an assignment to complete each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and builds upon class discussion throughout the week.
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive critique each week.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.