Understanding Composition

Understanding Composition - Workshop Description


4 February – 11 March 2015
Wednesdays 6-9pm


The elements of photographic style, and the best practices of visual design, allow you, as a photographer, to extract meaning from the scenic chaos that surrounds you, and to compose and capture images that guide observers on how to best look at them, determine what they’re about, and judge why they are deserving of attention. Great composition elevates the enjoyment and understanding of a person, a place or an idea, and creates a more impactful and resonant experience for yourself and others, for now, and into the future.

As a student of photography, being able to deconstruct how an image is conceived and organized, gives you a starting point for understanding photographic work that is not immediately accessible. Being able to get at the choices and intent of any photograph is fundamental to growing your appreciation of what a photograph can be, and to move beyond like, and not like.

Mastering composition will be a life-long pursuit, an on-going discipline that starts with deep understanding and successful application of “the rules”, and evolves, through rule-breaking and boundary-pushing, into an approach to making images that is identifiably your own.

Understanding Composition will provide an opportunity for you to pursue that deeper understanding of compositional elements, rules and best practices, through studying the work of other photographers, reviewing your own work, and then applying what you learn.

The course takes an in-depth look at the stylistic building blocks – line, shape, colour and neutrals, texture, tones and tonal range, contrast, depth and perspective, and differential focus - as well as the best tactics for making meaning – the frame, aspect ratio, field of view and viewpoint, placement, focus, foreground/background relationships, negative space, colour saturation and temperature, to name a few.

Weekly assignments

There will be weekly assignments.

Photography skills

  • Understanding the basic elements and best practices of visual design and organization in images, including what makes photographs unique from all other visual art forms

  •   Being able to deconstruct composition in images in order to understand them better

  • Assessing the quality of composition of your past work

  • Applying the principles in new work

Registration Information

Dates: 4 February - 11 March 2015

Sessions: Wednesdays 6-9pm

Location: To be determined

Cost: $275

To register: Contact Susanne at susanne.ure@gmail.com to confirm your participation and to receive payment instructions.