Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Composition and Seeing Shapes

photo by Carol Luallin

Each week the photography class finds one or two important controls on the camera we already own and use.  We learn something about the basic concepts of photography like aperture and depth of field.  We also concentrate on one of the visual elements.  For week two students looked around them for shapes and tried to use the rule of thirds.  

We have seen and accepted the unique shapes of things all of our lives, but have probably not thought a lot about it.  It's one of the things you start to notice when you're trying to learn to take better pictures.  Looking at the world through a viewfinder gives you some edges to contain your vision.  It gives you some boundaries to compare things to.  It makes you look at things in a different way. 

I encourage my students to change their pictures to black and white so that we're not distracted by all the shiny colors.  Lines and shapes and textures are often easier to emphasize without the color.  Save your original color file, change it to black and white and rename it, and you have both.  

Even if you don't have image editing software like PhotoShop, you can do basic cropping and editing in Picassa, which is free.  It's made by Google and is easy to find on the web.  Look at your world with new eyes, and share your vision with someone else.  You are an artist.

 photos by Jessica  Beethe

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