The Art of Composition is a 7-week course that will draw from examples in all genres of fine art photography as we analyze, critique, and explore compositional unity in visual art. At the start of the course, students will be given transparency grid layouts in various aspect ratios to use on their camera LCD screens as a starting framework from which to compose their scenes. The use of grids is only the beginning! Other elements of composition will be introduced in order to build layers of organized thought and craftsmanship into your work. You will practice capturing the world around you with a discerning eye. Next time a scene entertains your curiosity you will have the skills to maximize its compositional potential.
This course is designed to have classroom lecture presentations and in-class, “hands-on” lab components. In-class labs will explore Portraiture, Still Life, Landscape / Architecture, and Street Photography. All homework assignments are submitted digitally for in-class critique and a printing session will be held on the last day of class as a showcase of your work.
A preview of the topics covered in this course:
• An analysis of works from photographers, painters, and filmmakers
– What do Henri Cartier-Bresson, Johannes Vermeer, and Wes Anderson have in common?
• Studies and assignments in 3:2, 4:5, 4:3, and 1:1 aspect ratios
– Using aspect ratios beyond the traditional 35mm frame (3:2)
• Gestalt Theory
– Psychological principles that make sense of chaos and help us organize visual space
• Beyond the Rule of Thirds: an introduction to Dynamic Symmetry
• Perspective depth and contrast
– Translating our 3D world onto a 2D surface
• Controlling and redirecting light in post-processing
– Dodging and Burning to empower our work and direct the viewer’s attention
• Still Life and Portraiture photography as compositional studies
– Studio projects where you control every pixel of your photographic canvas.
• Landscape, Architecture, and Street Photography
– What to do when you can’t control elements of the outside world.
• Color Theory and Color Editing in Adobe Lightroom CC
• Film emulation and film color palettes
– What makes Kodachrome a classic color film?
A basic working knowledge of Adobe Lightroom CC is highly recommended comparable to having completed Photo 1.
I have learned how to transition from being a snap shooter to becoming a photographer! I learned why my good pics are good and how I can plan, with intent to set up and take better shots. Take this course to become a photographer. The instructor is deeply knowledgeable, engaged, and generously gives his time to ensure everyone understood and could apply the concepts he presented, all in an amazingly support way. I am glad I took this course and look forward to the next in the series.
Excellent class. Nobody ever wanted it to end! I think we all learned and grew so much, and enjoyed every minute. It was exhaustive and compelling. Great instructor who was always open, kind and willing to offer support.
Chicago Photography School
Thank you for your review! We are happy that you enjoyed the class!
After reading all the glowing reviews above all I can say is ditto, ditto, ditto…it’s all been said. Thanks, Jeff!
This class is a must. Through Jeff’s masterful mix of instruction, practice and critique you will learn to see how shape, line and color work together to create powerful, dynamic compositions. Each class begins by exploring compositional techniques of great artists and photographers. In-class exercises and homework assignments expertly lead students to apply compositional theory in the studio, in nature, and on the streets. Jeff leads compassionate critiques to help students explore ways to improve their images. Jeff is a master teacher who gives his time generously. This class is transformative and inspiring. Seriously — don’t miss it!
Seriously, you NEED to take this course. If you’re comfortable with the technicalities you learned in Photo 2 and you’re on speaking terms with Lightroom, then you’re ready to tackle the third leg of your Photography Triangle–Composition. How you’re going to compose your shot to give yourself the best chance of saying what you want to with your image is something that you need to consider every time you look through that viewfinder. Jeff does a GREAT job: he’s articulate, knowledgeable, and FUN! You’ll learn why images are appealing and how to enhance those aspects in your own work. Along the way, you’ll be introduced to a fascinating array of photographers and tackle creative assignments for in-depth critiques. When Jeff is done with you, the world will NEVER look the same to you again!
I learned so much in this class. I knew in advance that we would learn about dynamic symmetry grids and how to apply them in our work. But we learned so much more — looking at the work of contemporary and past master photographers in a variety of genres, experimenting with still life photography, portraiture, and the use of interesting color techniques. Jeff creates time in each class to share student images and for constructive critique. The dynamic in his classroom is warm, open, collaborative, and dare I say, caring. I’m glad I took this class.
Chicago Photography School
Thank you for commenting on the Art of Composition Class and am happy that you enjoyed the class. We are continuing to promote new classes that bring new ideas to the community.
I cannot speak highly enough about this class. Jeff is an excellent instructor with a thoroughly engaging teaching approach that clearly reflects his knowledge of and passion for the material. The class helped me tremendously in getting a better sense for what makes for a “good” image, the interplay between subject and the rest of the frame, the geometry of composition, and how to improve pictures I’d already taken as well as improving how I shoot. Jeff also goes to great lengths to plan each class, which results in efficient, well-paced sessions. Highly recommended.
Chicago Photography School
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