Thursday, February 25, 2010

What makes the image effective?

Our Composition and Perception webinar is coming up! This is a brand new, two-hour course on making your images more effective using principles and theories of perception, and traditional rules of composition.

Here's the information you'll need if you do decide to join us - click on the link for details and registration:

Composition and Perception Webinar
March 14, 2010
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)
$49 per person

As always - RECORDED sessions will be available to students who can not attend the live webinar.

Take a look at the photograph at the top of the post- these are the mud flats at the Mequite Dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA. I've used the gestalt principles of similarity and proximity here - as well as the rule of thirds for the placement of the horizon line and the moon.
This second shot is also from the mesquite dunes - again, the rule of thirds is pretty obvious in this shot... though I chose not to use it for the placement of the horizon. During processing, I tried to make sure that the foreground bush was clearly delineated from the sand behind it... allowing it to take it's place as "figure" in the composition. Sky and sand need to seem separate, but related - and in this case, they work together to create the "ground" part of the figure/ground relationship. Color is a pretty important element of this shots as well - and that's something else we'll be talking about on March 14.
This last shot was taken near Badwater - also in Death Valley. Texture is, perhaps, the most important element here - but notice the leading lines as well. Color is a very subtle element of the image - and because the focus is on texture, this image is an excellent candidate for black and white conversion. The salt flats and the dunes are an incredible place to work on composition.

It's tough to go too deeply into concepts like these in a blog post - but I wanted to give you a basic idea of what we'll be talking about in this upcoming webinar. If you are interested, take a look at the link. We hope you'll join us!

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