Compositional Awareness

New Workshop for December 2020 just announced. Check out the website for all the details. 

There’s still spots left in my Denver one-day printing workshop.

And don’t forget my Oregon Coast Workshop!

Guest Introduction.

Today I have David Long once again joining me. David, welcome to the show.

Listeners may remember you from a while back when we talked about winter photography in New England. That was from November 2018.


Today wanted to talk about Composition, and in reality, I maybe should call it “thought processes” on making images, or “thought processes on composition.” We’re also going to weave in some stories from the road. David, you’ve been a busy traveler lately. Tell us a bit about that first.

St. Augustine, FL. 

Beach photography, FL landscape, birds, moon rises, Milky Way items too.

Holland, tulips, canals, windmills. There during third week of April.

10 days on CA coast. 

Northern NH. Waterfalls and Wildflowers workshop.

Going to Iceland soon. Going with 5 people.

“Composition,” to me, almost seems like an overused word. Yet it’s so important to keep these things in mind as we head out to make great photographs.

What compositional idea would you like to start us out with today?

(David’s first item to talk about, does not have to be part of the list below)

Focal point of the scene.

Available elements found in the scene.

Other compositional points to ponder in no particular order: (would love to weave in some of your recent images as examples of how you approach these following items, I’ll do the same where possible)

  1. Emphasis of the idea you’re trying to convey, how does this idea inform your compositional decisions?
  2. Understanding visual weight
  3. Understanding balance, symmetrical and/or asymmetrical 
  4. Different ways to control eye movement of the viewer
  5. Seeing like the camera, reconciling the differences in the way a camera records a scene with how we experience it, and being able to convey that in the final image, screen or print.
  6. Telling the story, an image should tell a story and if it does, it will finish the goal. No tried and true tricks, just something to practice.

Where can they find you online:

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