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Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 100 of 107

Quiz: Visual Balance


Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 100 of 107

Quiz: Visual Balance


Lesson Info

Quiz: Visual Balance

Okay, so this next section "Visual Balance" might be the strangest thing you've ever experienced in a photography class (chuckles). Because I think photographers are very good at visually assessing a scene, and deciding, you know, what a good balance is. I need to compose a little bit over here, to make sure that it's balanced properly. And so this next quiz is gonna give a lot of you the opportunity for making lots of points for your team. 'Cause what we're gonna be doing here is we're gonna be doing a visual balance pop quiz. All right? And so this is gonna be something that is my favorite type of test, which is "don't think, just react." Just want your gut reaction for any particular thing. So what we'll do is we're gonna go back and forth between A and B, and it looks like Team A is next up on the batter's box for making decisions. And what I'm gonna be doing is I'm gonna be showing you some visual, and I'm gonna be asking you to vote. And in many cases you'll be voting by pointing...

one direction or the other, and you'll just vote as a group. Sometimes it's up or sometimes it's down. Just hold your finger up or down, and I'll see how you're voting, then we'll take it as a group. You do have six people so I'm hoping-- Oh wait, nope, you have seven. Good, we'll have a majority here. All right, so Team A gets the first one. And it's a pretty simple question. Which box is bigger, the blue box or the red box? If you think the blue box is bigger, point to that side of the screen. If you think the red box is bigger, point to this side of the screen. So go ahead and point up, and it looks like the majority of the people-- Okay, everybody voting? Which box is bigger? The majority of the people are pointing over to the red box, and let's take a look at the comparisons. And they got that correct. Not much difference, but they were able to see it with their eyes so they do get a point for that. So nice job on that. All right, over to Team B, it's the same type question. Triangles now. Is the blue triangle bigger or is the red triangle bigger? And so, you can just vote for yourself, don't cheat, look at your neighbors. And so everybody seems to be pointing over here at the blue. Let's take a look at the blue. And it is amazing at how accurate you are at picking out which one is a little bit bigger. And this is something that I think good photographers are able to (snaps) quickly pick up and do. All right, now, this is a question for both teams and what I'm gonna do, you both have a chance to either gain or lose a point on this one. Team A, I want you to figure out, tell your captain what is the smallest color dot? And Team B, I want you to choose the largest color dot. Tell your captain what you think the largest dot is. Confer for just a few seconds, and then we'll get answers from both of you. Win or lose, one point each. (audience murmurs) Okay, Team A, what do you have for the smallest dot? We're gonna say purple. You're gonna say purple. For the largest dot, what do you think it is? Dark green is our-- Dark green is our consensus. Dark green, okay. So we got the purple and the green, let's see if those end up being the smallest and the largest, if so you both get points. Hey, they both get points, nice job. (audience chuckles and claps) Good job, everybody got a right answer, some-- Everybody's a winner! (everyone laughs and cheers) And so the question for B, help your captain out, will this ball fit between the box, yes or no? Real quick, real quick on this one. (audience murmurs) It will not fit. It will not fit, and it is too big, will not fit. So they get a point for that. Okay, Team A, will the ball fit between the box? (audience murmurs) Yes. We're gonna say yes on that one. And it does, nice job. Okay, Team C, you got one more, this one's off-set, this one's a little bit more difficult. (audience murmurs) Will it fit between the two purple boxes? We think it will fit. We think it will fit. And they get a point for that, nice job. (audience chuckles) Visually, see, we're working with photographers. These are like all right answers in here. Okay, so we're back to Team A, and now, I want you to tell me, and this is a group voting situation, is this on the right side of-- Is this red line on, I guess that would be your left side, or the right side? You tell me which side of the screen it is on. Point to which side of the screen it is on. Just Team A. Okay. (everyone laughs) They all looked at you and gave it away. And so let's see if they're right. You're absolutely right, by quite a bit. And so that was an easy one. Now I gotta be honest with you, the first time I did this, I was testing some of the creative live crew, and they're some sneaky people here, and they were looking at the middle of the screen going, "Oh, that's where the logo is--" (audience chuckles) "--And so I decided okay, you wanna play that way, here's our new game, all right?" (everyone laughs) Now, Team B, you point to the side of the screen that you think that red line is on. It is on one side or the other. It looks like everybody's pointing over to the right-hand side of the screen. And you're absolutely right. Okay, back over to Team A, let's try up and down. Is this on the top half of the screen, or is this on the bottom half of the white open area? Point your fingers, individually. Everybody vote. So we got a lot of fingers pointed up. And you are correct, but just barely. (audience murmurs) And this is good that you're able to pick up those tiny little differences. Okay, next up, we got Team B, is this on the top half or the bottom half of the screen? Looks like we got everybody voting down on this one, but only just a little bit so. Okay, back over to Team A. I want you to tell me which one of these crosses is in the middle. So give your captain a vote of what color you think is in the middle. (audience murmurs) One of the crosses is in the exact middle of the screen. We're gonna say blue. Blue. And blue is exactly spot on, that's good that you can really find that center point. Okay, it's gonna be the same question, but which one of these arrows is pointed to the middle of the open white area here? Tell your captain your vote. The yellow four, please. The yellow four. Spot on, man, I gotta make these questions harder! (audience laughs) All right, let's try another one here. Getting the horizon level is very important, okay? So I want you to point to the side of the screen that is higher up. If there-- Which one, which side is higher? So everybody's pointing over to the left-hand side, and it is indeed higher by .5 a degree. So that's how far off you're judging that there. So let's go over to Team B here. Which side is higher up, the left side or the right side? Looks like everybody's pointing over on the right side. And it is indeed higher up by .2 of a degree. Isn't that amazing how accurate these people-- I mean, pretty much everyone's right on with it. Okay, back over to Team A, we've got lots of points we're giving out here. All right, will these lines, when they're extended, will they make a parallel line? And so, if you, on Team A, if you think it's gonna make a parallel line, give me a thumbs up. If you think they're not gonna be parallel, give me a thumbs down. And just go ahead and vote. So we have, oh, let's see, I gotta count this. We have a-- Okay, we have a majority of one, two, three, four, one, two, oh wait! I think it's split. Is it split? (audience chuckles) It's split even-even! Aw man, okay, no points awarded because it goes even across. And so you didn't lose any points. (everyone laughs) Okay, Team B, a little more difficult on this one. Will this make a parallel line. Is this gonna make a nice track, even track? I'm seeing a vast majority going down on that one. And so that's correct, these are not parallel, they're offset by one degree. All right, back over to Team A. Will these two lines intersect before we get outside the white box here? And so, what I-- give me a thumbs up if you think they're going to intersect. Or a thumbs down if they're not gonna intersect in the white box. And so, intersect, one, two, three, four, five. So you guys are saying that it is going to intersect. And it does, so they get the point. Okay, now let's do another one of these. Will this intersect in the white area? Give me a thumbs up if it will intersect, thumbs down if it's not going to intersect. (audience murmurs while hosts laughs) Okay, so we've got-- Give me your thumbs up or thumbs down so we're getting one, two, three, four, five. Okay so we're saying it's gonna intersect. And-- (audience groans) Not quite! So this is one of the few ones we've missed-- (audience chuckles) -on this one, but it was close. Okay, back over to Team A. This is just kind of a test just to tell you which one of these is heavier. And these are exactly the same units, 'cause I'm measuring these and I'm telling you which ones are heavier. So I'm gonna be asking you on the next one, which one has more volume to it, all right? And here is your first one, so point to the side that you think is heavier. Which one is gonna weigh down on this and be heavier? Which one is bigger and has more space? And go ahead, point in one of the directions. And so I'm seeing lots of votes to the right here. So their vote is to the right. And that is correct, and volume-wise it's 50 units versus 40 units. A fairly big difference there. All right, let's try this again for Team B. Which one of these is heavier? Point to the side that is heavier. All right. Point for yourself, just judge, don't think, just judge. Okay, so we have lots of people pointing over to the right-hand side. And that is indeed the heavier one, so they do get a point for that. 55 to 50 units, so it's about a 10% difference. And you're visually picking this up yourself. All right, so this is a double question. One for Team A, one for Team B. And Team A, I want you to figure out what the lightest colored white dot is, which letter. And Team B, I want you to figure out what is the darkest of these white circles. So talk to your captain real quickly. So for Team A we're going for the lightest color, what do you think-- The lightest is B. B, and over here? D. B and D, so let's see what we get. B is the lightest, D is the darkest, 100% white versus 70% white. So you guys are very good at picking up tonality there. Let's try that again. Let's go with Team B going for the light side and Team A going for the darkest spot. So I want the lightest one and the darkest one. (audience murmurs) And so Team B, what do we have? D. D, and? C. D and C, let's see what we have. D is the lightest, C is the darkest. 95% versus 80% on the darkest, very good. Okay, who was the last team that I asked an individual question of? I'm trying-- I'm losing track right now. Does anyone remember? (audience murmurs) [Off-Screen voice] I think it was B. It was B, so we're going to A on this one. Okay, A. So what are there more of? Raise your hand if you think they're red, on Team A. Raise your hand if you think it's blue. Okay so a lot of you think it's blue. So you guys vote blue, are there more blue dots? And there are indeed more blue so they get a point on that. And so this is a quick, gut reaction. And so Team B, get ready for your dot challenge. Are there more blue or more red? If there are more red, raise your hand. More blue, raise your hand. So you guys are voting red. And you are correct. By just one. And I encourage you all to go to the county fair and judge how many gumballs are in the Volkswagen. (audience laughs) All right, we got a few more of these. All right, Team A. Are the blocks on the left gonna make a box bigger than that? If so, say "yes," no, say "thumbs down." Okay, most everyone is saying yes, it's gonna make something bigger than the box on the left. And it indeed does by two boxes. Okay, same thing for question B. But this time I want you to point to the side of the screen that has more parts and it's gonna be bigger. What's gonna be bigger, the left or the right side? Okay, so they're all pointing over to the right-hand side. And that does indeed have more parts by a couple of pieces. Let's go back to Team A, what's gonna make it bigger? Left side or the right side? Which one's bigger? Everybody vote. Everybody's pointing over to the left-hand side. Just assessing what's bigger. You guys are really good! I gotta make these things harder in the future. Maybe I'll make them harder right now. Okay. (everyone laughs earnestly) Okay, Team B, point to the side that has more parts to it. Gut reaction stuff. Okay, a lot of people pointing over to the right-hand side. And they're indeed right, just one more. Okay, let's make this really tough for Team A. Oh, man. Gut reaction, which side has more boxes? Just give a point. We got a lot of people pointing over to the left-hand side. And so what you're judging is density, how good are you at judging density? And so I think we have now completed our final quiz. Let's check in on our board and see how we're doing. We have a lot of points there. I'm not gonna count them up, but I can tell that Team B has won by a few points. But I do know, in this last quiz that you got virtually everything spot on. And I think it's amazing at how close photographers are at figuring out just the smallest, subtle visual differences. I mean well, that's what we do, we're judging visual things, we're getting horizons right, we're judging how big a subject needs to be in the foreground versus the background by where we need to be. And I think these types of games are good for photographers to play. I have no proof of this actually working out. (audience laughs) But it feels good, doesn't it feel good? (audience murmurs agreeably) It feels good, I mean, if nothing else, it boosts your confidence. I can judge these things really easily!

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Photographic Characteristics
  3. Camera Types
  4. Viewing System
  5. Lens System
  6. Shutter System
  7. Shutter Speed Basics
  8. Shutter Speed Effects
  9. Camera & Lens Stabilization
  10. Quiz: Shutter Speeds
  11. Camera Settings Overview
  12. Drive Mode & Buffer
  13. Camera Settings - Details
  14. Sensor Size: Basics
  15. Sensor Sizes: Compared
  16. The Sensor - Pixels
  17. Sensor Size - ISO
  18. Focal Length
  19. Angle of View
  20. Practicing Angle of View
  21. Quiz: Focal Length
  22. Fisheye Lens
  23. Tilt & Shift Lens
  24. Subject Zone
  25. Lens Speed
  26. Aperture
  27. Depth of Field (DOF)
  28. Quiz: Apertures
  29. Lens Quality
  30. Light Meter Basics
  31. Histogram
  32. Quiz: Histogram
  33. Dynamic Range
  34. Exposure Modes
  35. Sunny 16 Rule
  36. Exposure Bracketing
  37. Exposure Values
  38. Quiz: Exposure
  39. Focusing Basics
  40. Auto Focus (AF)
  41. Focus Points
  42. Focus Tracking
  43. Focusing Q&A
  44. Manual Focus
  45. Digital Focus Assistance
  46. Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF)
  47. Quiz: Depth of Field
  48. DOF Preview & Focusing Screens
  49. Lens Sharpness
  50. Camera Movement
  51. Advanced Techniques
  52. Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance
  53. Auto Focus Calibration
  54. Focus Stacking
  55. Quiz: Focus Problems
  56. Camera Accessories
  57. Lens Accessories
  58. Lens Adaptors & Cleaning
  59. Macro
  60. Flash & Lighting
  61. Tripods
  62. Cases
  63. Being a Photographer
  64. Natural Light: Direct Sunlight
  65. Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight
  66. Natural Light: Mixed
  67. Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  68. Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  69. Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  70. Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  71. Quiz: Lighting
  72. Light Management
  73. Flash Fundamentals
  74. Speedlights
  75. Built-In & Add-On Flash
  76. Off-Camera Flash
  77. Off-Camera Flash For Portraits
  78. Advanced Flash Techniques
  79. Editing Assessments & Goals
  80. Editing Set-Up
  81. Importing Images
  82. Organizing Your Images
  83. Culling Images
  84. Categories of Development
  85. Adjusting Exposure
  86. Remove Distractions
  87. Cropping Your Images
  88. Composition Basics
  89. Point of View
  90. Angle of View
  91. Subject Placement
  92. Framing Your Shot
  93. Foreground & Background & Scale
  94. Rule of Odds
  95. Bad Composition
  96. Multi-Shot Techniques
  97. Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction
  98. Human Vision vs The Camera
  99. Visual Perception
  100. Quiz: Visual Balance
  101. Visual Drama
  102. Elements of Design
  103. Texture & Negative Space
  104. Black & White & Color
  105. The Photographic Process
  106. Working the Shot
  107. What Makes a Great Photograph?


a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!


Dear John, thanks for this outstanding classes. You are not only a great photographer and instructor, but your classes are pleasant, they are not boring, with a good sense of humor, they go straight to the point and have a good time listening to you. Please, keep teaching what you like most, and I will continue to look for your classes. And thanks for using a plain English, that it's important for people who has another language as native language. Thanks again, Juan