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Lesson 11 from: How to Get Started in Nature Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

11. Compositon

Next Lesson: Q and A

Lesson Info


I'm not going to go into the normal composition that I normally would not going to talk about rule of thirds and directing lines I'm just going to talk about two basic concepts for you and the first one is horizontal versus vertical and a lot of people are used to shooting a certain way and that's because our cameras are designed for shooting landscape photographs in the sense of horizontal in fact, you know it's kind of funny is that you you go to your computer to print a document you can choose landscape or portrait and I always look at that kind of funny because I think most of my landscapes are often shot in portrait and you know, just because it's in that mode that isn't how you said necessarily shooting and here's why a lot of my landscapes are in the portrait mode if you think about a wide angle lens, we're back here at horseshoe ban twenty four millimeter lands is going to see seventy four degrees from side to side and fifty three degrees on the short side when you flip it vert...

ically it allows you to stretch from the foreground to the background ah longer distance and you could you're able to seymour in front of you and one of the biggest mistakes the amateur photographer makes this they go oh there's something interesting way over there I'm going to take a picture of it snap and the professional photographer will say that's a very interesting subject over there but what greater story can I tell was there something here in the foreground some flowers some rocks trail something that can bring the viewers I threw a little sweep of the photograph telling a little bit of a story rather than making just one statement and so using that vertical allows you to stretch a little bit further so the two obvious reasons to shoot vertical is it you have vertical subjects and there are frankly a lot of vertical subjects thanks to trees there's a lot of vertical subjects out in the world and so don't be afraid of turning your cameras on the side one of my favorite cameras is the fuji x t one and the reason I like it is because when you turn it vertical all the shutter speed aperture information switches so that you can read it without having to look on the side and read it sideways and I hope more cameras do that in the future but the other reason to go vertical is it allows you to add foreground subjects into your entire landscape and this is going to make a more complete landscape adding an omen in the front as well as an element in the back second part of composition is just some very simple framing tips all right so I'm gonna give you seven tips on framing first off fill the frame you know in this case I really couldn't do much with where I could stand and how he could shoot this particular subject I was very limited so I'm going to fill the frame and I'm not gonna go all the way to the edge I'm gonna have a little bit of space around the edges but I'm just going to go and fill the frame the next thing to do if you're not going to fill the frame is on ly ad supporting elements you have to be hyper critical of everything that you have in the photograph saying does that belong there now with nature photography you probably shouldn't say I don't like that there I'm gonna go move that you know you're gonna have to find a different position in which to shoot where that element is nazi next is avoid the middle of the frame when you can it's hard to do on verticals I had to look pretty hard to find something where it's not somewhere in the middle of the frame but play around a little bit move the main key point of the subject a little bit off to the side next show the best part of what you're shooting you don't have to show the top of the water falls you don't have to show the bottom where it falls into a drainage ditch beside the side of the road alright not nearly as interesting when you don't show everything it adds mystery, and we all like a little mystery it's okay, not to tell a complete story from time to time. One of the things that works absolutely best is simplicity. Simple shots worked very, very well. They tell a clear story. They tell a and have a very clear message. So what can you do to take the simplest photograph possible, solve the visual puzzle? If you like puzzles, you'll probably like nature photography, because as you walk around, you're going to see pieces and you're not going to be sure of how they fit together and where they are. This is actually a reflection it's upside down. I've rotated around, you know, just there's, a puzzle and everyone's going to have their own interpretation of how to put this puzzle together. And there really is a chaos of activity going on out there and it's going to be a matter of you finding that simple little area that makes sense. And so hopefully those seven tips will help and folks, that is how you get started in nature and landscape photography.

Class Materials

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Nature and Landscape Course Notes

Ratings and Reviews

Danette Zak

I got this course for free thru View Bug and John Greengo is an amazing teacher. He explains nature photography with a sense of ease and he really makes you want to get out there and keep trying to get THE photo, that the day you go out there may not be the right day or right time, but to keep trying and you'll get it! He also encourages you to get out there to the same places other great photographers have been and make it your own, to get your own experiences. Yes, I recommend this course and any courses he instructs, I hope to take another one of his courses in the near future!

a Creativelive Student

Very instructive! And John Greengo is a great teacher. He knows very well how to go deeply without putting you in a difficult situation. I have followed almost all of his courses, and this one is one of the best! Don't hesitate if you are a beginner or even and advanced photographer interested in Nature photography.

Vilius Senkus

Perfect class, loved it. Short, concentrated, nice examples, pasionate speaker. Just want to grab my cam and go apply new knowledges.

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