Friday, April 1, 2011

All About Composition - Week One of my Photography Class

I started a photography class last Saturday at the local community college and am so excited about it.  I feel like it's a great opportunity to learn so much.  Our classes start with an hour of lecture followed by an hour of taking pictures and then an hour of question/answer.  Afterwards we are given a homework assignment to work on throughout the week.  This week's assignments were fences and a self portrait. 

Here are some of the things I learned in my first week:
  • Always allow your subject to fill the whole picture.  The campus has some beautiful tulips out front that I was able to take a picture of during our hour of photos.   I talked to the teacher about them and his emphasis was on the composition of the picture - always double checking for the best lighting, focus, and background.  It really made me think more about it when taking pictures.

  • For our fence assignment, the teacher wanted us to capture a fence that went from left to right.  He also wanted us to shoot it in black and white so that we could concentrate on the composition of the picture and not the colors.  There is a fence on the way to Gunter that always catches my eye so I took a picture of that one.

The interesting thing about this picture to me is that when I took it, the composition went from right to left.  The teacher gave us a great tip in class though that Photoshop allows you to flip a picture horizontally.  I was able to change the fence to make it look as if it is going from left to right.

  •  The self-portrait!  This was a tough one.  I decided to go outside in our back yard and try to take a picture of myself laying on the ground.  I put a flower where I wanted my eyes to be so I could focus the camera on that point.  And then once I started the timer I would try to get in the right position.  I tried several different positions in the sunlight, different distances from the camera, and different angles to turn my face to get the most flattering picture.  Honestly I didn't get any I liked but I thought it was a great assignment because it made me think of so many things - getting the focus right, the lighting, how should my hair lay, how should my face be turned, what angle should I shoot at...there is a lot that goes into portrait photography for sure.  I debated about whether to post my self-portrait because I didn't like the finish product but here it is...

Tomorrow's class is about portrait photography.  I can't wait to learn more!!!!


  1. Neat, Carrie! I know I will learn from your posts. Be sure to keep 'em coming! :)

  2. I'm learning too! I'm so impressed with how much you're absorbing so quickly.

  3. I love the clarity, composition and colors in these shots (and the balance of black and white in the fence photo). You nailed it on these! I can't wait to find out what you learned in your portrait class!


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