Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: Composition Course

Five Ways to Improve Your Eye for Composition

Here is another post to get you seeing and shooting better. There is no doubt the best thing you can do is to practise your photography, that doesn’t mean practising taking great pictures it means learning by repeating techniques so that when you really need them you know them by heart. Imagine you were learning the piano you wouldn’t just sit and play pieces you would practise well do the same with your photography.

This article on Digital Photography School By: Andrew S. Gibson should help you by giving you some specifics to concentrate on

An eye for composition is one of the things that elevates the work of the best photographers above the rest. One of the best ways to learn about composition is focus on applying one idea at a time. You can treat it as an exercise that will help you improve your composition skills, the same way that piano players practice scales. Here are five ideas to get you started.

#1 Use a single lens

Lenses have an enormous influence on the look of a photo, and the best way to learn exactly what effect they have is to spend some time using just one lens. Ideally it would be a prime lens, but if you have a zoom you can use a piece of tape to fix the lens to one focal length (some lenses have a locking switch you can use instead).

If you use a single focal length you will become intimately acquainted with its characteristics.

While it is useful to own multiple lenses, the ability to switch from one to another may mean that you don’t get to know any of them very well. This exercise helps overcome that tendency.

Improving Composition

Improving Composition

 #2 Work in black and white

Improving Composition

My favourite recommendation for learning more about composition is to work in black and white.

Colour is such a powerful element that it dominates most photos. It becomes more difficult to see and appreciate the underlying building blocks of composition liketexture, line, pattern and tonal contrast. Take colour away and all these things become easier to see; once you are aware of them, you can start using them to improve the composition of your photos.

For example, in the black and white photo above, did you notice the shapes in the photo? I’m referring to the white rectangle of the cinema screen (yes, that’s what it is), the shapes of the Chinese letters and the diamond pattern in the stones on the ground. All these things are easier to see in black and white.

Do you want to see the next three ideas…..go here

New Photography Courses Dates released for 2012

We have just managed to arrange the dates for the new term, our next series starts in January and runs through until the end of March, here is the list of courses and dates running next term. Full details are on our website, here is the link

Understanding Your Digital SLR:start dates:11.1.12; 30.1.12; 3.3.12; 7.3.12; (Saturday morning)
Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera     – starts: 27.2.12
Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements – starts 22.2.12  6 sessions,
Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts  2.2.12
Portrait Photography: – starts: 1.3.12
Intermediate Photography – starts: 24.1.12
Black and White Digital Photography – starts 6.3.12
Travel Photography  starts spring term
One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 22.1.12; 19.2.12; 25.3.12; 29.4.12
Most courses are 4 sessions one per week, (Photoshop and Intermediate Photography are 6 sessions) all run on consecutive weeks from start dates. 1 Day DSLR is a  one day course, there are 4 dates this term
To book a place please send us an email with the course title and start date you wish to attend.

©Stephanie Arnold – Intermediate Photography Course November 2011

© Bruce Wilson – Travel Photography Course November 2011

© Richard Rogers – Composition Course November 2011