Introduction to Composition

We will learn to use line, mass, value (tone), contrast, color, and selection consciously in the creation of your images.

A big part of the photographer’s art lies in one’s ability to organize the visual chaos of the visible world. You learn to clarify, simplify and present your environment with intention and control. Here, we will learn to go way beyond “taking pictures”, accepting whatever “comes out of the camera”, and move to “making photographs” through your careful looking at your subject before shooting.

Reflect on the concept of selection and looking at the edge of the frame to consciously decide what to include and not incude in your image. Appreciate light and form and how that is central to your work for this class.

Edward Weston used his 8″x10″ camera to photograph this small green bell pepper set in a simple wooden bowel by window light. Notice how he moved in, and filled the frame with the form of the pepper. The simple elegance and direct presentation of the pepper has transformed it from a mere description of an ingredient in tonight’s dinner to an image that is transcendent.


Pepper, 1930 Edward Weston
Cole Weston print


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