Photography, Lensing, and Composition

First a conversation about composition:
What is it? (Explain the concept of composition to Dumb Dave)
Why does it matter to you, the VGD student?
How do you judge 'good' composition from 'bad' composition?

Photography Composition


Rule of Thirds (also 'crashpoints')
Balancing Elements (dead space)
Leading Lines (guide the eye)
Symmetry and Patterns (expectation and subverting it)
Viewpoint (where do you place your audience? screen psycology)
Backgound (sense of place and mood. Contribute? compete? juxtipose?)
Depth (foreground, midground, background)
Framing (animation: 'flow lines')
Cropping (what matters and what doesn't)
Experimentation (feels like someone really wanted a 'top ten' list. I'd go with "cookies" instead)

also, an additional resource:

Robert Townsend: Contrasts


In all cases ask: What is the point of the composition? Who is your audience and How do you want your audience to feel?

Activity 1: 
Go to the content section for the class and download the folder 1040_Composition. Using PureRef viewer (portable version). Experiment with cropping the provided photos with the above questions in mind. First time using PureRef? Here's a quick Cheatsheet: About PureRef
Review as a class the results. 30 min.

Activity 2: 
Students go out and photograph 4 images. Common sense is a good guide when choosing what to photograph, but here are some legal guidelines to start with. Return to class and then crop/adjust the photos in PureRef using effective rules of composition. Hand your results as a .pur file into the folder Section 1 - Comps. (no zip files please) 60 min.

File should be named <Last>_<First>_Comps.pur (eg. Latour_David_Comps.pur)

For additonal fun try these suggested themes: Joy, Despair, Curiosity, and Love. 

Camera Angle and Lens Length

A brief discussion of Focal Length and how this relates to the next exercise.
If your eyes start doing this you should probably join the X-Men. Their mansion is shown in the bottom of this picture

Activity 3: (for next class)

In the Maya file provided there are two objects placed in a simple environment. The scene contains the scenery of a simple diner restaurant which is locked. The only two objects that the students can move are a statue of a dragon and a mechanical pencil

This exercise consists in placing the two objects in the scene and taking three (3) screenshots that show the two objects as the point of focus. Students will have to consider the placement of their subjects and camera carefully as the two objects are of substantially different sizes. Lighting is fixed and students are not allowed to change it. This is essentially an exercise in virtual photography.

Hand in will be as follows:
3 images named <Last>_<First>_01.jpg  "02.jpg and "03.jpg
(eg. Latour_David_01.jpg)