Beyond the Rule of Thirds - A Masterclass in Better Composition

Sure it's easy to put off watching a video that isn't under five minutes long. Sometimes you just have to make an exception, and the weekend is the perfect time to do it. In this video, David Brommer talks about not only the rules of composition, but the theory behind the rules we all know and how they relate to our way of seeing. He takes us through the history of painting (which is the best possible thing to study for composition) and how it relates to every single image we take.

Beyond the history of composition, David also goes into great depth on the other elements that affect your composition - negative and positive space, leading lines, figure/ground relationships and ultimately how to create an image that punctuates into our subconscious.

For additional reading, check out Fstoppers' Ultimate Guide to Composition Part One and Part Two.

Via Reddit

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Sean Shimmel's picture

My hurried test...

I randomly skimmed and landed on several bits and was impressed by the examples and commentary on each and every one. I will go back later and give it more time.

Sean Shimmel's picture

One time I broke down one of my image into its geometric parts (that sounds so coldly analytical!) just to better see what's jiving in a given composition. Great exercise.

Take a peek:

Dana Goldstein's picture

It's interesting that he should reference "Dovima and the Elephants," because Avedon said that since he did not make sure that her white sash was flowing out to the side, "...for me, this image will always be a failure." He discusses the image in depth in the PBS American Masters docu on him, which is available in its entirety on YouTube.

Michael Rapp's picture

The greater the artist, the less critics cared about the atist's own conception of his(her) work.
The classic fine art painting is full of "failures" from the masters which fetch six digit bids at auctions.
(btw, I consider "Dovima and the Elephants" one of the greatest fashion shots of all times -
usually, you tend to weaken the background lest it not overplays the main subject.
Unless, in case at hand, the strong background *reinforces* the even stronger foreground/ main subject and makes her stand out even more.

Dana Goldstein's picture

It's one of my favorites too, I'm just passing along what Avedon said about it. The masters also have higher standards than the rest of us.