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Photographic Composition Workshop: Framing and Subject Placement

  • 5 days ago · 2:45 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

This is a field workshop - we will be going out and taking pictures, not sitting in a classroom.

Composition is the heartbeat that gives life to a photograph and sustains it. Framing in the camera's viewfinder is the glue that holds everything together. 

But what determines how we frame the subject and where we place the subject in the frame?

We'll also examine how to reinforce our principal subject and make it dominant, through repetitive elements and similarity, as well as the use of contrasts, to make bigger and bolder visual statements.


You choose the lens you'll use. I want you to decide on the viewpoint you'll take in your compositions. Leave the flash and tripod home.

What is it about this skyline shot that draws our eye to the scene?

We can't see the birds' features, yet we're drawn to the shot. Why? Also, notice how the goose on the left balances the composition against the triad on the right.

The patterns in a butterfly's wing are an immediate attraction. Why is that?

The repetitive vertical elements hold our attention. What's more, the buildings in the foreground (left/middle) appear to have a tactile texture owing to the fine pattern of windows. But does the dramatic sky rendering serve as distraction or does it bind the shot together?

Compare the above two shots of a hawk on the watch for prey. Note the difference in subject placement. Which do you feel is more effective?

What makes this shot of the two kids work? What do you notice first?

Which of the two above shots do you prefer and why?

Where does your eye come to rest in the above shot? (I should point out that I shot numerous exposures, many with more kids, but I chose this shot - the first in the series, as it turns out.)

What's the first and last thing your eye sees in the above shot?

Let's start a discussion of these pictures before we embark on this workshop field trip to the streets of Chicago to capture our own dynamic compositions.

©2016 Jack Neubart. All rights reserved.

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  • Serj

    I'm here now

    5 days ago

  • Mahmoud

    I have to opt out for today, I won't be able to make it on time. However I'm still very interested in this topic and hope we can have another session on framing and composition soon.

    5 days ago

2 went

  • Jack N.
    Photography Instructor, Organizer,
    Event Host

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