PHOTO DESIGN BOOK

photodesigncover

I have modeled PHOTO DESIGN after my wildly successful first book on composition for nature photographers. It is currently being taught at art colleges, universities and countless workshops and photography classes and I intend to market this book to the same. This book is for general photographers with specialties of any kind. Please see the Table of Contents and the sample pages below.

SAMPLE PAGES

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SAMPLE COMPOSITION MAPS

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PURCHASE PHOTO DESIGN

PHOTO DESIGN: Image Design and Composition for Photographers is a compilation of 40+ years of image making experience. I started studying composition at about age 10 and I dug through libraries, harassed art teachers, talked with fellow painters, and gleaned everything I could from everyone about composition for years.  It was a grey area for me. And there was no internet back then so I had to travel and make telephone calls for my knowledge.

When I became interested in photography I had to learn how to use a film camera, and then I had to learn all about light and film. And then digital! It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of trial-and-error, and a lot of work to learn it all but here it is, in one book.

 TABLE OF CONTENTS

About the Author 10
About the Book 10
About the Images 10

Chapter One: Design in Photography

11
The Visual Language 11
The Importance of Learning Design 12
Demystifying Composition 12
Communicating Without Words 13

Chapter Two: Photography in American History

14
Early Cameras 14
The Hand Camera 14
Composing the Early Photographs 15
Innovations in Technology 15
Kodachrome 15
The Digital Camera 16
The Selfie 16
Photography as an Important Art 16
Ansel Adams: A Force in Nature 17
The Greatest Assignment 17
The Zone System 17

Chapter Three: The Visual Experience

18
Approaching The Photographic Image 18
Response to Unfamiliar Art and Styles 18
Beauty In Photography 19
Is It Art? 20
Reading Photographs 21
Evaluating A Photograph 22
Artist’s Intent 22
Emotional Impact 22
Evaluating the Light 23
Structure 24
Execution 25
Sample Technical Execution Mistakes 25
Advanced Evaluation 26
Evaluating Black and White Photographs 34
Evaluation Overview 35

Chapter Four: The Photographic Experience

36
The Art Of Observation 36
Visualizing the Composition 37
Individual Expression 38
More Than Seeing 38
Developing A Personal Style 39
Evaluating Your Progress 40
Evaluating Your Photographs 40

Chapter Five: Considerations For Purpose

41
Horizontal Or Vertical Format 41
Final Format 43
Contrast and Size 43
Sharpness 43
Mood 43

Chapter Six:  The Physical Photograph

45
The Frame 45
Edges 45
Mistakes on the Edge 45
Cropping Joints and Limbs on the Edge 47
Image Divisions 49

Chapter Seven:  Designing The Tangibles

50
Organizing The Composition 50
Unity and Balance: A Good Start 50
Subject Matter 51
Define Subject Matter 51
Treatment of Subject Matter 52
The Main Or Solitary Subject 52
Distance and Size 52
Lens Selection 52
The Effects of Distance on Detail and Color 52
Positioning the Main Subject 53
Centering the Subject for Emphasis 53
Dealing with Unwanted Objects in the Scene 53
Subject Placement Techniques 55
Focal Points 60
Living Subjects as Focal Points 60
Focal Points and Balance 60
Focal Points and a Visual Path 60
Multiple and Competing Main Focal Points 60
Lines 61
Straight Lines 61
Vertical Lines 61
Horizontal Lines 61
Diagonal Lines 62
Converging and Diverging Lines 62
Groups of Lines 62
Arcs 62
Curved Lines 62
Zig-zags and Odd-shaped Lines 63
Repetitive Lines 63
Suggested or Implied Lines 63
Creating Fluidity, Movement, and Motion with Lines 65
Tension Created by Lines 65
Shape And Form 66
Shapes and Forms as Structural Elements 66
Texture of Forms 66
Spatial Organization and the Relationships of Forms and Shapes 66
Shapes and Forms and Balance 66
The Emotional Effects of Shapes and Forms 68
Forms, Shapes and Rhythm 68
Forms, Shapes and Unity 68

Chapter Eight:  Designing The Intangibles

69
Light’s Role in Photography 69
The Sun’s Trek through the Sky 69
The Effects of the Sweet Light 69
Reflections: Diffuse and Specular 70
Shadows 70
Direction of Light 71
Front Light 71
Side Light 71
Back Light 71
Top Light 71
Reflected Light 71
Photographing the Effects of Weather 72
Clouds 72
Fog 73
Rain 74
Rainbows 74
Color 75
Basic Color Terminology 76
Analogous Hues 77
Monochromatic 77
Gradations 77
Complementary Colors 77
Neutrals 77
Choose Colors to Influence and Create Mood 78
Creating Color Harmony 78
Color Continuity 79
The Perceived Weight of Colors 79
Space and Depth 80
Negative Space 80
The Picture Plane 82
Line of Sight 82
The Ground Plane 82
Achieving Visual Balance 82
Using the Rule-of-Thirds Grid 83
Using Symmetry 83
Angles And Height 85

Chapter Nine: Popular Composition Styles

86
Bulls-eye Composition 86
Near-Far 86
Layers 87
Close-up 87
Abstract 87

Composition Maps

88
Map One: Multiple Main Focal Points and a Visual Path 89
Map Two:  Lines – Cradle the Subject 91
Map Three: Subject Merge 93
Map Four:  Perspective 95
Map Five:  Supporting Focal Points and Weight Distribution 97
Map Six: Types of Borders 99
Map Seven: Layers 101
Map Eight: Horizon Line Placement 103
Map Nine: Structure  and the Rule-of-Thirds Grid 105
Map Ten: Rule of Thirds Lines and Power points 107
Map Eleven: Value Distribution and Shapes 109
Map Twelve: Harmonious Image Division 111
Map Thirteen: Off-center Placement 113
Map Fourteen: Cool vs. Warm Hues 115
Map Fifteen: Competing Focal Points and Image Division 117
Map Sixteen: Visual Tension 119
Map Seventeen: Distractions 121
Map Eighteen: Organize Basic Elements 123
Map Nineteen: Compare Compositions 125
Map Twenty: Structure and Content Division 127

Glossary

129
Selected Sources 132
Bibliography 132
Books

PURCHASE PHOTO DESIGN

PHOTO DESIGN: Image Design and Composition for Photographers is a compilation of 40+ years of image making experience. I started studying composition at about age 10 and I dug through libraries, harassed art teachers, talked with fellow painters, and gleaned everything I could from everyone about composition for years.  It was a grey area for me. And there was no internet back then so I had to travel and make telephone calls for my knowledge.

When I became interested in photography I had to learn how to use a film camera, and then I had to learn all about light and film. And then digital! It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of trial-and-error, and a lot of work to learn it all but here it is, in one book.

 

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