Ok so this week there are a few points to touch upon, and I'll be moving at a fast pace and trying to give a decent overview. Make sure you take note of any questions or things that don't make sense whilst going through the material, and we can chat about it at either the hangout or meetup. Also don't be afraid about asking questions if you don't quite get something. I would much rather you ask something and then understand it than go quietly and not be satisfied with what you got out of this class.
So to start with let's talk about composition. Basically creating a good composition is just composing the elements of your scene with in a frame that provides a good experience for the viewer and is a strong way to communicate your message. There are often many solutions to creating an effective composition, and that is the reason why we thumbnail, to explore many solutions to find the strongest. When you boil being able to create a successful composition down, it just comes down to experience. You need to develop a feel for what works and what doesn't and the only way you can develop that is by trying many different ways. The best way to study techniques in composition is to take some time, look at images, how they are composed and break down why they work.
There are many design principles that we can bring to the table when composing our frame, and throughout this weeks content I'll introduce you to a few principles I feel are extremely important and give some thoughts along the way too.
Positive & Negative space
Firstly the concept of positive and negative space is basically talking about the shapes that our objects of interest in our composition make (positive space/shapes) and their relationship to the less important space around them (negative space).
Perspective is one of those things that seems to do peoples heads in. Basically, the main rule for perspective is, the further something gets from you, the smaller it appears. In drawing the relationship of this
First, two point, three point, foreshortening (relationship to the eye). A handy tip for studying perspective, is to get some images of landscapes, interiors and cityscapes; take them into photoshop or under some tracing paper, and draw in the vanishing lines.
If the terminology I’ve been sprouting in relation to this topic is completely foreign for you, please look to these videos for some clarification.
If you are relatively new to perspective, one point is the place to start. Basically one point perspective is where you focus solely on one vanishing point (the point in the distance where edges of an shape point towards)
For those who are a little more advanced with their perspective, you should start focusing on pushing your understanding by introducing more vanishing points. 2 point is the next stage.
But once you feel confident with this, you can start messing around with the angles of the objects in your images, and create more than 2 vanishing points. for example, if in the video ( <---- that one), one of the buildings was rotated say 30 degrees, the edges of the building would have different vanishing points than any of the others. Something to practice with your own studies.
Aerial view one point
Just a small video to show how one point perspective can be applied to an aerial image.
Rule of thirds, Golden ratio, Triangle Framing and moving the eye.
There are a few common compositional principles that when applied, often create pleasing proportions to the eye. Two of the main ones utilised are the Golden Ratio, and the Rule of Thirds
The golden ratio is a great guide for movement and placement in a composition. Like with most of these compositional techniques, you don't have to know the science or psychology behind why they are effective if you don't want to. They can just be good devices to play with to come up with interesting composition.
Rule of thirds
The rule of thirds has to be one of my favourite devices for framing. It is so versatile and applicable.
One tip with experimenting with the rule of thirds is to play with moving ojbjects through the points of intersection, and see what happens when you place them just off the point of intersection. I will go through some of these ideas in this weeks online catch up.
Framing with Triangles
I'd never actually heard of this device before, but in searching for the triangle of interest (another principle, which I will just have to show in the online catchup), I stumbled upon this.
It's quite a great little concept, and is recognizable in so many images I've seen.
This little video introduces the idea of using linear devices into a composition to lead the eye around the frame. leading lines don't have to be necessarily 'lines', but can be any device that moves through a frame drawing the eye along with it, toward a point of interest.
So as we move towards designing our image, there are a few ways to explore getting our concepts out in the thumbnailing stage of things. I personally work two ways, First way is to explore in line, the next is to explore in solid shape (which I prefer doing on photoshop personally). This little video gives a great demonstration in to using simple geometric shapes, to implement flow and to structure a composition. Just some food for thought.
So I was unsure for a little while what best to give you guys in terms of an exercise for studying perspective. There is great merit in sitting and studying a space/room/building and trying to develop an understanding of how perspective is at work.
But it came to me whilst doing one of the online catch ups this week that another great method of studying perspective is to have a go at creating perspective on imagined forms. I do this all the time on paper, just focusing on manipulating forms in 3D space. The objective of the game isn't to have a beautiful picture, but to focus on developing a deeper understanding of 3D form and improving your imagination to the point where you can visualize things in 3D space.
So follow along with the exercise underneath, I apologize for the low quality production value, but it was a bit of a rush to get it out and I didn't bother editing it.
Here's a small video demonstrating how to set up a perspective grid for 2 point perspective in photoshop using the line and transform tools.