Composition is the organization within the frame of a photograph. While this is a simple idea, in practice it can be challenging to know exactly where to position your subject, and move the viewer’s eye around the entire image. This course will teach students how to use design and composition strategies successfully to strengthen the visual impact, originality and narrative in their photographs. Each week we will examine in detail design elements and principles such as rule of thirds, focal point, repetition, framing, vantage, scale, depth, motion, contrast and negative space. Additionally, creative and aesthetic choices don’t end when you press the shutter, there are many opportunities in post production to enhance the inherent design and composition of a photograph. The class will also explore how tonal and color adjustments in Lightroom and Photoshop can impact the focal point, rhythm and unity of a photo. Students are encouraged to take risks with their photographs, and to “think outside of the box”. Whether you are a beginning photographer interested in learning composition to improve your image making skills, or an experienced photographer who wants to break out of old habits, this class will improve your photographic eye.
Note: Lightroom or Photoshop are helpful additions for this class, but not required. Snapseed is a free/inexpensive photo editor that is also an option for students.
Victoria Mara Heilweil is a nationally exhibited photographic artist, curator, and educator. Her photography transforms the mundane into the sublime. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 1995. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, Intersection for the Arts, Southern Exposure, RayKo Photo Center, Pro Arts and PHOTO Gallery in the Bay Area; wall space gallery and Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum in Southern California; University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico; Minneapolis Photo Center; Visual Arts Center in Portsmouth, Virginia; and Washington Square Art Galleries in New York City. She has also created public and community-based artworks in conjunction with the ZERO1 Biennial in San Jose and the Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. Heilweil was selected as an Artist in Residence at the de Young Museum in 2015.View Gallery »