Looking is not seeing - Engaging with the world as a photographer means we need to keep not only our eyes open, but also our mind and soul.
Photographing the world means making statements about it, and if we want our statements to be meaningful we need to fully absorb what is around us, understand the way it affects us and then explore ways to communicate that effectively through photography. This is why learning to see, and learning how the camera sees, will not only make you a better photographer, but will make you live in a more intense way.
Photography is a vehicle for ideas, messages, concepts and feelings. In order to convey them we use the visual language. As with spoken languages, the visual language can be learned, as it is ruled by visual grammar and syntax; this we know as visual design.
Composition, as Edward Weston put it, is “the strongest way of seeing.” Once you have identified the message or concept you want to communicate with your image, good composition will make optimal use of the visual design in order to transmit the idea to the audience as clearly and effectively as possible.
Tone and color are the origins of all visual design. Tonal and color contrast help us see edges between elements and create the secondary elements of visual design that will be covered in this e-Module. Points, lines, shapes, textures and depth are the raw materials and building blocks of all visual artists who use the visual language in order to transmit their messages, concepts, feelings and emotions. Each of these secondary elements have their own characteristics, and in this e-Module we will study how to use them effectively in our photographic work.