201: Composition

Teach a pho­tog­ra­ph­er com­po­si­tion, and give them a life­time of beau­ti­ful photos” 

Brief Description 

Composition in photography. Ladder against wall near the Dali Museum in Catalonia.

Learn how to improve the composition of your photos without relying on stuffy “rules.”

This course intro­duces new pho­tog­ra­phers to sev­er­al tech­niques for devel­op­ing the abil­i­ty to iden­ti­fy a poten­tial­ly strong pic­ture and then orga­nize the graph­i­cal ele­ments to cap­ture a great pho­to­graph. Our goal is to train the way you think about pho­to­graph­ic com­po­si­tion with­out the con­straint of rules.

$105 • 3‑hour course • Lim­it­ed to 6 stu­dents • Pro instructor



This 3‑hour photography composition course presents the following:

  • A brief overview of how our minds process visu­al infor­ma­tion (and why this hin­ders compositions)
  • Tech­niques for iden­ti­fy­ing and defin­ing your subject
  • The impor­tance of per­spec­tive, focal length, and expo­sure in con­trol­ling sub­ject scale and prominence
  • For­mat, frame dynam­ics, and cropping
  • Sub­ject place­ment for more strik­ing pictures
  • How to visu­al­ize and design bet­ter photographs
  • Easy short­cuts for imme­di­ate­ly improv­ing almost any photo


Com­po­si­tion is one of the essen­tial fac­tors in cre­at­ing a com­pelling pho­to­graph. A good com­po­si­tion starts with under­stand­ing your sub­ject and scene and find­ing an effec­tive way to assem­ble those visu­al ele­ments into a cohe­sive whole using a cam­era and lens. 

New pho­tog­ra­phers often have trou­ble with both parts of this process because how our minds process visu­al infor­ma­tion is incom­pat­i­ble with the pho­to­graph­ic medium. 

This work­shop intro­duces you to sev­er­al rule-free tech­niques to over­come the psy­cho­log­i­cal bar­ri­ers to ide­al pho­to­graph­ic com­po­si­tions. You will learn about effec­tive meth­ods for iden­ti­fy­ing your sub­ject and giv­ing them scale and promi­nence with the help of your cam­era place­ment and lens. You will dis­cov­er how cam­era for­mat and sub­ject place­ment can change frame dynam­ics and sub­se­quent crop­ping. You will learn about using your mind’s eye to visu­al­ize bet­ter pho­tos before tak­ing them. And you’ll be intro­duced to sev­er­al easy tech­niques for improv­ing almost any pic­ture in short order, even after tak­ing it. 


Important Details

Meeting Locations:

One of two loca­tions depend­ing on the time of year and weather.

April – Novem­ber: In front of The Roy­al Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music.

Decem­ber – March: The Allen Lam­bert Gal­le­ria inside Brook­field Place, just by the RBC Domin­ion Secu­ri­ties facade.

Accepted cameras:

  • All brands of dig­i­tal cam­eras are accept­ed for this workshop
  • This course is designed for DSLR and mir­ror­less inter­change­able lens cam­eras, and enthu­si­ast com­pact cameras.
  • Con­tact us if you’re unsure about your camera’s suit­abil­i­ty for this workshop.

What to bring:

  • Cam­era and lens
  • Bat­tery (ful­ly charged)1If you’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in more than one work­shop, please bring either your bat­tery charg­er or a sec­ond bat­tery to ensure you can oper­ate your cam­era through­out the day. 
  • Mem­o­ry card (emp­tied)
  • Cam­era manual

What to wear

Most of our pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops fea­ture out­door exer­cis­es to apply the the­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts into prac­tice. Mon­i­tor the weath­er fore­cast and ensure you dress appro­pri­ate­ly for the conditions—especially on cold days.2Please note that the lithi­um bat­ter­ies pow­er­ing your cam­era may exhib­it dimin­ished pow­er out­put in cold con­di­tions. When sub­ze­ro air tem­per­a­tures are fore­cast for the day of your work­shop, we rec­om­mend bring­ing two or more cam­era batteries.

Cancellation and refunds 

Satisfaction guarantee

We want to ensure that you ful­ly under­stand the mate­ri­als cov­ered in our pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es. If you aren’t com­plete­ly sat­is­fied with your learn­ing expe­ri­ence, please let your instruc­tor know imme­di­ate­ly after your work­shop con­cludes. We’re more than hap­py to address any points of con­fu­sion on the spot or to offer you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to repeat the same work­shop on a future date (pend­ing availability).


Our full can­cel­la­tion and refund pol­i­cy is found in the Terms of Sale. The fol­low­ing sum­ma­ry is for your convenience:

  • We accept can­cel­la­tions for a full refund up to four (4) weeks in advance of your ini­tial­ly-sched­uled course.
  • We accept sched­ule mod­i­fi­ca­tions up to sev­en (7) days in advance of your ini­tial­ly-sched­uled course.