Composition Made Easy By David Ziser

1 hr 28 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Join David Ziser as he teaches you how to use an arsenal of on-location composition techniques. Go behind the scenes as David shoots a parking garage, private mansion, and corporate buildings and cityscapes. You’ll learn how to recognize and shoot a wide variety of visual elements to create spectacular, one-of-a-kind compositions. David also shares his personal tips and tricks for camera settings, lenses, and lighting gear that are guaranteed to boost your creative photography.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join David as he introduces the course and goes over the concepts he'll demonstrate through each of the lessons.
Explore your environment to see the shape elements that can be used as complimentary backgrounds for your subject and that work with the lighting you have available.
Scout the location before the subject is in position so that you have time to look for the best compositional elements to use in your shot.
David starts out on the sunny steps using leading lines to create a dynamic composition with Hope as the model before switching to using building shapes to create an executive portrait with Ben (model). Reflectors and off camera flash can be used to layer light on to the subject.
Working in an urban landscape gives you the opportunity to play with shapes, patterns, lines and colors.
The curved seats of an ampitheater demonstrate the power of leading lines to draw the viewer's eye to the subject, while in the next scene the texture of moving water adds energy to the composition.
A series of repeating elements can often create a vanishing point within the frame that can be used as a strong compositional tool.
Pay careful attention to all of the elements that are included in the frame, but don't worry about nailing the shot on the first try. Start shooting, refine your lighting, change your position, interact with your subject, and work toward the composition you visualized in your mind's eye.
The way you light a scene has a big impact on the composition. Watch how David demonstrates how changing the lighting can improve the composition.
David wraps up the course with an example of how centering your subject in front of a symmetrical background can create a truly dynamic composition.
Profile photo of David Ziser

Meet your instructor

David Ziser


David Ziser, an internationally-renowned wedding photographer, has shared his knowledge with tens of thousand's of photographers in five languages and in 14 countries worldwide. Studio Photography acclaimed "Award winning photographer, David Ziser, is showing the world how to take wedding pictures." The Dallas Morning News extolled Ziser ...

David's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Jim Jim

    Was not what I was looking for, but since it was shot locally I kept watching a bit and actually got a lot out of it. I will be looking for more of his courses.

  2. Profile photo of Kaylyn Kaylyn

    Ditto of all other comments. I learned a lot of techniques and a different way to visualize my surroundings. Yes, please post.

  3. Profile photo of Roscoe2012 Roscoe2012

    What a great course, for those of us not familiar with basics of art the leading line and composition parts were great. Also great little tip on the beer coozy.

  4. Profile photo of sudarsankanumilli sudarsankanumilli

    that was brilliant, the best part is there is no time waste in the video and the gentlemen covered everything entensively……wonderful job…best video i ever seen.. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of garyphotopro garyphotopro

    Learning a lot from David Ziser and all the photographers—really great! Thanks for the help! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of evlens56 evlens56

    Very well done, makes many useful points and reiterates them in his different shoots. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of meredithmz meredithmz

    Thank you David for sharing you techniques for getting the perfect shot. very informative it’s my Fav here on Kelby . Give us more David —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of Mark Glick Mark Glick

    Dave was great but speaks way too fast —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of JRivera1 JRivera1

    Amazing. Very detailed oriented tutorial, easy to understand, gorgeous images in hard places made simple! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of Valerie Rothwell Valerie Rothwell

    I always love the way David teaches. Even if I already know about what he is teaching, it always reinforces what I should be remembering. Great video! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Claude King Claude King

    Very good tutorial. I appreciate the fairly detailed explanations about what makes the composition work, as well as examples showing how a composition doesn’t work. Lots of additional tips thrown in along the way. I also appreciated the tips relating to positioning the nose relative to the sun so as to obtain proper lighting on the face.

  12. Profile photo of hooponopono hooponopono

    :) is all over my face. Thank you!

  13. Profile photo of fr8dogphoto fr8dogphoto

    Really liked the last chapter where we got to “build” the lighting. One of the best videos I have watched on Kelby! David did a great job of pausing before he told us what was “wrong” with some of the shots that allowed us to try and find them ourselves first.

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