Composition: The Strongest Way of Seeing, with Rick Sammon

From leading lines and rules of thirds, to patterns, contrast and viewpoint, you'll learn the rules before you break them with amazing tips, tricks and techniques for composing photos that tell stories with feeling!

Composition – What is it? Learn to compose technically and emotionally with renowned photographer Rick Sammon. Take a trip around the world to explore what works and what doesn’t. From leading lines and rules of thirds, to patterns, contrast and viewpoint, you’ll learn the rules before you break them with amazing tips, tricks and techniques for composing photos that tell stories with feeling!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 03:52)

Rick kicks off the class with his thoughts on composition, cropping, and an outline of the topics covered in the class.

Lesson 2: Convey Emotion (Duration 06:42)

Thinking about the end result while you are taking the picture is crucial to creating a picture that conveys a mood and emotion.

Lesson 3: Compose to Tell a Story (Duration 11:47)

Thoughtful composition tells a story by making choices about what is included in the frame and what is left out. Choice of lens, orientation of the camera, camera position, and more are shown to be essential tools for conveying the story you want to tell.

Lesson 4: Make a Picture, Don't Just Take a Picture (Duration 28:56)

Take your photos to the next level by getting involved with creating the scene that best captures the shot you want to create. Talk to the subject, find the best light, change positions, look for the best angles, and fill the frame with just the elements you want to include.

Lesson 5: Elements of a Great Picture (Duration 15:16)

Rick illustrates all of the ingredients, from subject matter to exposure to mood and more, for creating compelling photographs.

Lesson 6: Composition Techniques (Duration 18:05)

Break out a pad and pen to take note of a host of techniques you can put into use right away for improving the composition of your photos.

Lesson 7: It's All About You (Duration 05:23)

Ultimately composition is subjective and we all have unique ways of seeing. Take the lessons learned and find ways to express your own vision.

Lesson 8: Goal Setting (Duration 04:53)

Set goals for the types of shots you want to get before you head out the door so you have time to practice and prepare.

Meet Your Instructor: Rick Sammon

Rick Sammon, a Canon Explorer of Light, has published 36 paper books, including Secrets of HDR Photography, Exploring the Light, and Digital Photography Secrets. Rick also has three apps on…


  1. The instructor was well prepared, knew wanted he wanted to get across and didn't waste time thinking of what to do/say next. Well done. ---- No, I'd keep it between us

  2. This is my 2nd + time going through this course & this time I am writing notes. I can not tell people how important it is to write notes. For me I think watching the course and then go back over it and then write notes works for me but others may want to write notes from start to finish the first times through. Rick is one of the best that explain composition in such detail that I must say when he says you may want to take notes then take notes.

  3. Watching a Rick Sammon video is both entertaining and educational. His simple approach makes everying easy to understand and everything makes sense. I particularly love the little memory joggers - dead centre is deadly, eye to eye, treat your camer like a spaceship and think like a painter. Simple thoughts to keep in your head while shooting. Great reference tool to watch over and over.

  4. Wasn't my favorite, however, a good overview of composition elements and techniques, but would've liked to see some quick tips on how to make it happen... ex, what settings to capture a silhouette, or warm color tones.

  5. Awesome course Rick, this is the reason why I joined Looking forward to watching all the courses. Your course was the last step to make me go from level 1 to level 2 of ignorance ;-)

  6. I am so glad I signed up for this course! I have learned so much, and I love that I can learn at 3 am or 10 pm or whenever I have the time and the inclination. I stumbled a bit at first because as a true beginner I did not even understand some of the terms used in the lectures. But Google is great for getting definitions, and now I only have to stop and Google a term once in a while. Since starting the class a whole new world has opened up for me. I look at photos differently, and I take much better pictures. (I've also spent way too much on new equipment). I had one photo used on our local Red Cross website, and 1 given honorable mention in our local journal's photo contest. I love the variety of courses available. My favorite instructors so far are Matt K., Bill Fortney and Salman. Keep up the good work!

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