RMSP Weekends - Day Two


I attended a weekend photography conference last weekend. This conference is called RMSP Weekends and it is put on by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I highly recommend checking it out if it comes to your area as I feel I learned a ton!

The sessions I attended for Day Two 

    • Composition – Designing a Great Photo
    • Photographing People
    • Critique Session

The notes I took

Composition: Designing A Great Photo

Instructor: Tony Rizzuto

When photography bugs (bees, butterflies, etc) - do so early in the morning, before they become active.

Bright tones are active (warm), Dark tones are passive (cool)

Eyes always need to be sharp

Fill the frame - move closer or zoom in

Focal Length

    • Wide angle - brings dominance to closer objects - makes a bumper look bigger to the boat in the background
    • Telephoto - subjects are compressed


    • Horizontal - restful, tranquil, grounding
    • Vertical - stable, static, powerful
    • Diagonal - active, feeling of depth
    • Intersecting
    • Leading Lines - active, leads viewers eye
    • Converging Lines - leads to something (railroad tracks)
    • S-Curves - elegant and calming
    • Arcs - graceful, make sure not to clip
    • Implied Lines
    • Shape - circle, square, triangle

An odd number of objects in a scene is better than even. (3 objects rather than 2 or 4)

Negative Space - area of the photo where your subject is not

Rule of Thirds - Left = comfort, Right = Tension


Power points

Balance - calming, easy to look at. Imbalance creates tension.

A-Symmetrical balance - equal weight, different places in the frame


Color - Red = active, Blue = calm

Recommended Photographers

Main goals of Composition

    • Create photos with a clarity of the subject
    • Think simplicity
    • Move the viewer through the image with intention
    • Keep your viewer in your photographs
    • Give your viewer a place to rest


Photographing People

Instructor: Tony Rizzuto

2 types of people photography

    • portrait
    • environmental portrait

Elements of a portrait - eyes, light, expression, background, fill frame, directness

Elements of an environmental portrait - quality of light, background, fill frame, clarity of idea/story

12-35mm wide-angle lens is ideal for an environmental portrait

50-100mm lens is ideal for a portrait

telephoto lens (70-300) - compresses space, so it takes in less background