• Shallow vs Deep DOF: Storytelling in Photography
    #503 Welcome back everyone, thanks for joining in today! I appreciate all of the amazing support! We’re going to be looking at depth of field and how your f/stop can help or hinder your storytelling. This article is great for beginners or professionals because it’s widely being taught that bokeh is a necessity, rather than […]

Mastering Composition in Photography & Art

Canon of Design Mission Statement

This site is dedicated to sharing the design secrets of master painters, and translating them for artistic photographers. By sharing these powerful secrets, I ultimately hope to change the future of art.

The Canon of Design represents artistic integrity, and enables you to leave your mark on this earth as one of the most talented visual communicators ever known. Learn the language of design to stand with the great masters and reflect the beauty prominently found in nature. Endure the journey to achieve artistic excellence!

This preview of the Gestalt Psychology video series will literally blow your mind!

Learning from Master Paintings

The amount of knowledge one master painting can provide is huge…enormous! We can tap into the techniques that have been used to create masterpieces for centuries. First, we must decode the secrets, and that’s what this site accomplishes.

It might sound strange that we can become amazing photographers by studying the work of master painters, and that’s because it is. It’s not what the masses are doing. They’re in expensive schools learning about the rule of thirds and leading lines (it happens to us all). Though, if you talk to famous photographers, they’re sure to confess that they intently studied the paintings of masters.

Thank You So Much!

Thanks for taking the time to visit! Just being here on this page shows that you have a slight curiosity about mastering composition, and want to improve. Even if you are a beginner or a professional, most of these techniques are overlooked, or not even mentioned….no kidding. Some people rely on their gut to guide them, or worse yet, the rule of thirds (#AbolishROT). Both are unreliable as you will discover throughout this project.


Why Would I Commit to Such an Impossible Project?

*Launch Day for the Canon of Design 365 Project was September 28th, 2013. Original Name of 365: “The Rule of Thirds Killed Design and Left it for Dead.”

The Canon of Design started as a 365 projectwhere I would upload one composition related article, per day, for a full year, but it’s become so much more than that! You’re probably sick and tired of all of the junk you find on the internet and are thirsty for some REAL knowledge. I know I was! That’s why I created the Canon of Design…so artists could have a place to go to when they were ready to take their art not just to the next step, but to the master level. Thousands of artists visit this site every day, so you’re not alone.


I refined the information I found in school, books, personal experience, internet, trial and error, and wisdom gained from studying and analyzing 100’s of master works, then presented it to artists in need of reliable, applicable content.

One article a day, for a year is quite the commitment, but I knew it would be something extremely important for the world of art. The Canon of Design was created for photographers and artists of all kinds to benefit from for years and years to come. It’s the only resource on the internet with this much invaluable information on mastering composition.

“Skills grow on a basis of understanding, not on ignorance.”
~Myron Barnstone

The Canon of Design was created to help introduce to you some methods of visual perception, design and composition that will help you in your photography, but can also be applied to cinematography, painting, drawing, sculpting, architecture, interior design, graphic design…it can applied to any visual art.  It’s the key to mastering composition, understanding and creating your own masterpiece!

Sure, to some of you it may seem a lot at first, but if you get one or two concepts down, then you will have more to learn when you’re ready. Learn to crawl before you run a marathon. By all means, take baby steps to master composition!



Learn the Way That Works Best for You

I’ve created two different ways to browse the articles; linear and structured. Whether you like everything in order, from start to finish, or if you learn better when everything is organized. I’ve got you covered 😉 All of the information is important, but now you’ve got options to help you navigate the way that works best for you.


See What they are Saying on the Front Page of the Internet

Reddit is known as the “front page of the internet”, so it’s interesting to see fans and skeptics alike who have discussed this 365 project while in it’s infancy (read the comments) . I’d love to hear what the skeptics have to say now!

Here’s another discussion (read the comments) where they talk about the Van Gogh analyzed painting (see Day  54). The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Read the painting, and you’ll reveal the secrets of the masters!


Much Love for All of the Amazing Support!

Huge thanks to all of the artists that have shown tremendous support since the beginning!! Read all of the nice emails, comments and reviews they have sent to help keep this site going.

Hello Tavis, Thanks for offering this great book. As you noticed, I am involved with the curating and teaching of photography at The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite.

I feel that the knowledge which you are offering is greatly needed. I am not certain why photographers are not educated like other classical artists.

I am looking forward to the PDF release of your photography specific book.

Kind Regards,
Michael Wise
The Ansel Adams Gallery
Yosemite National Park


Your site is absolutely amazing! I’m eating this stuff up!! Just wanted to let you know how impactful what you are doing is for me as well as to tell you that I have already told at least 10 of my friends who are into various styles and mediums with their art and I get what you are saying so well that I’m a little bit like a preacher for it! Anyway, I will continue to spread the word!! Keep doing what you’re doing I love your photographs and I am 100% on the same page with everything you talk about!

Yours Very Sincerely,

John Rutledge

Hi Tavis,

Thank you so much, I can’t wait to get started! A couple of months ago I read an article by New York photographer Chris Knight (also boyfriend of fashion photographer and CreativeLive educator Lindsay Adler) which mentioned the Gestalt theory and triggered my curiosity. Through quite a lot of searching for more information I ended up on your site and to be honest, I’m probably more excited than on the day someone told me very kindly I needed to learn about lighting.

As a photographer I have always (until now) focused on technique, lighting, posing, expression, etc, etc, to improve my images,  but always relied on “intuition” and the rule of thirds for composition. So I am very grateful for your information on the matter, especially as it seems to be overlooked by many of my colleagues.

Very best wishes,


Hi Tavis,

Really enjoying your blog and all the great info about Dynamic Symmetry. I’m sold and believe this may be the secret to why so many of my photos are “flat,” “uninspired,” etc. even though the subject matter might be very interesting. Most of my photos have been very static (horizontals, verticals) and lack many of the devices that you describe to lead the viewers eye around the frame.


Hi Tavis,

Thanks for your help. And your kind words.
As said I found your page by chance. I learned a lot of things about design during my university time, but it is so cool to have everything now in one place.
We started with a design course for photographers in January … interesting to get aware that most photographers have only a little knowledge about design rules. 😉

Best from the other side of the Atlantic.


   Holy crap mind blown!!! Design it just makes sense.  Before design I was growing more and more frustrated with my photos. Having exclusively used ROT for everything. I’d see a great shot stick it on a third and more often than not blah. No matter what it was, it had to go on a third.  I was seriously thinking of giving up on photography but my girlfriend sent me a link a friend of hers shared on FB. After watching a couple of videos on YouTube and seeing your work I thought I’d give it a shot. By the way you have an amazing portfolio. I received  Photography Composition and Design: A Fun Approach for Serious Artists back in June and I just got done reading it today. I know I’m a slow reader. In fact it’s the first book I’ve read in years but the first of many.  Also I try to read a couple of articles and watch a video a day. Even though I don’t see every design technique you see while analyzing a work of art. I’m hoping with all the repetition the knowledge will become second nature and one day I will.  I wanted to take the time to say thank you for all your hard work you’ve put into your book and website. You’ve done a phenomenal job, keep up the great work! You’ve saved me from the dark alley and set me on a different path, a better path. For that I’m eternally grateful. Thanks a million Tavis.

Gabe Perez

 Hi, I’m finally getting around after many years to studying art.  I’m more interested in painting. I came across your info as I want a very good understanding of composition.  I have to say your work, the website and your photos are of such a high quality.  This is what I’ve been looking for, good quality classical understanding of art and composition.  I’m really looking forward to learning from you.  I discovered Myron Barnstone’s instruction too and am so inspired to learn from his videos as well.  I noticed on one of your articles that he was your mentor.  That re-confirms that I’m onto the right sources to learn from cuz I just get a really good feeling and am very inspired.


Hi Tavis,

I have been following you on youtube channel for a year now, and even won a photography competition as well after going through Dynamic Symmetry Videos. They are really insightful.

Himanshu Iplani

Hi Tavis,

I just wanted to express my enthusiasm and gratitude toward your work as a beginning photographer and fellow bohemian.

Your article and video on dynamic symmetry in composition is the most intriguing piece of information I’ve come across in quite a while. It was simply ingenious, entrancing, and very well put. This has provided me with such a breakthrough of insight in developing composition and noticing the divine ratio within life itself. Thank you so much. You are brilliant.

Best of Wishes,

Logan Blake

Hi Tavis!!

Finally I print the grids!

The fit perfect!!!!

Did I told you that I love your book?

It change the way I look, think, etc…

Your book is one of those books that when you finish to read it, there is a you before and another you after…

Now that I finish the book, I have questions… so, I will definitely get the blog!

I need more!!!

My biggest question is:

I learn with your book that Photography is a language which communicates through composition, does every armature has its own purpose to communicate something is specific?

Regards and thanks 😊


Thanks so much Tavis you have opened up a new world for me!

You mention in your excellent video on Van Gogh about the colour hierarchy. Would you be able to do a video on colour theory in composition at least please?

My intuition tells me that there must be more to a pleasing colour composition to the standard teal-orange Photoshop action 😀

Since stumbling across your YouTube channel yesterday, I can’t get enough!!!

Have followed your excellent video on blog on creating armatures in PS. Can’t wait to put your theory into practice!

Thank you!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Hi Tavis! And greetings from Finland!

Just want to thank you for your brilliant work!

I’m a professional musician and composer, and I have been a bit ignorant as far as the visual arts are concerned. You’re wonderful work opened a whole new world of beauty, joy and inspiration. I believe that understanding the visual arts better will eventually improve my musical competence too. In a way you have really opened my eyes to a whole new universe of arts.

In these superficial times (well, superficial at least in the western countries) knowledge is overlooked and even despised. Nevertheless very often it’s the key for the highest satisfaction one can get from the earthly things. It applies to all: music, arts, movies, literature, food, even society and politics.

I might sound a bit hippie but it’s very important what you’re doing! For us there’s much to develop as a society, and the ignorance of beauty is like the ignorance of human soul. Instead of art we have mass entertainment. And unfortunately this low esteem of more valuable things will, eventually, degenerate the whole west. Instead of sophisticated culture and the growth as a human being we have the investment banks and the economic growth. We don’t measure soul and spiritual values anymore, only money.

What connects us to the very first cavemen? The urge and sense for the beauty, self expression and arts. It’s very inspiring to think that as artists we are part of a heritage that is so old and valuable. If we lose that there’s not much difference between us and animals. No matter how great annual GDP rates we have… A man without the sense of heart, soul and beauty is a mere beast.

Anyway, many words and with bad English! (I’m far from a native speaker, and I can assure to you that English and Finnish have absolutely nothing in common! 🙂

Thank you, you have definitely enriched my life! Even so much that I’m starting my old and neglected photo-hobby again! 🙂 Keep up the good work, it’s important what your doing!


Vesa Ojaneimi

Thank you Tavis!

I have spent all day watching your videos and reading your material. Really interesting, finally found someone who sees and thinks beyond rule of thirds.

Anyhow, thank you for what you do, I am going to recommend your site and material to our PhotoYoga-students and other photographers.


Hi Tavis,

I’m going through your photography and composition Kindle book this week and I just want to say it’s amazing! Thank you for putting such great information out there.

-Jason Y.

Thank you so much for the reply and taking time to point out what I was seeing. I’m starting to see purposeful design going on, just not always sure what design elements I’m looking at.

More often than not, I find something that interests me and then try to reverse engineer why it grabbed my attention. In this case I did get the story immediately, and figure-ground relationship… then when looking at the chalk lines I wasn’t sure if they were meant to be part enough the composition, or remnants of the “canvas” that were left in. I watched your Van Gogh analysis again tonight and although I didn’t grasp all of it, I understood much more than if I would have watched it a year ago.

Keep putting out this great content. It is very interesting, complex, and rare. I’m also reading “The Art of Composition” by Michel Jacobs, which is helping understand more.

I’m just an amateur/hobbyist photographer, but became very interested some time ago when I noticed the most powerful and interesting photos had little to do with gear, traditional leading lines/rule of thirds teaching. In fact I’ve probably ruined many good photos because I was trying to achieve these and missed the real moment. This deeper interest led me to a photographer named Adam Marelli, and then to your channel and books. My entire perspective has changed.

Very powerful stuff and I appreciate both your passion for it and effort in sharing it.


Hi Tavis,

No need to thank me. Thanks to you I have even found out about dynamic symmetry. I enjoy your channel and really liked your book, even though it left me hungry for more. I think for what you are offering this is a steal. So, thank YOU. Also I would like to express me sincere appreciation for all the work you’ve been doing.

I wish you all the best for the future, the sun on your face and the wind on your back.


Hi Tavis, I hope you’re well!

Just had a quick look, and the grids look ace (I was mostly interested the Φ grids).

As Im gradually increasing the scale of the work, these will undoubtedly be handy!

I enclosed a pic of one of my latest prints 🙂

Keep up the good work, thanks again & keep in touch!



Thank you very much!!! You lessons and grids are awesome, they really help me very much, to improve my artworks. Even the smallest changes with the grids make everything more interesting. So thank you.

VG Rüdiger Lauktien


Did first read on PCD last night. Great info. Really sets a different perspective on the fundamentals. Keep up the great work.

Rodney Tucker

I just watched your interview with Mr Barnstone!

Thank you for uploading it, i recently adquired the drawing courses dvds, and I am being blown away by Mr. Barnstone teachings, i just found out he passed away 2 years ago, what a privilege you had in attending his courses and knowing him in person.

I’m a 33 year old graphic designer from Central America, I’ve loved art and drawing ever since i was a kid, I spent the last 10 years studying master painters and sculptors, and i had never seen the secret geometry under over it until now.

What enriching lectures he gave!

Just like the monks of the rennaisance keeping ancient knowledge, let us spread this knowledge and improve our work! What a joy it is to get in touch with fellow artists who keep tradition alive.

I gave a like to the canon of design page on fb man! I also subscribed to the newsletter.

in appreciation and respect,


Excellent article Tavis, I read every word…   and for info, a well known Aussie judge, whom I shall keep nameless (after I posted the article link on our camera clubs facebook page) wrote  –

This is a very elloquent article that is worth reading over and over again. I have long considered the Rule of Thirds a load of poppycock and have made a conscious effort to avoid using it.
What really cheeses me off is when club judges evaluate images on the basis of their compliance with the Rule of Thirds.


Thank you very much! I believe this is going to be an amazing eye opening journey!!
So far your u tube videos are fantastic I wasn’t aware of this information, thank you!!

Lee Smith

Hello Tavis,

Thank you again. I have just subscribed to your wonderful website’s mailing list and am sure I will most definitely enjoy your book.

Keep up the good work; I have enjoyed visiting your website and found it to be wonderfully unique as not many other websites for artists mention the methods you have for photographers as well.

Thanks again and feel free to let me know about any further exciting developments in the future!

Tiffany Rice

Hey Tavis,

Thanks for sending that over. Awesome blog, you have opened my eyes to a whole new world of composition. I’m a photographer and I’ve never liked the rule of thirds, I always thought it created boring images …..I’ve been looking for new info on composition, but never really found anything worthwhile. Going to start implementing the grids into my workflow straight away!!!
Clinton Lofthouse

“I found your talk on the 10 Myths of the Rule of Thirds
to be quite engaging and, at the same time, rather
unsettling. I’ve worked professionally as a photographer
for 30 years and have never heard anyone take the rule
of thirds concept to task so I’m sure you can imagine
how destabilizing the perspective you put forth could be
after all these years. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing
but, like so many other things these days, I find that what
I thought was truth/reality isn’t necessarily so. Actually,
it’s too bad this information didn’t come sooner as it
would have been an interesting challenge to try and raise
my efforts to another level. C’est la vie.

Thanks for your myth busting piece on the rule of thirds.”

Howard Linton

Like the book… reinforces Myron’s program and fits into my wheelhouse well. Michael Mentler
Thanks Tavis,

I have done the first 14 “sessions” on your website and it’s realllly exciting stuff.
Some things, I need to re-read again as I am not a math genius, but I am getting by 😉

Your canon of design inspires me to create my new production with the design theories
in mind. I am planning to make cinematographic stills with music bands. Once I make the sketches during pre-production, I will let you know 😉 Can’t wait to read the rest on your webpage!

Cheers and thanks for all the info!

Pieter Van Goethem 

Hi Tavis, I have been diving into your work religiously in my off time and I can already tell I’ve struck gold. What you have created is exactly what I was looking for which I couldn’t find elsewhere. I remember stumbling upon some gestalt info in the past but it was related to graphic design and I dismissed it because I couldn’t easily relate it to my own art, but you go through and show exactly how it relates to 2d art in a way that is easy to digest and apply, and the dynamic symmetry has been blowing my mind. It’s one of those moments where I can tell my art is going to take a quantum leap forward as long as I do everything I consciously can to master this methodology. I am truly thankful for your work and effort in creating this, my friend.

Thanks again Tavis!

Daniel Dust

Hi Tavis,

I was able to download the rest of the Gestalt Video Collection! Watched them all already. Can’t wait to start applying them to my work!

Thank you once again, 🙂


Thanks! Really enjoy reading your master pass stuff. Keep up the good work!

Ryan McCarthy

I recently discovered your Canon of Design site and read through the article on PetaPixels (“10 Myths About the Rule of Thirds“).  As a digital artist, I was really happy to see an alternative approach to composition (I too have been trapped by the rule of thirds–and it’s tough to break).  I purchased your grids (for the computer) and read through both articles included in the pdfs.



Hi Tavis,

That’s brilliant thank you very much, the link worked fine!
Very excited to get stuck into this book – the techniques on your blog have actually been quite life-changing for me as an artist and have really helped me to push towards the career I really want, so thank you!

Best regards, Katie 

Cheers mate, keep up the good work.

Your website is like an oasis for people who want to know more about composition and art.

Geza Kadas


I’ve been a follower of your webpage for a while now and I was unable to commit to the “Master Pass” until today. I’m happy to join up as I’m collecting information that I hope to present to my local photography club of nearly 200 members. I hope to inspire and challenge them to think outside of the rule of thirds and understand why it doesn’t hold water.

Thanks for the great content. I look forward to using your materials as reference as I assemble my presentation!

Best, Tim

“How to build the foundations of a great image. This is the work of a very dedicated and skilled photographer who shows us not only how to take pictures, but how to build the foundations of a great image.” Amazon Customer
“I really enjoyed the information in this book and can’t wait to apply it to my own work. I came across this book through a friend. I have yet to read it but will be purchasing my own copy very soon.

I really enjoyed the information in this book and cant wait to learn the technique and apply it to my own photography.” Amazon Customer

“I really enjoyed the information in this book and can’t wait to apply it to my own work. I came across this book through a friend. I have yet to read it but will be purchasing my own copy very soon.

I really enjoyed the information in this book and cant wait to learn the technique and apply it to my own photography.” Amazon Customer

“Helpful guidance for a never-ending learning curve! I have found the Gr8est teacher of our times! What an amazing Author with an abundance of knowledge and well appreciated research of his learning curve and willingness to share with another. God Bless you Tavis Leaf Glover! You are a very passionate and giving Artist! I appreciate your patience and understanding and willingness to help your fellow artist . . . thank you!” Amazon Customer
Full review on DIYPhotography.net, In short. If you haven;t bought this yet, you’re far worse at composition than if you had. Buy it. Joseph Parry
“If you wondered how my images jumped in quality, hands down there is no other thing that has done it as highly as Tavis Leaf Glover’s teaching in this book and Stefan Kohler educating me in colour and retouching.

Get this book and your photographic life will change forever, I promise you! I know because I’ve spent the last year reading everything Tavis has written including power reading this book today, the whole thing.” Joseph Parry (of DIYphotography.net)

Dear Tavis,

I have learned a great deal about composition and wanted to thank you for your research on the topic. I feel that it was well worth my while in terms of my composition skills.

Best of Luck with your future endeavors.

Sincerely, James Oliver 

Thanks so much, Tavis! I’ve downloaded it and now I have a lot of reading, studying and practicing to do. I have really enjoyed many of your videos on YouTube. Yours has to be the best approach to pictorial composition I have ever seen. I finally feel like I might be able to find my way out of the dark, deep woods.

Thanks again!! Thom Bluemel

Thank you, Tavis!

I am so excited about the content you’ve put together. And haven’t even looked at the book yet! I’m sure you understand that feeling of Ah Ha!!!! I’ve been looking at youtube videos and checking my email all day for this. I feel like its sort of a “missing link.”


Hi Tavis! You have been an amazing inspiration to me. I love your book and I tell all my photographer friends to read it.

I’ve been memorizing the overlays and applying them but I want to actually put one on my xpro2 so I decided to just buy all of yours and get them printed on overhead film and do the tape method. Thanks for doing the math and making them for folks like me. I included one of my photographs that I took after I started studying your work so you can see how I have put it to good use.

Thanks for your time and your knowledge.

Justin Day

Photography by Day Studio

” I read most of the 365 pages, which were very instructive, mind opening and beautiful by the way.” ~ Stephan Hartz
Hi, thank you very much for your help in the country can not find such professional composition learning materials, only a few of the format tower psychology is very tedious and not practical, I accidentally saw your composition theory, feel very interesting, so it came to your website. it is like the discovery of the new continent, the knowledge of my previous knowledge of the scattered knowledge has become the most fundamental method, which is my photography composition is very helpful, I will put this Website to share with my friends! Thanks! 王 垣铮
Tavis: Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how useful your information has been.  Working on reading through all the member content and loving the freedom of the dynamic grids.  I’ve attached a current piece (low-res version) I’m working on with one of the grids over-layed.  I made some changes and alignment to the composition based on the grid and I do think it works better now (but as far as my correct use of the grid–that may be a different story).  Just wanted to show you what I’ve done with your info and encourage you to keep teaching! Tony Fernandez
“Hi, I’m learning a lot from your blog. I love it in fact, it challenges my critical thinking. I am not disappointed by your videos. It’s fascinating to try to see what you share/teach/advocate in a self-made production. Well done, I find the effect of water going back in time strangely hypnotic.” ~Wearyspecter
“This is really a gold mine of information… Thank you so much! I am sure to be posting more across all of these post. I have been trying to understand composition for some time now, for photography, Graphic Design and Fine Art.” ~ Russell Spears
Thank you for a great website and solid body of work in regard of learning and teaching design. In first six days of the 365 you’ve shown deep knowledge of design and great sense of humor. This was enough for me to purchase membership pass.

I’m really looking forward to the end of the 365. Will be following this course (if I may call it so) closely to improve my photography skills. I’m sure more people should know things you’re discussing here. You deserve for wider audience. ~ Z4Y4TS

“Mr Glover, I’ve been following your blog these past few days, and I am so impressed 😀 Thank you so much for doing this, it’s already affected the way I think about and see the world, not to mention paintings and photographs! As an aspiring photographer, all of this information is priceless. I am really eager to continue reading your blog! Thank you so much! ~ Martin
Your dissection of HCB’s work simply just blew me away. Consider me now a believer of the Canon of Design. ~ Hafizuddien Ju
“After reading this post, I took the protective plastic cover that’s on my camera’s LCD and drew the root phi basic armature on it. Don’t worry, I didn’t damage the LCD, but I think I will begin to use this as a way of checking myself for the next little while and see where it gets me.

I even reviewed my favourite images that I’ve taken in the last year and they are flukes: they hit this Root Phi grid fairly closely (even closer with a quick crop!). I guess I just didn’t realize why I liked what I did!

Thanks Tavis, I’m enjoying this blog immensely. Keep it up, I want to keep learning!” ~ Tim Lingley

Dear Tavis

Recently I purchased the computer and camera grids that you have constructed. I also purchased the Canon of Design book and have found all of them to be extremely helpful in my understanding of design and its application in art and photography.

Rick Mecall

“Dear Tavis,

I just wanted you to know I’ve read your book and I really have to tell you that you have written a composition masterpiece!!! This is the best work I have ever seen on this topic. It explains the why, how and when and offers a much deeper understanding of composition, arrangement of shapes and values than any of the typical “Rule of Three” or “Golden Mean” or other formulaic approaches. I can never thank you enough for writing and sharing such an important work.

I have a long way to go to apply all the information you provided, but I am determined to learn it all and make it second nature in my paintings.

Thank you again for taking the time and for selflessly sharing the dynamic messages in your book. You have written the bible for composition.

Your fan,Thom Bluemel

“Fantastic read, recommend to all all visual art lovers. Train your eyes to see so much more to the visual aesthetics art world.” Firdaus Omar

“I love this project and all the information you’ve been laying out here. Thanks so much for doing this its been incredibly helpful. Its pretty crazy to me to consider how long I’ve looked into composition techniques and how long it took to come across some really useful stuff.” Kyle

“Thank you for your insightful work; you’re clearly sharing the results of months of study.

I’d become aware that the rule of thirds is limited and started playing with other simple compositional grids and often found them difficult to use in practice.

Your analysis has made the reason for that perfectly clear; they’re just too limited. I’ve been searching for something like your project for ages.” and “I really appreciate your desire to share and have your thoughts spread far and wide.. but I admit there’s a little bit of me feels like I’ve stumbled on a secret I want to keep for myself!” Simon

“I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful blog series. As a newbie to photography and more importantly, to design, I find these well-curated resources and all of your design breakdowns very thought provoking and inspiring. It’s a welcome reprieve to the inane droll found in most of the photography “tutorials” and “guides” that emphasize the trial-and-error showered with “rule of thirds”, as if there were almost no technique or forethought involved in art.

I am certain that the knowledge and wisdom you’ve shared here will continue to engage and inspire many acolytes of design for a long time to come.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!” ~ An Omni Mouse

“Superpsyched about finding your site!! This is awesome !! So in line with how my mind, art, photography is going – well done!” Aino Shperber
“This is excellent. It is something that I have studied for awhile and believe in. So good to see you presenting it in such a clear and accessible way. Thank you.” Lars Lentz
Composition A Concise Exposition. This is a hidden gem for the artist whether your medium is painting or photography. For the advanced artist the book is a toolbox for developing an idea into a complete image. Too often, composition becomes rules to be memorized and soon forgotten. The more tools in your bag the less likely you are to rely on one intuitive approach to every landscape, still life or portrait. The concepts are presented in a manner that the true artist may discover the route to true creativity.” Notans
I just Love it! I discovered the “Canon of Design” at the www.ipoxstudios.com pages some time ago. It attracted me immediately with its content showing me as an amateur photographer completely new view on composition of pictures. Later my son ordered me this book containing condensed guidance to design of photographs. This was a great help to me which really kicked med off to studying the subject much deeper.
Many thanks to the author! I wish he continues with another book.”
Five Stars First class, thank Sir, composition had never been easier explained.” Fathi Farag
The Bible of Composition. Artful composition has to be one of the hardest aspects of creativity to explain for even the most adept author, but Tavis Leaf Glover has accomplished just that! Most books on pictorial composition approach the subject as some kind of mysterious voodoo-like construct without comprehensible logical reasoning or it’s based on some rudimentary geometric formulae – but not the “Canon of Design – Mastering Artistic Composition!” This book is a very refreshing, very concisely written book that unlocks the mystery of making good compositions for a purpose. Numerous high quality examples are expertly diagramed to show how a technique is used or a principle is applied. This approach is used throughout the book to provide real insight into how the composition can be analyzed and how a particular principle of composition manifests itself. Each example reveals a principle of composition clearly and usably, unlike most other books.

The real beauties of this wonderful book are the logical layout and the understandable way it is written; it is easy to follow and easy to understand, signs of an author who clearly understands his/her subject. The book itself is a masterpiece of design, leading the reader from basic to advanced concepts in a logical, deductive progression. The works of real masters is used to demonstrate designing a path for the viewer’s eye, unifying all the elements of piece of art and for dynamically balancing the elements of the composition. Unlike most books on the subject, this book incorporates one element common to all dramatic art – lighting. In addition, to explaining the “what” behind creating unity, flow and balance in a composition, this book also explains the science of “why” these tools work by applying Gestalt principles of perception. In this way, the author shows you why a principle works the way it does and these explanations give the in-depth understanding that will allow an artist to successfully “break” the rules yet still accomplish their purpose.

This is NOT a book of formulaic approaches. This is NOT a book written with superfluous or nonessential words; instead, it is simply and concisely written, clarifying its message throughout. This is a book that will help ANYONE learn how and why the elements of a picture can and, more importantly, should be organized. It will show you how to best lead the viewer’s eye and how to keep the viewer’s interest throughout your painting, drawing or photograph. You will learn how to place more emphasis where you want and eliminate unwanted distractions.

Chapters include topics such as, but not limited to, using Dynamic Symmetry, Root Rectangles, Major Area Divisions, Greatest Area of Contrast (a much better approach to the concept of a focal point or center of interest), Grids, Gamut angles, 90 Degree Angles, Coincidences, Closures, Arabesques, Radiating Lines, Ellipses, Edge Flicker and much, much more. The book is brilliantly comprehensive on the subject of composition.

If you are interested in making better art, you MUST get this book. I am so glad I did – I’ve read it three times so far!” Thom Bluemel

Composition A Concise Exposition. This is a hidden gem for the artist whether your medium is painting or photography. For the advanced artist the book is a toolbox for developing an idea into a complete image. Too often, composition becomes rules to be memorized and soon forgotten. The more tools in your bag the less likely you are to rely on one intuitive approach to every landscape, still life or portrait. The concepts are presented in a manner that the true artist may discover the route to true creativity.” Notans
I just Love it! I discovered the “Canon of Design” at the www.ipoxstudios.com pages some time ago. It attracted me immediately with its content showing me as an amateur photographer completely new view on composition of pictures. Later my son ordered me this book containing condensed guidance to design of photographs. This was a great help to me which really kicked med off to studying the subject much deeper.
Many thanks to the author! I wish he continues with another book.”
Five Stars First class, thank Sir, composition had never been easier explained.” Fathi Farag

Rule of Thirds No More! I wish I had discovered this book when I started photography. This is easily the best book on composition and artistic design that I’ve found!” Marc Castro


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