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Our Fascination With Toned Images

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design

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Hey everyone, welcome back to another awesome article. Huge thanks for all of the continued support. Much love!

With the recent fascination of tones from Instagram filters, phone filters, color grading videos, LUT’s…it all had to stem from somewhere, right? Today we are going to look at toning an image and how it relates to painting. We will also see how to make an overexposed, blown-out photo more aesthetically pleasing. Let’s get into it!

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Magnetic Momentum in Book Covers – Baroque vs Sinister

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design

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Welcome back everyone, I hope you are all doing well. Huge thanks for all of the support as always!

Today we are going to be looking at book covers from the US and China. Since we read left to right in the US and they read right to left in China, this will ultimately affect the way they read a composition or design. This was brought to my attention by an artist who noticed the Harry Potter book was flipped in China. It got me thinking about magnetic momentum (see Day 64) again, and the way we read a composition.

Understanding how people read a composition is fascinating stuff and we can apply it to our masterpiece if we want to create more movement. Let’s check out some great examples and see if we can recreate something or our own!

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Why is the Rule of Thirds Grid on Pro Cameras

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Welcome back everyone, thanks for all of the continued support!

Ah yes, the battle against the status quo of composition continues after all of this time. Rule of thirds still remains the number one composition technique to teach artists of photography, painting, drawing, you name it. Why is this? The excuse “because it’s easy” is not good enough anymore.

As we learn more about our art and start to think for ourselves, we work past some of our worst creations; we become a pro at what we do. Since we’ve moved forward, evolved, and educated ourselves to a higher level, does the rule of thirds still have to be a part of our art? Nope, thankfully. But why does it have to be hardwired into our pro camera if we are considered professional photographers? Shouldn’t it be removed just like the generic auto modes and replaced with a more advanced grid system?

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Decoding the Timeless Subjects of Master Painters

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design

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Much love for all of the support everyone, it’s always appreciated!

Ok, so we know all of the masters created great compositions and designs, but how did they select their subject matter? How did they make their art timeless?

We can portray any subject we want in our art, but to create something timeless we’ll have to be selective of what we include. When I was looking at master painters for drawing, painting, and photo inspiration, I decided to dig deep into all of their work and compare them to each other. Specifically, for subject matter and the background they painted the subject into. This is when I discovered that a lot of them portrayed timeless subjects. These timeless subjects, as it turns out, are very appealing and can be enjoyed century after century.

Not all of the subjects of master painters are timeless, of course, but if we decode their art and take some notes we can create something of our own which is timeless. Let’s get into it!

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Dynamic Symmetry, Composition and Henri Cartier Bresson – Analyzed Video

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Massive thanks to all of the supporters out there, I really appreciate everything!

Today I’ve got a two part video for you that shows tons of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photos being analyzed to dynamic symmetry and other masterful composition techniques. See how he uses the armature of the 1.5 rectangle, and overlapping root 4’s to create unity, rhythm, and movement within his photos. Let’s get into it!


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Ozark is like a Gregory Crewdson Photo – Analyzed Cinema

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design
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Hey everyone, welcome back and much love for all of the support!

Today we are going to be looking at an awesome TV Show that blew me away called “Ozark.” It almost seemed like the cinematography was inspired by Gregory Crewdson photos. This means excellent compositions, lighting, and unique story telling. There are tons of examples where we analyze the scene, which means tons of SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the show yet. Watch Ozark first if you haven’t, I don’t want to ruin it’s amazingness for you. Let’s get into it!

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Top 20 Discoveries from Canon of Design

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Thanks for joining in today everyone! I appreciate all of your continued support.The Canon of Design was launched on September 28th, 2013, so it’s been almost four years of digging deep into the secrets of composition and design used by master painters. How awesome is that?!

Today, I’ve compiled 20 of the most remarkable articles (added to list of Resources) that were great discoveries, and a direct result of grinding into these techniques. The specifics weren’t learned anywhere else, and will likely not be seen anywhere else on the internet. Most of them were created exclusively for The Master Pass members, but everyone will get a glimpse of them today. Let’s get into it!


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Vincent Van Gogh – Analyzed Painting #5

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design
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Hey everyone, I hope you are well. Thanks for joining in today, and for all of the support thus far. It’s always appreciated!

We’re going to be analyzing one of my favorite Vincent Van Gogh paintings today. It’s one of his closest friends from Arles (France), postman Joseph Roulin, and the painting is located in the Kroller Muller Museum. We’ll discover which dynamic symmetry grid he used, and which techniques he used to incorporate unity, movement, rhythm, balance, clarity, and strength.

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Bloodline Camera Work -Analyzed Cinema for Wedding Techniques

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design

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Welcome back everyone. Huge thanks for all of the amazing support! I appreciate all of you!

Today we are going to take a look at a cinematography technique used in the TV series “Bloodline.” We can apply this technique to any kind of photography, but it’s especially excellent for any wedding photographers out there. I’ll explain the technique, show plenty of screenshots from Bloodline, as well as wedding photos from a very artistic photographer. Let’s get into it!

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One Second Color Correction with Annie Leibovitz Photos

Mastering Composition with the Canon of Design
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How’s everyone doing today? I hope you are all doing well. Much love for all of the continued support!

Today we are going to look at a “quick and dirty” color correction technique that I use a ton when editing photos in Photoshop. We’ll apply this one-second technique to Annie Leibovitz’s photos since she typically uses blues in her shadows and orange tones in her highlights. I thought it would be cool to see what her images look without toning, so we will kind of “deconstruct” all of them. This will then give us the confidence and speed to make color corrections to any image we need; saving us tons of time. As an added bonus, The Master Pass members will get a free download of the Photoshop toning action called “Annie Blues.” Let’s get into it!

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