What Street Photographers Can Learn About Design and Composition from Classical Art

Adam Marelli, a talented photographer and artist that I have taught two workshops with recently gave a superb lecture at the B&H Photo space in NYC on design/composition. The talk is about an hour and a half, and worth every minute. I highly recommend every street photographer who wants to better understand how to compose their photos better to watch it. More description of the talk below:

We will look at how many of the design problems that photographers face have been addressed by classical artists. Bridging the gap of classical art and street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson combined the two practices and set the world of photography on a new course. We will look at how he and his followers at Magnum, converted the lessons from classical artists into the photojournalism, street photography, and portraiture. We will introduce the visual language, examining its basic grammar and the ways in which photographers can build up each element in their own work. They will be given specific examples from master painters who were proto-street photographers.

Attendees will walk away with a completely new way of viewing the design accomplishments of classical art. Museums and galleries will breathe with new life as the geometry of art and design is decoded specifically for photographers. You will be given a list of “common compositional mistakes” that many photographers make because the they are only taught to artists. We will also reveal where the “Rule of Thirds” comes from and look at additional techniques to use with a 35mm format.

If you want to learn more, make sure to also check out Adam’s upcoming workshops here.