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Composition and Light in Outdoor Photography
with Bill Ellzey
April 3 - April 6, 2013

This workshop has already begun or is a past workshop.

It could be said that composition is the infrastructure, or the skeleton, of an image. Light and color (or tone in black and white) flesh out the composition. Then, of course, there’s subject matter—what makes you stop and take the picture in the first place. But the finesse with which you compose within the confines of your viewfinder is key to how cleanly you will reveal your feeling for a place to a viewer. The way we see is what we the photographer bring to an image. This four-day workshop is about just that—seeing, and seeing deeply. It’s about developing your awareness to composition and to light.

On the first morning, Bill critiques your work, then follows up with a review period of digital capture. To hone your ability to see, or recognize, compositions and light quality in Santa Fe’s alluring natural landscape and scenes around town, we go out for morning and afternoon field sessions, where our subject matter is the forest, mountains, plains and desert, as well as Santa Fe’s unique Southwestern architecture. (Keep an eye out for light drifting into shadow along an adobe wall’s rounded edge!)

Between field sessions we return to our laptops in the classroom for downloading, organizing, editing and making adjustments to our RAW captures. We examine basic rules of composition (as well as the world of no rules!) and how to find that exact right place for you and your camera.

This workshop is primarily a practice in creating great compositions in the best light. We’re after fresh vision, not formulas. Such visual practice, and its subsequent heightened awareness, can be then applied to any form of photography you want to do.

COLLEGE CREDIT AVAILABLE (Course Level 300): For an additional fee, participants may elect to receive one hour of college credit through Hastings College upon successful completion of this workshop. Those interested in earning credit should inquire with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops at the time of registration, 505-983-1400, Ext. 11.


Bill Ellzey: Bill Ellzey picked up his first camera in 1965, at age 20, little knowing that photography would become his profession. Since...

© Bill Ellzey
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