Composition at The National Gallery of Art - Washington Photo Safari - Washington DC Professional Amateur Photography Field Trips Workshops Classes Training Institution

Composition at The National Gallery of Art

Composition at The National Gallery of Art

You cook a wonderful meal and your friends say: “WOW, that was GREAT!  Delicious!  What kind of OVEN did you use?  You must have a great OVEN!”

You would be miffed, right?  Because you know it’s not the oven, it’s the COOK who prepares a great meal. Great soufflés were prepared by Julia Childs, not by her pots and pans. And the same is true in photography: it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer who makes the image. We firmly believe you can take a good or bad picture with ANY camera.

Photography, like painting, is all about composition:  the symmetry, the balance, the leading lines, the framing, the perspective, the points of interest in the image that draw the viewer’s eye. So this safari is all about training you to see and capture good composition in your photographs.

We begin the safari in the atrium of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art with a general orientation on photographic technique and principles of composition.  Next, we examine 10 classically composed black and white photographs from the 1940’s and  1950’s,  by Parisian photographer Robert Doisneau, and Baltimore photographer A. Aubrey Bodine. 

We then make our way through the VERY cool $3 million LED light display tunnel to the West Building, a great subject for slow motion photos.

Participants will then roam the West Building National Gallery of Art with the instructor, taking pictures that embody some of the principles of composition they have learned on the safari, photos of artwork, the Gallery’s atrium, the sculpture, the museum visitors looking at artwork, or photos of the Gallery’s extraordinary architecture. We also photograph the classic Rodin and Degas sculptures in the National Sculpture Gallery.

In short, this is a safari to help you become a more astute critic of your own photos by studying and documenting works of the masters. We also teach you how to shoot artwork in low-light situations without flash or tripod, getting the right exposure and white balance.

Safari Details:

For this Safari you will meet behind security, inside the front entrance of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, located at 4th St. and Constitution Avenue NW. The closest Metro stop is Judiciary Square on the Red Line or Archives/Navy Memorial on the Yellow Line.

Any camera will do but for best results, we recommend SLR's or ILC's with high ISO capability (1600, 3200, 6400) and "fast lenses" like a 50mm F1.4 or F1.8 or a 35 mm F1.8.

About the Instructor:

E. David Luria is founder and director of the Washington Photo safari, now celebrating its 15th year teaching photography in the DC area.  Trained in Paris by a protégé of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mr. Luria is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and has had his images of DC appear in over 100 publications, guide books and postcards and on 30 magazine covers