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Creative composition is a topic I’m really passionate about, and I was honored and grateful to have been invited to speak about it at the B&H Optic 2016 Conference a few weeks ago. Here’s the video recording of my presentation – enjoy. Also, be sure to check out the other videos from the amazing list of speakers at the conference, including Michael Kenna and John Paul Caponigro.

Feel free to leave your feedback or questions below!

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Hi Mr. Rodriguez,

    Hope all is well. Great presentation. I have reached out to you via e-mail as well as phone twice, I have a question regarding one of your workshops.


  2. Robert–

    I had watched your Optic 2016 B&H video on composition yesterday, with great pleasure. Splendid images, as usual!

    I found the last 10 minutes particularly valuable–where for several images you worked through a sequence of compositions to get the one for each situation that really worked. That last 10 minutes to some extent picked up on a point that earlier in the video had left me wanting a fuller discussion: At about the 15:36 mark you briefly put up two images as examples of what you called your “so-called uninspired images.” I certainly see that compared with your other examples, they are rather dull. But I wanted to hear in more specific terms about WHY and HOW you think they were uninspired and what you might have done differently. While it might seem odd to desire a discussion of how “uninspired” pictures are made, I fear that I am not alone in seeing all too many of them among my own images, and it might be interesting to hear not just how you make your “inspired” images but also how you specifically identify and avoid the uninspiring. As I say, I found the last 10 minutes of the Optic 2016 program a terrific beginning for this sort of project. Might you do more along these lines?

    Thanks for your website, your instructional programs, and your photographs!

    Walter Foreman

    1. Hi Walter, thanks for your feedback and kind words, really appreciate it. You bring up a great point, and I didn’t spend much time on it in the talk simply because time was limited. The short answer would be that my “failures’ are images that fail to meet the core elements I described in the talk – clear center of interest, leads the viewer, and unified composition. If any of these fails, then the images will ultimately not be the strongest way of seeing an image.

      When I evaluate my images, I try to be as honest as possible about these judgements, and if I’m still not sure, I may ask someone I trust, or simply let the image go and come back to it in the future at some point. Time has a great way of providing both perspective and humility. But I promise to write a longer blog post about this issue and will include it in my upcoming book on composition 🙂

      thanks again


  3. H Robert,
    Thanks for your talk and thanks for sharing your experience. I have been struggling recently getting the photos that really do speak and I think you gave me something to pursue. Your explanation of composition was superb! Often I can have an incredible settling but not able to translate that into an image that means something. From your talk I have concluded that the setting, the light, the ambiance of the moment provide the canvas, but the composition is the tool of the artist that provides an image that captures the heart. I think this is a good response to the ancient indian proverb that you posted over a year ago. “Many things attract they eye, only pursue those things that capture the heart!”

    Thanks for your investment into my photography!

  4. Hello Robert,

    your video is very helpful and inspiring to me. Especially the last 10 minutes where you explained several approaches of compositions to get to the final image. This is something i have to implement for my own way of making landscape photographs. At the moment I’m not consistently at the way to find the best composition for me.

    Thanks a lot and have always good light


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