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Such a big topic and only one month! And a short month at that. I should have saved a longer month for this one.
One of the big things that separates a good photo from a snapshot is that extra attention to composition and detail. That second look before pushing the shutter. And that third look when editing.
I found so many wonderful youtube videos discussing composition. Some of the better ones discuss more than one concept around composition so I will list the videos I recommend and my comments about them.
Symmetry. Extremely short, less than a minute:
Symmetry and asymmetry, 4 minutes:

Rule of Thirds  3.5 minutes:  Great video, quick pace, but to the point.
Overall composition tips. 16 minutes. The first part of the video discusses the rule of thirds:
7 common photography composition mistakes. Basic but great reminders. 7 minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oXBdKChuX8

For those that want more advanced lessons, I found the art of photography series on youtube very good. I have to confess I wish he would get to the point quicker. But some great concepts and he uses some very famous photos to illustrate his points. Love seeing the classics. Most of the videos are around 16 minutes.
Here is one on the rule of thirds but there are 6 addition composition videos using other concepts. I really liked the rule of odds, but probably doesn't lend itself to doodle photos.
THE ASSIGNMENT:
Shoot your doodle using one of the 2 principles of composition below. I would advise shooting with a little more space than you normally do and use cropping if you need to. There are many other concepts, and some are mentioned in the videos, but I don’t want to make it too complicated or too open ended. If you find one of the other principles mentioned in the video that is really compelling to you, you are welcome to use it and please mention it when you post your photo.

1. Rule of thirds. The go-to composition rule for photographers. This is an overlay grid in the lightroom crop tool. If you are using photoshop you can use the cropping tool and one of the pull down menus to the top shows rule of thirds as an overlay option. I also recommend unchecking the “delete cropped pixels” unless you have no desire to ever rethink your decision. If you have any problems finding this grid let me know and I can help in either of these programs.

2. Symmetry. This one is pretty obvious. But symmetry can also include balance. See the videos.

For each photo posted state the principle of composition you are using. I will restrict my comments to composition, cropping, and elements in the frame that affect composition. It’s no surprise that I love shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh, so a hint: it's an easy way to remove distracting elements in the background of your photos.
Can't wait to see the photos!
Update:
I know it's cold in a lot of places. If you have a photo shot previously and you are not sure about cropping this is also an invitation to post and get feedback. Comments will be limited to composition only. 
Another tip: almost all cameras have the ability to display a grid (such as the rule of thirds) in the viewfinder.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Nancy. No reason we can¡t have two months.

Thanks F but I think one month is enough. I don't want to give anyone a reason to procrastinate on this one! 

Can't wait to get started on this.  I will have to back off on the zoom . :)

Probably not necessary, but it's up to you. Always good to try something new. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Just seeing this assignment. I will get started soon.

I will be the first to follow up with some photos.

Here is a photo that works great at showing the rule of thirds, my niece's aussie doodle pup:

you can see that the face is aligned on the right and the tree on the left. And even the eyes fall on the horizontal line.

another one that works pretty good:

some of the videos would say that the subject should have more space in front of them. But in this case the space in front was empty and I thought visually the picnic table anchored the the dog and created a nice balance.

Here is one that technically could work with the rule of thirds: 
but the overall feeling is her centered in a field of leaves. Nothing else going on in the shot. So I decided to use the symmetrical approach. But her body sways a little to the right so I nudge it just a bit to the left to create more balance:

I don't know, now that I see it maybe the thirds rule still works just as well. What do you think? 

Some of it is preference. Some things are obvious. If you aren't sure it would be good for you to post both and get feedback.

The most important goal is to look at our photos with composition in mind.

I would like to encourage people to give more feedback other than that looks great and I love it.

I know this can be a sensitive topic. Personally, I love it when people criticize my work as long as they can state what it is that bothers them, and/or recommend something they think would make it better. It forces me to look at my image differently. Many times the comment is helpful and I can make a correction, or take that tip for future use. Sometimes I disagree with the advice, but I still find it useful as it forces me to look at what they said and come to my own conclusion. I think I grow either way.

Some online groups have a policy where if the poster wants criticism they say that in their post. But because this particular thread is about learning I'm thinking that if you post an image you are also here to learn and get feedback. If you feel differently we can put that policy in place. But that would mean that the only comments you would get are "that looks great and I love it"

I think feedback is great and we should encourage it. I am often at a loss for why I love something so I am guilty of the “oh, it's lovely” for sure. I do hate rules but your rule of thirds pictures display how effective it can be. Your crop of Georgia makes a good picture much better and she gets a well deserved focus.

I like feedback, too. I don't always listen or agree, but I try to understand that person's point. It is always great to get a second opinion and try it a different way. As for the Georgia picture, I prefer the more centered one. I just think it makes the picture all about Georgia. 

Nice examples. I like the center (or slightly off center, given the location and direction of her face) composition of Georgia best.  For me, it just feels more in balance.

From my image file since I am on work travel and won't be with Chance for awhile,  I guess that if this were a good example of the rule of thirds, the horizontal line would fall on his nose.  Is that correct?  If so I didn't leave enough room in the original image to make that crop.  I personally would call this an off-center composition:).

I struggle with applying the rules  and tend to go for a feeling a balance or tension, depending on what I want to achieve.  I think I will learn a lot in trying to do this lesson right!!!

Chance is certainly off center but for me he is the center of attention with a nicely blurred background and a rapt look on his face. I like this portrait.

This works for me.  I like the slightly off center.  (I am a rule breaker. lol)  Also, his left eye falls on the left upright of the thirds grid. 

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