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1.1 Introduction

What do photography and graphic design have in common? Quite a bit, actually. Both are visual forms of artistic expression. If you're a photographer and you've never considered how your discipline overlaps with that of a designer, you're missing out on a wealth of information. The foundations of design have been built by generations developing techniques to present information in a way that's informative and communicates emotion. These techniques are highly valuable to anybody that creates art in a visual format. That includes photography. Hi, I'm Kirk Nelson with tuts+. I'm a professional graphics artist with over 20 years of experience. And I'm hear to teach you the foundations of graphics design principles, and how it can improve your photography. In this course, we will walk through four fundamental concepts of design and how they translate to photography. We'll start with the most basic of elements, the line. We will review how size, location, and direction of lines can create different emotions, and communicate different messages. And we'll see how that plays out in composing a photograph. After that we'll discuss shapes. The different types of shapes, and what each is used for. Then I'll teach you what to look for, so you can use them to your advantage when creating your shots. Color is a big part of the design process and there's a lot that can be done with it. We'll take a look at how designers use color to provide mood and direct attention. And then we'll see how that works in photography. The last concept we dig into is the idea of crafting visual weight. Now this idea is a little more conceptual than the previous elements. But ultimately, it's of great importance when creating a tight composition. Each section is divided into four parts, where I'll introduce the concept and show how it works in design. Then I'll talk about how that concept is applied to photography. Then there will be an assignment where you have to take photos that purposefully apply the design concept. In the last part of each section I'll show you some of my own photos and how I apply these concepts and I'll present some light Photoshop techniques to accentuate those ideas. This course is about the concepts of design and how they apply to photography. I won't be teaching any technical photography techniques, I expect you already to know how to use your camera. I will go over a few features in Photoshop, but those are not required to be able to grasp the concepts that we are working on. I hope that this course changes the way that you approach your photographs. I want you to see that viewfinder as a blank canvas, and be able to design your photos.

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