Rules of Composition

Free course overview: A quick peek at our video courses!
This is a really quick free sample - if you want a longer free sample click here or here
Free sample preview: Free sample lesson: Rule of Thirds
This is an 18-minute free sample which is a big bite out of your day, but if you take the time to watch it you'll have a better idea whether or not you want to buy it.


Please note that you MUST create a free account on the system AND be logged in to purchase a course.

If you have purchased this course, click here to login to start or resume your video lessons.

If you are currently logged in, click the Curriculum tab above, and click a lesson title to start or resume your course. 


Want to control the eye of the viewer
Want to emphasize one part of the image over another
Want to communicate an elaborate narrative
Create an energized or tranquil mood


Your camera is a machine that sees differently than your eye, which means that sometimes a photograph will not turn out the way you might expect. The eleven lessons in Rules of Composition work separately and combined with each other to help you develop your own signature style. Maybe you want to create a sense of frenzy within the image, pushing the viewer’s eye to dart back and forth and up and down within the frame. Perhaps the story you want to tell is framed in such a way to convey a subject who is completely alone and unobserved, or perhaps the opposite, challenging the camera with humor, hostility or irony. Learn how different colors can create different moods. Develop easy to learn techniques to make your subject appear tiny and powerless or bold and dominate. And then of course, there is lots of fun in breaking the rules once you know them.

Our online classes are brand new and we’d love to get your feedback. Please click here to let us know what you thought of your class!

Some recent feedback from our students:

I want to thank you again for getting me taken care of with this course. I actually loved it so much, I purchased the other one as well. I’ve now taken both the Rules of Composition AND Mechanics of a DSLR. Both courses were wonderful and I would recommend them to anyone – and will! – Angie E.

Content was well organized and flowed nicely. Video instruction was excellent – clear instructions supplemented with relevant and useful examples. The best online course I’ve taken, and I’ve taken a lot. – Lillian K.

It was very helpful … the teaching format was clear and easy to follow … I found examples of techniques to be be beneficial.  Adrianne R.

It was really worth the price to help me take better pictures – Angela G. 

” I am enjoying the online class very much and learning a lot of information about how to use my camera!” – Brian Przybylowski 

Course Features

  • Lectures 10
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 135 minutes
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 164
  • Certificate No
  • Assessments Yes

David H Wells

David H. Wells is a freelance photographer/video maker using whatever technology he can to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, Rhode Island, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “…specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.” His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund. He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation. His work has been in over fifty exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”