60-Minute Photography Lesson for One or Two at SimplisticPhobia Photography (Up to 51% Off)

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In a Nutshell

Pupils embark on an excursion, where they learn photo-shooting techniques from a prolific photographer

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires 90 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. Appointment required, 48 hour advance notice required. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed Groupon price). Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Valid only for option purchased. Valid only within 50 miles of zip code 29202. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

To keep your brain active, it's good to learn something new every day or at least look through a kaleidoscope every once in a while. Add some color to your world with this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $25 for a 60-minute photography lesson for one ($50 value)
  • $49 for a 60-minute photography lesson for two ($100 value)

The Rule of Thirds: Squaring Away Visual Imbalance

When you study photographic composition, you'll likely hear mention of the rule of thirds. Read on to get a head start.

When you first pick up a camera, you might naturally be tempted to take aim dead center at your subject. But pro photographers would advise that you first carve the visual field before you into nine equal parts, dividing it into thirds both vertically and horizontally. The intersections—or power points—of these lines should pinpoint the image's action: a striking land formation, the corner of a smile, the beak of a bird feeding its babies pancakes. An off-center—but still balanced—focal point draws the eye across the image, introducing a sense of movement and dynamic tension. Major vertical or horizontal lines should follow this guiding grid as well, such that a horizon line will typically mark off the top third or bottom third of the image.

Why do images composed this way have immediate appeal? Mathematicians and artists have wondered for centuries. Some have theorized that it's because it approximates the golden ratio, which reappears, mysteriously, throughout nature. The seeds in the center of a sunflower, the spirals on top of a cauliflower head, or even the proportions of the human body—they all boil down to a set of numbers known as the Fibonacci sequence, in which each number after 0 and 1 is generated by adding the two previous numbers. Divide each number by the preceding one and you'll approach an irrational limit of approximately 1.618, the golden ratio.

Continually dividing a rectangle into a set of shrinking squares whose sides maintain this relationship to one another, you'll begin to see a seashell-like Fibonacci spiral suggested by the corners of these boxes. Superimpose the rational, much more easily constructed rule-of-thirds grid over this graceful shape, and you'll likely conclude that it's a good-enough approximation, its lines just a little off from those of the larger Fibonacci squares. What this means is that even in this straightforward rule there's some wiggle room—and after all, famous scrapbooker Ansel Adams once remarked, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”


Edifying activities to expand your horizons
Cameras and photo essentials for those who prefer looking at life through a lens
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