When I was a first year teacher I was given two advanced photography classes to teach. That would have been great except I had no idea what I was doing. My experience with photography ended at the drop-off slot at the local photo-mat. Luckily, I had a great resource in a co-worker, and some students who were pretty understanding of my predicament. Overall, the class turned out well in the end, but I would have been very lucky to have found a site like Mourgefile to help out with some ideas. Despite its somewhat dark-sounding name, they've got a whole bunch of interesting lessons - the very first one deals with issues of composition and has some good answers to the question 'what makes a photograph beautiful'?

Here's an example from that lesson:

Back to flower photos for this example. Notice the subject itself, the pink daisy blossom, is placed at one of the "Golden Mean" points. The background itself is not distracting. The blue of the vase melts into the blue background, and all of that blue really makes the contrasting pink stand out and grab your attention.

In addition, they have a large public image library for your reference needs - this is where the term "mourgefile" comes from:

The term "morgue file" is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. Although the term has been used by illustrators, comic book artist, designers and teachers as well. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web's morguefile.

I just learned something new!


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