•  Composition Mastery Seminar
--February 14th and 15th, 2009--
in Phoenix, Arizona

This is the Second of a series of 3 seminars offered over one week time.
The two other seminars are

Printing Mastery Seminar - Feb. 18 and 19, 2009

Photography Marketing Mastery Seminar - Feb 21 and 22, 2009

Coming soon: The Composition Mastery DVD

A new DVD tutorial will be published soon. This new DVD will focus on the art of composing a photograph. It will be the most complete Composition tutorial I have ever offered, going far beyond the information that my current Composition CD tutorial features.

At this time a pre-release announcement list is open. Joining this list is simple: simply email me at
alain@beautiful-landscape.com with Composition DVD in the subject line and I will add your name to the pre-announcement list.

A special pre-announcement price will be offered to members of the pre-announcement list. There is no obligation to purchase once you are on that list. You will simply be first notified and you will have a chance to take advantage of the special offer.

How do you learn to compose an extraordinary photograph, a photograph which, literally, goes beyond the way other people see, a photograph that makes people stop dead in their tracks when they look at it, then turn around to take a second look, and then stop again to admire it and take it all in? How do you learn to create images that go beyond the superficial, or the mundane, or, even more importantly, beyond the basic rules of composiition?

The answer to this question is to study photography and composition not just from a technical perspective (through rules for example) but also from an artistic perspective. Why? Because composition -good composition that is- relies extensively on art and on artistic concepts. Although rules are important, composition is not just about applying rules. In fact, composition is also, and most importantly, about expressing yourself, about implementing your artistic goals and about developing your personal style.

Composition is an art in itself
In a way, this may be the most important seminar I currently teach. Why? Because art has been part of my life since I was able to hold a pencil. Because I am, at the core, an artist. Certainly, I also master the technical aspects of photography but when it comes right down to it I approach photography as an art form.

For most photographers, composition, the art of organizing the contents of an image, is one of the most difficult areas of photography to learn and master. It is also one of the areas of photography that is the least often taught.

For many years I have been writing, studying and working on explaining how I developed my personal photographic style, as depicted in the many photographs you can see on this website.This seminar is the result of my writings, my research on composition, and my personal experience composing photographs, paintings and drawings. My goal in offering this seminar is to give you an opportunity to learn and study with me a subject which is fundamental to good photography.

The two most important aspects of Fine Art Photography
In my view, and in the view of many professional fine art photographers, the two most important aspects of Photography are Tonality Control, which is taught in the Printing Mastery Seminar on February 16th nd 17th), and Composition, which is taught in this seminar. Mastery of both tonality control and composition is necessary in order to create masterful photographs, photographs that express not only what was in front of your lens but also what you saw and felt, as well as your personal vision for your work.

Composition and Personal Vision
Eventually composition is an interpretation of the scene you want to photograph and of the subject that inspires you.  This interpretation is by nature personal to the photographer – to you-- and will, because of this, vary greatly from one photographer to the next. 

This interpretation is based on your personal vision and your personal vision is based on your source of inspiration, on what motivates you to photograph in the first place.  In turn, your inspiration is motivated by your creativity.  Finally, your level of creativity is dependent on your ability to step out of your comfort zone.

Because of the complexity of this process, understanding how your inspiration, creativity and vision interact and "dovetail" into each other is very important.

Of equal importance is the necessity to know what this personal vision is.  Many people ask themselves, often fruitlessly, if they have a personal vision. My personal opinion is that the answer to this question is yes.  Yes, we all have a personal vision of the world.  The real question, for me, is what does this personal vision consist of?  What is it about?  How do you describe it?  In one word, do you know what your personal vision is?  Have you ever asked yourself this question and did you ever sit down and reflect upon what it consists of.  Finally, have you taken the time to write a careful description of this personal vision?

If you are like most you most likely have notc completed this process. In fact, I was myself in this category –i.e.I was like most photographers-- until about 10 years ago, at which time I developed the approach that I am describing here. 

The process of describing your personal vision is neither simple nor easy. However, there are ways to make this process easier.  One sure way to make this process less daunting is to work under the guidance of a photographer who has successfully completed this process. This is the exact approach we follow in the Composition Mastery Seminar. During this seminar, students work on finding out what their personal vision is and on writing down a description of this vision.  Students also work on developing a detailed list of upcoming work, with the goal of refining this personal vision and making it a reality. 

As a result of this introspective process, students are able, at the end of this 2 day seminar, to return home with a clear concept of what they need to do to reach the next step.  This concept is not a list of techniques, or of software and hardware.  This Seminar does not address the technical aspects of photography, the way my printing mastery class does.  Instead, this Seminar addresses the artistic aspect of photography, a very important subject and one that is too often overolooked.

To be or not to be technical
Digital photography is a technique-hungry medium, a medium in which improving your technical skills will bring visible improvement to your work.  However, one cannot progress through technique alone. One must also address the other aspect of photography which is the artistic aspect.  This second aspect addresses you, the photographer, the artist, directly and personally.  Why?  Because while technique comes out of a set of skills, art comes out of your personality.  Your artistic preferences define who you are, and in turn they define your personal style. It is because we are all different, and all have different preferences, that each of us has a personal style.  What differs between us is the extent to which some of us are able to express their personal style.

This seminar is the result of a long research process
I want to mention that this seminar is the result of a long research process. Being able to develop a personal composition style is one thing.  Being able to teach others how to develop their own personal composition style is another thing entirely.  It is through my writings, through my reflections on photography, through my readings and research, and through my analysis of other photographer’s work that I was able to develop a teaching approach to this subject and finally the course content that is at the core of this seminar.

The Rules of composition
Composition is often approached as a set of rules, and we will be looking at the rules of composition in detail. But rules are only one way of composing an image. Rules are only one of the many aspects of composition. Master Photographers do not compose on the basis of composition rules alone. Personally, while I know all the rules of composition, when I photograph I do not necessarily refer to these rules. In fact, quite often I do not think of any rules when I compose a photograph. Instead, I refer to other ways of composing. Therefore, in this workshop I will also be teaching ways of composing that do not rely on rules.

Instead of rules, we will study ways of composing that rely on:
- The colors in the scene and how they can be used to compose a photograph
- The light in the scene and how it can be used to compose an image
- The shape of objects in the scene and how these shapes can be used to compose the image
- The tonalities in the scene and how they can be used to create a successful composition
- How to deternine whether the image should be composed as a color or as a black and white photograph

You will learn ways of creating successful compositions, including:
- How studying the locations you photograph can help you
- Why finding a Special Place is so important
- The importance of considering our audience and message when creating a photograph
- The necessity of using viewfinders and other visualization tools to help you compose an image

You will study and learn how to see
Most importantly, we will learn how to see photographs. Learning how to see is both the most important and the most difficult skill to acquire in photography. There are ways to learn how to develop this skill and we will be studying these skills during the seminar, with among others:
- Pre-visualisation
- Post-visualisation
- Self criticism
- External commentaries and critiques

You will learn how to compose by going beyond the rules of composition. To achieve this we will:
- Study what composition really is
- Study how can you compose a photograph without following the rules of composition
- Study the two most important aspect of photography and learn why they are so important
- Study why the image borders are very important
- Study what defines a good composition and a bad composition.
- Study the importance of framing and cropping

You will study seeing and Personal style.
We will also study Seeing and personal style because they are directly related to composition. In doing so we will study:
How you can develop your own personal style and what process you need to follow to do so
- Why you need inspiration and where you can find it.
- What is the difference between what most people see and what a Master photographer sees
- How you can develop the ability to see an image in your mind when you are at a specific location

You will learn what it means to be an Artist:
Composition is in large part an art and to practice composition well one must learn to be an artist. In this seminar we will study what it means to be an artist. In doing you will get answers to the following questions:
What does it mean to be an artist
- Is being an artist a profession, just like any profession?
- How does one become an artist? What requirements and training are necessary?
- Is it pretentious to consider yourself an artist or is it perfectly fine?

You will learn easy ways to get out of your comfort zone
We will look at why it is important to move out of your comfort zone in order to reach the next step with your work. In doing so we will study why doing so is important. We will also study ways that will enable you to make this process exciting and fun instead of scary and frightening.

You will study inspiration, creativity and vision
Inspiration, creativity and vision are very important to composition. During the workshop we will look at why they are important. In doing so we will answer the following questions:
What is the difference between inspiration, vision and creativity?
How does one find inspiration?
How does one become creative?
How does one develops a personal vision?
What techniques, tools and knowledge can we use to master all 3?

You will be presented with numerous composition examples
Examples are one of the most powerful ways of studying composition. During the Seminar I will be presenting a number of examples from my work as well as from other photographer's work. These examples will be used to demonstrate specific aspects of composition as well as show how successful compositions are created. I will also compare successful compositions with "mundane" photographs of the same scene in order to help you see how the vision of the artist shapes a scene in unique way. I will also show how the same location can lend itself to a multitude of different compositions.

To attend this workshop email Back this form to register right now or call or email us now at:

800-949-7983 (US)
928-252-2466 (International).

$975 only per person. If you attend two Trilogy seminars, you receive $100 off the combined fees. If you attend all three Trilogy seminars, you receive $200 off the combined fees. The three Trilogy Seminars are designed to work together. You can spend the time in between the seminars photographing in Arizona.

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. A receipt will be mailed to you the day after your registration has been processed. You can charge the registration fee in one instalment or in 3 equal installments placed to your card a month apart starting when you register. Just let us know your preference when you sign up.

Seminar location & dates
The seminar is held at the country Inn & Suites, Phoenix Arizona, on February 14th and 15th, 2009. A discounted room rate is available to all Trilogy Seminars participants. The surrounding area is propitious for stunning photography and you can add stunning new images to your portfolio of images at the same time as you learn how to develop your personal style and your vision for new images.

You can register for this workshop by Downloading your pdf Registration form here and emailing or mailing it back to us.

For faster service you can also register over the phone by calling us toll free at 800-949-7983 in the US or at 928-252-2466 (International) or by emailing us at


Cancellation policy
All monies are non-refundable. If you cancel participation in this seminar your registration fees may be transferred towards registration in another Beaux Arts Photography workshop under certain conditions. Transfer of fees to another workshop is not automatic and is decided solely by Beaux Arts Photography as a courtesy. We reserve the right to decide whether to transfer your fees to another workshop or not. You must register for another workshop within one year from the starting date of the workshop you originally registered for. Participants transferring from another workshop will be registered for this other workshop in excess of the regular number of participants. We can only accept two transfers per workhop. If you decide to attend a higher priced workshop, or if the workshop fee has increased, the difference in cost between the two workshops will be charged to your credit card when you notify us that you want to sign up for this other workshop. Your registration is guaranteed only when we have payment in full. We reserve the right to change this policy at any time.Workshop fees can only be transferred to another workshop and cannot be used towards purchase of a product such as mats, portfolio cases, CD or DVD tutorials, prints, portfolios, or other. Workshop fees cannot be transferred towards purchase of the Mastery Workshop DVDs. If this seminar is cancelled by us you will receive a full refund.

Liability Limitation
Beaux Arts Photography, Beautiful-Landscape.com, Alain Briot, Natalie Briot, guides, and cooperating agents aim to provide every participant a safe, educational, and enjoyable experience. We act solely as agents for you regarding accommodations, special activities, and travel, by any means, and assume no liability for any act, error, omission, injury, loss, delay, mishap, or damage to persons or property arising from any cause during the course of the workshop or in transit thereto. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in the services to be provided. We reserve the right to change our arrangements should conditions necessitate, or to cancel any aspect of the workshop due to exceptional circumstances. In the event that we deem it necessary to cancel the workshop we will provide a full refund which the participant(s) acknowledges as full and final settlement. In the event of a workshop cancellation airline tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations associated with participation in this workshop will not be refunded. We recommend you purchase refundable airline tickets and make refundable car and hotel reservations. We also recommend you carry travel and camera equipment insurance.

As there is always an element of risk in any adventure associated with the outdoors, participants must read this form carefully. This liability release will certify that the participant is physically fit and capable of participating in outdoor photography exercises in field locations, and is fully and completely aware of any associated risks created by field locations and weather.

Meeting times, meeting places and itinerary are subject to changes dictated by the weather, the road conditions and other imponderable variables that are part of doing landscape photography. We do not carry cell phones. You are responsible for being at the meeting place at the designated time and have your photographic equipment with you.

By joining this workshop I acknowledge that I have read the above information concerning responsibility and release Beaux Arts Photography, Alain Briot, Natalie Briot, their guides, instructors and any cooperating agent from any liability. Beaux Arts Photography, Alain Briot, and Natalie Briot will assume no liability for injury, illness, or loss of personal property or expenses thereof associated with workshop participation. I also acknowledge that Alain and Natalie Briot have the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime and that workshop policies are subject to change at any time .