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COMPOSTIONAL CHALLENGES

Updated: Apr 5, 2023




David Hoptman professional photographer/artist, founder of photo creative workshops now teaches photo compositional skills online. He has lived in Santa Fe New Mexico for most of his adult life. Previously David was teaching photography at the Santa Fe University of art and design, prior to that living in Italy, David taught photography at two colleges in Florence.

As a creative artist David works in ceramics, bronze, printmaking, and historic alternative photographic processes. View in vents.com magazine.


Hoptman has created a new style of teaching that works both in person, as well as online. “The idea is to begin to perceive the environment as forms, dropping the labels and seeing things without preconditioning” says David.


David sets the foundation for understanding composition skills as follows:


“You may own the most expensive photo equipment and have the latest array of software for tweaking your images but it’s all for naught if you haven’t quite figured out the fundamentals of how to put together a well-balanced composition. Photographers wishing to improve their skills and move beyond the point-and-shoot mentality have much to consider. Just as there are clear guidelines pertaining to writing, music, sculpture, etc. there are similar parameters that apply to the two-dimensional arts like painting, photography, and printmaking. Creating a well-crafted composition takes time, patience, imagination, consideration, experimentation, and of course being at the right place at the right time.”


David then explains how fundamental slowing down is to create a good composition:


“The challenge in finding the doorway to the creative process is slowing down and being in the moment. Creating good compositions is a challenging endeavor for even the most experienced photographers.

Creating a strong composition takes patience, self-composure, imagination, intuition, and a clear understanding of how to change the relative interrelationships of all the forms in your chosen environment.


Many of us would like to become better photographers but fail to understand how important it is to maintain poise and equanimity to all that is going on around and within ourselves. Start by making a conscious decision when you set out to photograph that you won’t become distracted by the myriad possibilities of interruptive scenarios.

The first shot you take is the introduction to your environment, the starting point, settle down, tune in, focus your attention, eliminate the mind chatter and tune into the creative process.


Multi-tasking is an essential survival skill needed for self-preservation in today’s fast-paced society, although not applicable when involved with the creative process. Art is an endeavor and like all endeavors, one must be focused in the moment to create a successful conclusion. If you allow yourself to be interrupted when you are making photograph’s the resulting imagery will suffer. Multi-tasking does not work when trying to focus on the photo-creative-moment. It is nearly impossible to carry everyday mind into the creative process expecting to get good results.”


David Hoptman’s Compositional Mantra:

· Don’t Lose Your Focus

· Stop=slow down

· Look=tune into your environment

· Focus=on the moment


Learn more about Photocreative Workshops on their official website:



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