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Compose with Color

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Join 's Course: 4-Week Short Course: Compose with ColorLearn how to get a better understanding of how to use color as an element of design in this 4-week PhotoCourse by Lewis Kemper. Learning how to use color to compose an image is as important as learning compositional rules and controlling exposure in making a successful picture. There are times that color can be the overwhelming element in an image and thus become the main component of the picture. Even though you may have a "subject", the subject can become secondary to the color.

Key Features

  1. Pastel and saturation - color as a design element, color theory, exposure to control saturation.
  2. Color interactions – warm and cool relationships.
  3. “No Color” color - grayscale color images and how to find them.
  4. Monochromatic color - recognizing, isolating and capturing monochromatic situations.

  • Perfect for serious hobbyists through professionals.
  • Implement a visualization process to be thinking of color as a design element.
  • Work on your creative seeing.

$198.00 USD

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: Lewis  Kemper Lewis Kemper
Lewis Kemper specializes in nature and wildlife photography, and has taught over 100 workshops and classes on landscape photography and/or the digital darkroom.

He is a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer and PC Photo magazines.

His work is represented worldwide by Getty Images, Index Stock Imagery, Stock Connection, AFLO Japan and DRK Photo. Lewis's computer-enhanced images have been used in advertisements, cards, bookmarks and calendars. He is the photographer of Ancient Ancestors of the Southwest, published in 1996.

He also runs a custom digital printing service to create fine art prints for photographers.

Lewis has been honored to be included into Canon’s Explorers of Light program, which recognizes 78 of the country’s most influential photographers.

Sample Photos by the Instructor

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Pastel and Saturation
Introduction: Color as a design element; Color Theory and the Color Wheel; Exposure to control color saturation.
Assignment: In this first lesson we are going to explore the principles of using exposure and light to control color saturation.

Lesson 2: Color Interactions - Warm and Cool Relationships
Color Wheel review; Using Color as an accent; Warm with a Cool Accent; Cool with a warm Accent.
Assignment: Using my examples as a guide, shoot examples of  warm with cool accent, and other examples of cool with warm accent. 

Lesson 3: "No Color" Color
Grayscale color images; Finding "no color" color images.
Assignment: Using my images as examples, shoot images of your own that are examples of "No Color" Color.

Lesson 4: Monochromatic Color
Recognizing monochromatic situations; Isolating and capturing monochromatic situations; Conclusion.
Assignment: Using my images as examples, create images of your own that are monochromatic.

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 



  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Ability to control exposure compensation.
  • A desire to learn!



Who is this class best suited for?
This class will be useful for any photographer that wants to expand their creativity and develop a sense of using color as a design element. Anyone who can control the exposure of their camera will be able to benefit from the class.  

What kind of equipment will I need to complete the assignments?
Any camera (digital or film) that will allow you to control exposure so that you can purposely over or under expose is all that is necessary.  

How much should I expect to shoot during the class?
If you're shooting digital, I'm sure this is not a big issue! As for film, if you shoot only the assignments and nothing else, you can get by with a roll of film (or the digital equivalent) each week. This is approximately 4 rolls of 24-exposure, or 36-exposure film. Of course, whenever the subject is great, the light is fine, and your creativity is high, you'll probably want to shoot more.  

For those of us who have it, can we use photo imaging software on our weekly submissions?
While a lot of the assignments can be simulated with image editing software, your goals are to implement a visualization process and to be thinking of color as a design element as you are making images in the field. Additionally, you should be thinking about how exposure choices affect how the color will look in your finished image. But I do show some examples where the assignment can be completed using software, so you will have the option.  

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

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