In today’s digital age, smartphones have become ubiquitous, and their cameras have become increasingly advanced. As a result, more and more people, particularly the youth, are using their smartphones to take photographs. However, taking good photographs is not just about having a good camera; it also requires an understanding of visual aesthetics.
Visual aesthetics refer to the principles of visual design that govern how images are perceived and interpreted. These principles include composition, color, contrast, balance, symmetry, and other elements that contribute to the overall appeal of a photograph. Learning visual aesthetics is crucial for any photographer, whether they are using a smartphone or a professional camera.
As part of Africa Foto Fair activities at the MuCAT museum, a smartphone youth photography workshop was held from January 7th – Feb 4th in a four-part session that focused on teaching youth from area schools in Abobo, Côte d’Ivoire. Through the lessons, students had an opportunity to improve their skills and enhance their creativity. The objective of the workshop was to teach participants the principles of visual aesthetics and how to apply them to their photography.
The workshop started with an introduction to the basic concepts of visual aesthetics, such as composition and color theory. Participants learned how to use different compositional techniques to create visually appealing images. For example, they learnt about the rule of thirds, which involves dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically and placing the subject at the intersection of the lines. They can learn about using leading lines, framing, and symmetry to create balance and interest in their photographs.
The first phase of the workshop focused on black and white photography to further emphasis for the students to learn about the various elements of basic composition as well as how to tell stories through a collection of images. The final results of the student’s work was launched at the MuCAT museum along with the “World Collection”, which opened February 12th, 2023.