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Showing Some Love Thank You!

Every email, every nice comment, all of the support…it’s much appreciated!
You all keep this site going, and I can’t thank you enough!

Holy crap mind blown!!! Design it just makes sense.  Before design I was growing more and more frustrated with my photos. Having exclusively used ROT for everything. I’d see a great shot stick it on a third and more often than not blah. No matter what it was, it had to go on a third.  I was seriously thinking of giving up on photography but my girlfriend sent me a link a friend of hers shared on FB. After watching a couple of videos on YouTube and seeing your work I thought I’d give it a shot. By the way you have an amazing portfolio. I received  Photography Composition and Design: A Fun Approach for Serious Artists back in June and I just got done reading it today. I know I’m a slow reader. In fact it’s the first book I’ve read in years but the first of many.  Also I try to read a couple of articles and watch a video a day. Even though I don’t see every design technique you see while analyzing a work of art. I’m hoping with all the repetition the knowledge will become second nature and one day I will.  I wanted to take the time to say thank you for all your hard work you’ve put into your book and website. You’ve done a phenomenal job, keep up the great work! You’ve saved me from the dark alley and set me on a different path, a better path. For that I’m eternally grateful.

Thanks a million Tavis.
Gabe Perez

“The Bible of Composition”

Artful composition has to be one of the hardest aspects of creativity to explain for even the most adept author, but Tavis Leaf Glover has accomplished just that! Most books on pictorial composition approach the subject as some kind of mysterious voodoo-like construct without comprehensible logical reasoning or it’s based on some rudimentary geometric formulae – but not the “Canon of Design – Mastering Artistic Composition!” This book is a very refreshing, very concisely written book that unlocks the mystery of making good compositions for a purpose. Numerous high quality examples are expertly diagramed to show how a technique is used or a principle is applied. This approach is used throughout the book to provide real insight into how the composition can be analyzed and how a particular principle of composition manifests itself. Each example reveals a principle of composition clearly and usably, unlike most other books.
The real beauties of this wonderful book are the logical layout and the understandable way it is written; it is easy to follow and easy to understand, signs of an author who clearly understands his/her subject. The book itself is a masterpiece of design, leading the reader from basic to advanced concepts in a logical, deductive progression. The works of real masters is used to demonstrate designing a path for the viewer’s eye, unifying all the elements of piece of art and for dynamically balancing the elements of the composition. Unlike most books on the subject, this book incorporates one element common to all dramatic art – lighting. In addition, to explaining the “what” behind creating unity, flow and balance in a composition, this book also explains the science of “why” these tools work by applying Gestalt principles of perception. In this way, the author shows you why a principle works the way it does and these explanations give the in-depth understanding that will allow an artist to successfully “break” the rules yet still accomplish their purpose.
This is NOT a book of formulaic approaches. This is NOT a book written with superfluous or nonessential words; instead, it is simply and concisely written, clarifying its message throughout. This is a book that will help ANYONE learn how and why the elements of a picture can and, more importantly, should be organized. It will show you how to best lead the viewer’s eye and how to keep the viewer’s interest throughout your painting, drawing or photograph. You will learn how to place more emphasis where you want and eliminate unwanted distractions.
Chapters include topics such as, but not limited to, using Dynamic Symmetry, Root Rectangles, Major Area Divisions, Greatest Area of Contrast (a much better approach to the concept of a focal point or center of interest), Grids, Gamut angles, 90 Degree Angles, Coincidences, Closures, Arabesques, Radiating Lines, Ellipses, Edge Flicker and much, much more. The book is brilliantly comprehensive on the subject of composition.
If you are interested in making better art, you MUST get this book. I am so glad I did – I’ve read it three times so far!”

 Thom Bluemel

If you wondered how my images jumped in quality, hands down there is no other thing that has done it as highly as Tavis Leaf Glover’s teaching in this book and Stefan Kohler educating me in colour and retouching.
Get this book and your photographic life will change forever, I promise you! I know because I’ve spent the last year reading everything Tavis has written including power reading this book today, the whole thing.

Joseph Parry

Hi Tavis, I have been diving into your work religiously in my off time and I can already tell I’ve struck gold. What you have created is exactly what I was looking for which I couldn’t find elsewhere. I remember stumbling upon some gestalt info in the past but it was related to graphic design and I dismissed it because I couldn’t easily relate it to my own art, but you go through and show exactly how it relates to 2d art in a way that is easy to digest and apply, and the dynamic symmetry has been blowing my mind. It’s one of those moments where I can tell my art is going to take a quantum leap forward as long as I do everything I consciously can to master this methodology. I am truly thankful for your work and effort in creating this, my friend.

Thanks again Tavis!
Daniel Dust

Hi Tavis! And greetings from Finland!
Just want to thank you for your brilliant work!
I’m a professional musician and composer, and I have been a bit ignorant as far as the visual arts are concerned. You’re wonderful work opened a whole new world of beauty, joy and inspiration. I believe that understanding the visual arts better will eventually improve my musical competence too. In a way you have really opened my eyes to a whole new universe of arts.
In these superficial times (well, superficial at least in the western countries) knowledge is overlooked and even despised. Nevertheless very often it’s the key for the highest satisfaction one can get from the earthly things. It applies to all: music, arts, movies, literature, food, even society and politics.
I might sound a bit hippie but it’s very important what you’re doing! For us there’s much to develop as a society, and the ignorance of beauty is like the ignorance of human soul. Instead of art we have mass entertainment. And unfortunately this low esteem of more valuable things will, eventually, degenerate the whole west. Instead of sophisticated culture and the growth as a human being we have the investment banks and the economic growth. We don’t measure soul and spiritual values anymore, only money.
What connects us to the very first cavemen? The urge and sense for the beauty, self expression and arts. It’s very inspiring to think that as artists we are part of a heritage that is so old and valuable. If we lose that there’s not much difference between us and animals. No matter how great annual GDP rates we have… A man without the sense of heart, soul and beauty is a mere beast.
Anyway, many words and with bad English! (I’m far from a native speaker, and I can assure to you that English and Finnish have absolutely nothing in common! 🙂
Thank you, you have definitely enriched my life! Even so much that I’m starting my old and neglected photo-hobby again! 🙂 Keep up the good work, it’s important what your doing!

Vesa Ojaneimi

Hi Tavis,
Thank you so much, I can’t wait to get started! A couple of months ago I read an article by New York photographer Chris Knight (also boyfriend of fashion photographer and CreativeLive educator Lindsay Adler) which mentioned the Gestalt theory and triggered my curiosity. Through quite a lot of searching for more information I ended up on your site and to be honest, I’m probably more excited than on the day someone told me very kindly I needed to learn about lighting.
As a photographer I have always (until now) focused on technique, lighting, posing, expression, etc, etc, to improve my images,  but always relied on “intuition” and the rule of thirds for composition. So I am very grateful for your information on the matter, especially as it seems to be overlooked by many of my colleagues.

Very best wishes,

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Hi Tavis,
I’m going through your photography and composition Kindle book this week and I just want to say it’s amazing! Thank you for putting such great information out there.

-Jason Y.

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Thank you so much for the reply and taking time to point out what I was seeing. I’m starting to see purposeful design going on, just not always sure what design elements I’m looking at.
More often than not, I find something that interests me and then try to reverse engineer why it grabbed my attention. In this case I did get the story immediately, and figure-ground relationship… then when looking at the chalk lines I wasn’t sure if they were meant to be part enough the composition, or remnants of the “canvas” that were left in. I watched your Van Gogh analysis again tonight and although I didn’t grasp all of it, I understood much more than if I would have watched it a year ago.
Keep putting out this great content. It is very interesting, complex, and rare. I’m also reading “The Art of Composition” by Michel Jacobs, which is helping understand more.
I’m just an amateur/hobbyist photographer, but became very interested some time ago when I noticed the most powerful and interesting photos had little to do with gear, traditional leading lines/rule of thirds teaching. In fact I’ve probably ruined many good photos because I was trying to achieve these and missed the real moment. This deeper interest led me to a photographer named Adam Marelli, and then to your channel and books. My entire perspective has changed.
Very powerful stuff and I appreciate both your passion for it and effort in sharing it.


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Thanks Tavis, I have done the first 14 “sessions” on your website and it’s realllly exciting stuff. Some things, I need to re-read again as I am not a math genius, but I am getting by  Your canon of design inspires me to create my new production with the design theories in mind. I am planning to make cinematographic stills with music bands. Once I make the sketches during pre-production, I will let you know  Can’t wait to read the rest on your webpage!

Cheers and thanks for all the info!
Pieter Van Goethem 

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Hi Tavis,
No need to thank me. Thanks to you I have even found out about dynamic symmetry. I enjoy your channel and really liked your book, even though it left me hungry for more. I think for what you are offering this is a steal. So, thank YOU. Also I would like to express me sincere appreciation for all the work you’ve been doing.
I wish you all the best for the future, the sun on your face and the wind on your back.


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Thank you very much!!! You lessons and grids are awesome, they really help me very much, to improve my artworks. Even the smallest changes with the grids make everything more interesting. So thank you.

VG Rüdiger Lauktien

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Did first read on PCD last night. Great info. Really sets a different perspective on the fundamentals. Keep up the great work.

Rodney Tucker

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I just watched your interview with Mr Barnstone!
Thank you for uploading it, i recently adquired the drawing courses dvds, and I am being blown away by Mr. Barnstone teachings, i just found out he passed away 2 years ago, what a privilege you had in attending his courses and knowing him in person.
I’m a 33 year old graphic designer from Central America, I’ve loved art and drawing ever since i was a kid, I spent the last 10 years studying master painters and sculptors, and i had never seen the secret geometry under over it until now.
What enriching lectures he gave!
Just like the monks of the rennaisance keeping ancient knowledge, let us spread this knowledge and improve our work! What a joy it is to get in touch with fellow artists who keep tradition alive.
I gave a like to the canon of design page on fb man! I also subscribed to the newsletter.

In appreciation and respect,

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Excellent article Tavis, I read every word…   and for info, a well known Aussie judge, whom I shall keep nameless (after I posted the article link on our camera clubs facebook page) wrote  –
This is a very elloquent article that is worth reading over and over again. I have long considered the Rule of Thirds a load of poppycock and have made a conscious effort to avoid using it.
What really cheeses me off is when club judges evaluate images on the basis of their compliance with the Rule of Thirds.


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Thank you very much! I believe this is going to be an amazing eye opening journey!!
So far your u tube videos are fantastic I wasn’t aware of this information, thank you!!

Lee Smith

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Hello Tavis,
Thank you again. I have just subscribed to your wonderful website’s mailing list and am sure I will most definitely enjoy your book.
Keep up the good work; I have enjoyed visiting your website and found it to be wonderfully unique as not many other websites for artists mention the methods you have for photographers as well.
Thanks again and feel free to let me know about any further exciting developments in the future!

Tiffany Rice

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I found your talk on the 10 Myths of the Rule of Thirds to be quite engaging and, at the same time, rather unsettling. I’ve worked professionally as a photographer for 30 years and have never heard anyone take the rule of thirds concept to task so I’m sure you can imagine how destabilizing the perspective you put forth could be after all these years. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing but, like so many other things these days, I find that what I thought was truth/reality isn’t necessarily so. Actually, it’s too bad this information didn’t come sooner as it would have been an interesting challenge to try and raise my efforts to another level.

C’est la vie. Thanks for your myth busting piece on the rule of thirds.
Howard Linton

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Hi Tavis,
I was able to download the rest of the Gestalt Video Collection! Watched them all already. Can’t wait to start applying them to my work!
Thank you once again, 🙂


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Thanks! Really enjoy reading your master pass stuff. Keep up the good work!

Ryan McCarthy

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I recently discovered your Canon of Design site and read through the article on PetaPixels (“10 Myths About the Rule of Thirds”).  As a digital artist, I was really happy to see an alternative approach to composition (I too have been trapped by the rule of thirds–and it’s tough to break).  I purchased your grids (for the computer) and read through both articles included in the pdfs.


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Hi Tavis,
That’s brilliant thank you very much, the link worked fine!
Very excited to get stuck into this book – the techniques on your blog have actually been quite life-changing for me as an artist and have really helped me to push towards the career I really want, so thank you!

Best regards,

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Cheers mate, keep up the good work. Your website is like an oasis for people who want to know more about composition and art.

Geza Kadas

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Tavis, I’ve been a follower of your webpage for a while now and I was unable to commit to the “Master Pass” until today. I’m happy to join up as I’m collecting information that I hope to present to my local photography club of nearly 200 members. I hope to inspire and challenge them to think outside of the rule of thirds and understand why it doesn’t hold water.
Thanks for the great content. I look forward to using your materials as reference as I assemble my presentation!

Tim Lingley

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Dear Tavis,
I just wanted you to know I’ve read your book and I really have to tell you that you have written a composition masterpiece!!! This is the best work I have ever seen on this topic. It explains the why, how and when and offers a much deeper understanding of composition, arrangement of shapes and values than any of the typical “Rule of Three” or “Golden Mean” or other formulaic approaches. I can never thank you enough for writing and sharing such an important work.
I have a long way to go to apply all the information you provided, but I am determined to learn it all and make it second nature in my paintings.
Thank you again for taking the time and for selflessly sharing the dynamic messages in your book. You have written the bible for composition.

Your fan,
Thom Bluemel

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Dear Tavis,
I have learned a great deal about composition and wanted to thank you for your research on the topic. I feel that it was well worth my while in terms of my composition skills.
Best of Luck with your future endeavors.

James Oliver

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Hi Tavis! You have been an amazing inspiration to me. I love your book and I tell all my photographer friends to read it.
I’ve been memorizing the overlays and applying them but I want to actually put one on my xpro2 so I decided to just buy all of yours and get them printed on overhead film and do the tape method. Thanks for doing the math and making them for folks like me. I included one of my photographs that I took after I started studying your work so you can see how I have put it to good use.

Thanks for your time and your knowledge.
Justin Day
Photography by Day Studio

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 I read most of the 365 pages, which were very instructive, mind opening and beautiful by the way.

Stephan Hartz

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Hi, thank you very much for your help in the country can not find such professional composition learning materials, only a few of the format tower psychology is very tedious and not practical, I accidentally saw your composition theory, feel very interesting, so it came to your website. it is like the discovery of the new continent, the knowledge of my previous knowledge of the scattered knowledge has become the most fundamental method, which is my photography composition is very helpful, I will put this Website to share with my friends!

王 垣铮

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Tavis: Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how useful your information has been.  Working on reading through all the member content and loving the freedom of the dynamic grids.  I’ve attached a current piece (low-res version) I’m working on with one of the grids over-layed.  I made some changes and alignment to the composition based on the grid and I do think it works better now (but as far as my correct use of the grid–that may be a different story).  Just wanted to show you what I’ve done with your info and encourage you to keep teaching!

Tony Fernandez

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Hi, I’m learning a lot from your blog. I love it in fact, it challenges my critical thinking. I am not disappointed by your videos. It’s fascinating to try to see what you share/teach/advocate in a self-made production. Well done, I find the effect of water going back in time strangely hypnotic.


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Thank you for a great website and solid body of work in regard of learning and teaching design. In first six days of the 365 you’ve shown deep knowledge of design and great sense of humor. This was enough for me to purchase membership pass.
I’m really looking forward to the end of the 365. Will be following this course (if I may call it so) closely to improve my photography skills. I’m sure more people should know things you’re discussing here. You deserve for wider audience.


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Mr Glover, I’ve been following your blog these past few days, and I am so impressed 😀 Thank you so much for doing this, it’s already affected the way I think about and see the world, not to mention paintings and photographs! As an aspiring photographer, all of this information is priceless. I am really eager to continue reading your blog! Thank you so much!


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Your dissection of HCB’s work simply just blew me away. Consider me now a believer of the Canon of Design.

Hafizuddien Ju

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After reading this post, I took the protective plastic cover that’s on my camera’s LCD and drew the root phi basic armature on it. Don’t worry, I didn’t damage the LCD, but I think I will begin to use this as a way of checking myself for the next little while and see where it gets me.
I even reviewed my favourite images that I’ve taken in the last year and they are flukes: they hit this Root Phi grid fairly closely (even closer with a quick crop!). I guess I just didn’t realize why I liked what I did!

Thanks Tavis, I’m enjoying this blog immensely. Keep it up, I want to keep learning!

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Dear Tavis, recently I purchased the computer and camera grids that you have constructed. I also purchased the Canon of Design book and have found all of them to be extremely helpful in my understanding of design and its application in art and photography.

Rick Mecall

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I love this project and all the information you’ve been laying out here. Thanks so much for doing this its been incredibly helpful. Its pretty crazy to me to consider how long I’ve looked into composition techniques and how long it took to come across some really useful stuff.


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Superpsyched about finding your site!! This is awesome !! So in line with how my mind, art, photography is going – well done!

Aino Shperber

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This is excellent. It is something that I have studied for awhile and believe in. So good to see you presenting it in such a clear and accessible way.

Thank you,
Lars Lentz