• workshop & photo tour of Leiden
  • workshop & photo tour of Leiden
  • workshop & photo tour of Leiden
  • workshop & photo tour of Leiden

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”
— Matt Hardy

workshop & photo tour of Leiden

Basics of Composition Workshop and Photo Tour of Leiden

workshop & photo tour of Leiden

About the Workshop

Would you like to learn how to take better photographs? Then this is the event for you! – a workshop and photo tour of Leiden.

We will take you to 24 locations in the beautiful city of Leiden , some well-known, some less so where we will explain and demonstrate the basic rules of composition; equally valid for smartphones and state of the art digital cameras (and also painting and drawing).

Composition is the placement of subjects and the background in a photo, and it’s one of the most important parts of photography. Good composition doesn’t require an expensive camera or a technical understanding of photography – but it can take years of practice before it becomes second nature.
In this workshop, I’ll cover basic compositional techniques that artists have been developing for hundreds of years.

Keep it simple

But perhaps the most basic ‘rule’ is ‘keep your picture simple’.
• Eliminate unwanted distraction and detail by framing carefully.
• Do not chop the tops or sides off things (or people!).
• Avoid unwanted objects protruding (like lamp posts appearing to grow from the top of someone’s head)
• Don’t simply think ”‘oh that’s nice” CLICK.

Practice practice practice

After the workshop, take every opportunity to practice what you have learned. Look critically at what you have photographed, and ask yourself how you could improve the picture.


It is quite difficult to judge your pictures objectively. One great way of getting feedback is to post them on Instagram.

And following others on Instagram is a great way to find inspiration.

The workshop and photo tour of Leiden covers a distance of about 6 km.

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

Who the workshop and photo tour of Leiden is aimed at


The workshop is suitable for all abilities, from enthusiastic beginners to experienced photographers who would like to be reminded of the basics of good composition.

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

What you should know

No prior knowledge of photography or the rules of artistic of composition is necessary.


All you need to bring is something that will take photographs, and your enthusiasm!

However, if you would like to hire a DSL camera for the workshop, we can lend you one for the duration.

Click here for details

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

What you will learn

The subjects we will cover include:

• Rule of thirds
• Rule of space
• Leading lines
• Framing
• Symmetry
• Patterns and textures
• Interesting shapes
• Varying the angle
• Depth of field
• Panoramas

By the end of the workshop and photo tour of Leiden, you will have gained an insight into how to take photographs instead of snapshots.


The difference between a snapshot and a photograph

Smartphones make it easy to take pictures; you always have a camera to hand. You see something you like, and CLICK you have a picture of it. With a bit of luck, and depending on the conditions, the result may be very pleasing.

Sometimes you have to be quick to capture a moment, but usually with a bit of thought and planning you could have made it even better. Walk around a bit to make sure you have the best angle, and bet lighting. Apply the rule of thirds; make sure there is space around an object or person; do not chop the top off things; make sure there are no ugly distractions (such as portable toilets!)

Your camera sees things differently

Here’s the thing: you eyes and brain are far more sophisticated than even the most advanced camera sensor. For a start, they are about a thousand times more sensitive to light, which is why a woodland in summer appears as soft shadows and dappled pools of light, while a photograph of the same small is patches of green with detail, and large areas of black and white devoid of anything.

Your eyes interpret the scene around you, a camera records it literally. So why bother, you may ask. Well, a camera (obviously) can record a snapshot in time, which your eyes cannot. But what transforms than snapshot into a photograph is when you value to it. For example use backlighting to form a halo round a person. Or use a fast shutter speed to freeze a moving object. Or a slow shutter speed so water appears silky and moving. And a photograph can present shapes, patterns and textures that your eyes do not readily discern.

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

Starting time

The workshop starts at 14:00.

The duration is approximately 3 hours. And afterwards we will go for a warm cup of coffee to discuss what you have learned, and talk about what the next steps might be.

Meeting place

We meet at Starbucks cafe in Leiden Central station, Stationsplein entrance. Please try to be there by 15 minutes before the start.

Public Transport

If you are travelling from outside Leiden, and would like advice on public transport please contact us.

If you are staying in Leiden, and would like to be collected from your hotel or apartment, please contact us.


The Leiden daytime basics of composition phototour free of charge.

What is included

• Experienced tutor and guide
• Refreshment break
• Access to our tuition web pages
• Photo enhancement service
• Advice on travel to Leiden
• Advice on what to do and where to eat and drink n Leiden

What is not included

• Refreshments
• Hire of equipment such as tripod
• Cost of transport to Leiden

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

Bad weather

The weather in the Netherlands can be unpredictable, especially in Autumn and Winter.

But it seldom rains the for whole day. If the rain is torrential the workshop will be cancelled, but if it is not heavy the workshop will go on regardless.

Photographers are a hardy breed, and stormy skies and wet pavements present some of the most exciting photo opportunities!

workshop and photo tour of Leiden

How can I book this workshop?

If you would like reserve a place, you can do so by:

Booking online

Telephoning +31 (0)71 887 1023

Emailing us on info@dutchphototrek.com

Tourist Information Leiden

guided photography tour of Leiden
guided photography tour of Leiden

If you would like to learn more about Dutch Photo Trek, you may telephone us daytime or evenings (Central European Time), weekdays or weekends.