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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 27 of 50

Case Study - Color


Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 27 of 50

Case Study - Color


Lesson Info

Case Study - Color

on the island of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. There's a forest, nothing particularly unusual about that. But this is an oddly curious forest because it's formed of what can only be described as painted eucalyptus trees. And this unusual effect occurs when the outer bark peels away, revealing a vibrant green layer underneath. Then, over time, the green fades to blue, purple, pink, orange, red and maroon on because different layers peel at different times, each tree reveals a rainbow like palette of colors, quite literally. Looks like money visited, went riot with paintbrush. Now being a big fan of Monet, that became my story. I wasn't there to photograph trees. I was there to photograph color. Now, as you can see from the picture, the vivid description doesn't completely play out for riel. Most of the time, the colors are quite muted. So to get the image I envisioned, I use my knowledge of color to seek out an individual tree where red and green were predominant, red and green, a compl...

ementary colors sitting opposite each other on the color wheel. When position together, one enhances the vibrancy of the other, or, in other words, they complement each other. Furthermore, because red has a longer wavelength and green, which means our eyes see red fractionally before they see green together, they form visual depth. Now, to add to my story of Monet, I wanted to create an effective impressionistic brush strokes. So to achieve this, I decided to add movement, setting a slow shutter speed of a second and holding the camera vertically. I pan from top to bottom. The technique caused the strips of color to merge and grow. Giving me the effect I planned on artwork that looks more like an impression is painting than a photograph, No.

Class Description



  • Compose a shot consistently and effectively
  • Create artistic, powerful images quickly
  • Gain confidence in building narrative
  • Identify what stories you’re drawn to photograph
  • Brainstorm and develop concepts for creative shots
  • Trust your instincts when approaching a subject


CreativeLive is partnering with Chris Weston to offer you his Complete Photography Master Course. This is the second class in the series.

Today, everybody has a camera, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s a photographer. Chris Weston will show you how to do all the other stuff – how to “see” an image, tap into your creativity, and compose a photograph that makes the subject look as good in print as it does in real life.

This class isn’t about cameras, it’s about you – the photographer. It will break free your creative mind, get you thinking about narrative rather than object, and show you how to apply simple artistic skills that turn that next click into a powerful photograph.

Learn how to approach photography like a pro and start creating great pictures straight away. With in-the-field lessons, case studies and powerful tips and techniques, you’ll quickly unleash your creativity and gain confidence in expressing yourself through your camera.


  • Beginner photographers
  • First time DSLR or mirrorless camera users
  • Any photographer who wants to hone their artistic skills


Named one of the world's most influential wildlife photographers, Chris Weston takes a contemporary approach to photography. After launching his career in 2001, the Fujifilm ambassador's images have graced the pages of top publications like BBC, The Times, Outdoor Photography, Practical Photography, and Digital Photography. As a photography educator, Chris has written over 20 photography books, along with leading photo tours and online workshops.


Silvia Garcia

Excellent ! Will see it many times to digest all the messages here. Important info on composition theory. Very well explained. Go to the essence of photography. Thanks, Chris !

a Creativelive Student

Absolute must to watch! Perhaps few times, as is packed with all the information you need to know to make your photography to the next level. I think it is the most comprehensive class on composition. Fantastic!


fabulous course no matter how advanced you are.. LEarned so much from it. I'll watch it again as it contains so much.