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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 25 of 50

Case Study - Shape


Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 25 of 50

Case Study - Shape


Lesson Info

Case Study - Shape

At first glance, this is an uneventful street scene, everyday life in Marrakech. But let me show you what else I saw. There are the obvious shapes, the elongated rectangles of the tower on walls, the smaller rectangles of the windows. The arch is seen in the doorways and on the tower itself. There are the explicit vertical lines formed by the trees, and the lamppost on horizontal line have seen in the top edges of the walls and the pavement edge in the near foreground. There's color the red banner against the blue sky, the red and white stripes in the curb, on the pinky orange of the building itself. And there's pattern in the mosaic work at the top of the tower on this texture, rough texture in the brickwork of the tower and smoother texture on the wall. Every one of the elements I've described is an image in and of itself. I chose to focus on the element of shape. I spent some time walking around the whole structure, exploring all the possibilities on where the main wall ends. Here I...

found what I was looking for. This image is about shape. There are two bowl triangles, one created by the framing, the other created by the shadow. The top part of the picture is split by two symmetrical polygons, which give the image balance yet contrast with the dynamism of the two triangles. To create visual tension. There's an arrow pointing to the intersection. The complementary colors are engine blew flat in the image to make it more abstract. Now, to show you what I mean. If I make the image monochrome, it becomes more three dimensional. Firstly, with a blue filter setting, we get separation between the vertical wall in the sky. Compare this with the color version, and you can clearly see the difference. Change it again. This time, processing the image using a red filter setting on the separation between triangle and sky now appears as a crack in the wall. The same scene free. Completely different stories, all based solely around the subject of shape

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.