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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 26 of 50

Elements of Design - Color


Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 26 of 50

Elements of Design - Color


Lesson Info

Elements of Design - Color

of all the elements of design, color is the most powerful. As humans, we attach many emotional connotations with color. Red means danger. Green means healthy. Think of a traffic light, for example, because color is so linked to emotion is the element that, more than any other, creates mood. Warm colors such as red and yellow and orange make us happy. Cold colors such as blue give off a more melancholic feeling, but warm and cool colors together on the warm color will project forward while the cool color receives creating a sense of depth. Complementary colors that is, those sitting opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or orange and blue appear more vivid when placed next to each other, which draws attention to them. Color can also create visual or implied energy because of their different wavelengths. For example, a picture of a red leaf against a green background will appear mawr three dimensional because red has a longer wavelength than green. Bold, vivid col...

ors will live in an image making their subject stand out, or you can use softer pastel colors to create a more sensual mood. Color also creates context revealing the scene in the same terms that we perceive it, which makes it more true to life. Because color is such a powerful communicator, it can also be overwhelming, smothering the other elements of design. So if textural patterns say are key elements in your composition, consider converting the image to black and white because it will allow those elements to stand out more now because color is so expressive is a great element to experiment with as you'll see in the next lesson.

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.