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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 12 of 50

Find a Needle in the Haystack


Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 12 of 50

Find a Needle in the Haystack


Lesson Info

Find a Needle in the Haystack

My photographic process starts by finding ideas for images, but I'm still not running. Pick up my camera, not just yet before I do that. There's another step, and that step is visualization. A picture in my mind How I imagine the image will look in print. I start by drawing a picture, sometimes mentally and occasionally on paper. When I have the picture, I add notes, taking into account things like, What's the best light, camera, position and angle? What equipment will I need? What would be the ideal weather and when is the best time of day or time of year even to get the shot? I think a lot about camera settings concentrating on lens aperture and shutter speed. So when the moment comes are not caught up in technique. Now I do appreciate this approach is time consuming and takes effort. But while there's no guarantee I'll get what I set out to get, the work I put in upfront does mean I give myself the very best chance of being in the right place at the right time, with the right gear o...

n the right settings, which is important because one thing you can guarantee When the moment does come, it'll pass by in the blink of an eye, searching for that once in a lifetime composition. That moment, when light and circumstance coincide a magic happens, is a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. What I've learned is, and this is the reason I put so much effort individualization in the first place. It's a lot easier to find a needle in a haystack when you know it's a needle you're looking for. 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.