Skip to main content

Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject

Lesson 5 from: Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject

Lesson 5 from: Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject


Class Trailer

Your 10,001st Photograph


Camera Gear


Piece of Gear We Always Forget


Be a Storyteller


Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject


Cae Study - Why Are Zebras Black and White Striped


Photograph What You Love


See the Extraordinary in Ordinary Things


Lesson Info

Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject

We're storytellers with a camera. The question is where to find great ideas to photograph. I became a wildlife photographer because I'm fascinated by the extraordinary nous of nature exhibits. For example, why is that bruise black and white striped when they live in a yellow savannah? Is this fascination with questions that drives my passion? And I don't stop but questions? I also look for answers now this constant Q and A means I'm always learning. And the more I learn, the more I get ideas for my photography, the better you know your subject, the more you'll find ideas of how to photograph it. And here's the thing. The more you know that other people don't, the better your chances of creating images that are unique. Behind me is Roseberry topping. If a hill on the first glance has nothing particularly special about it. I tried photographing at once and came home empty handed, but a photographer friend of mine, Joe Cornish, has not only photographed, it is illustrated an entire book a...

bout it, which makes the question What can he see that I'm missing? I've been really lucky over the years to travel worldwide, Andi and see landscapes from the polar regions, from certainly sub tropics and desert regions and and so on on. I feel I've learned a huge amount from all of them, but I think that surely all of us probably identify with place. It's an extent based on our experience of childhood and time spent longer anywhere else. In my case, that would be here. I still enjoy the balance of traveling, but the passion that I have for the local area actually continues to grow as I get to know it better. The exploration process inevitably did revolve around the hill because it's the nearest feature to the village on what I realized was that although Roseberry itself is a kind of object of beauty on the horizon, it's it's no actually the topping that makes it interesting. But the landscape off which it is simply a part For the 1st 10 or 15 years of living up here, I I was quite strategic on. I would be thinking at a certain time of year, the sun will be coming from this angle. It will be rising and perhaps avoiding the hills around it, a relatively high. There is certain gaps in the hills, for example, when the sun arrives earlier at a certain day, in the year or period of days in the year. Other times it's to do with with the specific weather that actually governs. Whether I go out, we don't. The light is is very variable through the course of a year. So with in the case of Roseberry, you can see that during the summer months, the sun rises in the Northeast and it sets in the northwest on. But the solo part through today is relatively high accepted sunrise and sunset. So it's quite flattening, generally not very helpful on the whole. If if the sun is is out, um, to be shooting in the middle periods of the day, where is in the winter? For example, the sun is rising, the southeast sitting in the southwest on those differences, making me a huge change to the appearance of the landscape through that time. On those changes air, then enhanced by huge vegetation, changes. One of the great things about having a place that you love locally is that you become more intimate with it. It enables you to to drive your curiosity, experiment more on to become more aware of the subtleties off the process on. Actually, this is a two way effect. One is you. Perhaps use that local knowledge to to develop your own creativity. For me, that I feel is very, very important. But you condone transfer those skills and that understanding to your travels as well. So although I certainly think there is a tendency if you go to Rio well, it's a world class spectacular destination like the Grand Canyon or the tour is still pine. Inevitably, you probably take a few predictable photographs, but I'd like to think that as you grow in experience and understanding as an artist, then you are also more likely to be sensitive to the more complex and subtle processes that can be found. Indeed, in any great landscape going, I have a picture here from your sanity, which, uh huh is hardly the epitome of Yosemite. I found that that being able to be in such a place when the weather was really dark and moody, it was actually really inspiring. That is theme famous Tunnel View, which was immortalized by Ansel Adams, is clearing Winter Storm. I think one of the biggest challenges for landscape photographers is is Teoh. Learn to. This is going to sound strange toe listen to the subject, which is by way of saying that rather than arriving at a place sending for the first time on either bringing a lot of preconceptions of what it should be or wishing to impose a kind of prescribed formula is simply, uh to being a receptive state of mind. Onda actually accept what's in front of you, aunt, to observe and really, really notice what's happening so that your photography is actually an authentic relationship between you on the subject matter. I think that is what connection really means in photography as a wonderful Ansel Adams quote, and I may not get it exactly right. But he said that some photographers come come to their subject and impose the domination of their own thoughts and spirit. Others come more tenderly, and to them, the photograph is an instruments of love and revelation. The better you know, your subject, the better. Your chance of finding a unique visual story is about seeing beneath the surface of things, going beyond semblance and instead getting to the essence of your subject is about finding the hidden stories. The stories others don't see that are waiting for someone to reveal them. Maybe that someone is you. No.

Ratings and Reviews

Edmund Cheung

Perhaps the style of presentation and simple, short, and direct messaging does not "jive" with some; but others may really love this. Yes the production of each episode is stylized and perhaps a bit formal (like a TV Show?), but there is something to be said about it. Perhaps this is not meant for professional photographers? I think of myself as decent amateur / high level photographer. I found lots of great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from this. Especially when I an in a rut for creativity. Yes I have heard all these concepts and ideas before. BUT it is always great to hear and see a different way of presentation and voice. Please do NOT take the naysayer reviews as the end all. You should judge for yourself and watch a few episodes. If the style and content click for you, I would highly recommend this course.

Kai Atherton

While I am perhaps more advanced in my photography then this course. It is always great to be able to go back to fundamentals and remind ourselves of the basic principles, and even camera function. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and Chris's other. It is a great motivational jumpstart when lacking fresh creative idea's.

Abdullah Alahmari

Thanks a lot to mr. Chris Weston This course is great and It is a 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 course for me. Beside the other course ( mastering the art of photography ) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.

Student Work