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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 35 of 50

Light and Contrast


Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 35 of 50

Light and Contrast


Lesson Info

Light and Contrast

we all know the Earth is round. But have this photograph been around in the 16th and 17th centuries? Even Galileo might have been convinced it was flat. One of the greatest challenges facing all photographers is out of represent convincingly, the physical world we live in on a perfectly flat piece of paper. The simple answer is contrast. Contrast is a pattern of light because light behaves in a predictable way. We can make sense of this pattern. This mannequin is lit with a single lamp front on on this area of the face, which is directly opposite the lamp. We get direct light. The area here, where light graduates to shadow, is referred to his half tone. Highlights are a reflection of the light source, a move around, depending on camera position. So one way to avoid highlights and simply to move crossing over to the dark side, so to speak. There are three main types of shadow. The core shadow here is the band when light and shadow meat, and it's the darkest tone in the image now. Someti...

mes it's very apparent, sometimes not, and it depends on the reflected light shadow, which is the shadow area receiving light reflected off surfaces around the subject, such as a wall or reflector. Finally, there's the cast shadow, which in this case is the surface shadow created by the mannequin blocking the light. These patterns of light and shadow are what give us form and its form that adds a depth to an object on a great way to show this in practice is in body escaped photography, which I demonstrate in the very next lesson. 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.