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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 46 of 50

Other Lines

Chris Weston

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

46. Other Lines


Class Trailer
1 Your 10,001st Photograph 03:24 2 Camera Gear 03:03 3 Piece of Gear We Always Forget 03:47 4 Be a Storyteller 03:09 5 Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject 06:59 6 Cae Study - Why Are Zebras Black and White Striped 01:30 7 Photograph What You Love 02:00 8 See the Extraordinary in Ordinary Things 01:31

Lesson Info

Other Lines

The Horizon line is a line you encounter most often in photography, but there are many others. Vertical lines, leading lines, continuity lines, diagonals, coincidences, radiating lines and gazing lines. Now, sometimes these lines are implied, sometimes their implicit. Always. They affect how the viewer read your visual story, which means for you there tools that you can use and to show you how. Let's take each one in turn, starting with verticals. Vertical lines great the illusion of height and convey strength and dignity. Roman columns, for example, are symbolic of power might and nobility. Trees would be another example. The strength and rigidity of a redwood or a mighty oak standing tall and proud. A think vertical line such as a column further adds to the sense of stability and composition. Thin lines imply the opposite, and you can further emphasize this subliminal language by holding the camera in the portrait or vertical format. Leading lines are a classic compositional tool. Li...

nes that run parallel in real life will, in the photograph, appear to converge, leading the eye into the pictures base. The important consideration is the point of convergence must lead to the point of interest if it doesn't. Instead, it will simply take the viewer away into the distant yonder. So I would take this picture from here and not here in module five. I talked about the principles of just out, one of which is continuity. Continuity means the I will always follow the path of least resistance. Incorporating continuity lines means you give the viewer a simple means of navigating the visual narrative. A meandering river is an explicit continuity line. The continuity lines may also be implied when they're formed between objects in the scene. They're a powerful tool for linking points of interest, leading the viewer a longer prescribed visual path, thereby revealing the narrative in your image. Next, we have dominant diagonals, and this is where things get a little bit more intense. Dominant diagonals airlines explicit or implied, that run parallel to the Barac, or sinister diagonals. A line paralleling the Barac diagonal is generally considered easier on the eye because it creates a left to right movement that matches the direction which we read. Conversely, a line paralleling the sinister diagonal is usually considered more aggressive because it runs against that natural flow. Of course, you could argue that both Barach and sinister diagonals could be read, left to right or right to left, depending on whether you start at the top or the bottom, but in photographic composition, the bottom of the images considered the foreground and therefore the starting point of any visual journey. Coincidences are objects that touch or connect with a line that's running through the image space, such as Horizon Line, based on the gestalt principle of continuity. Coincidences create unity by bringing together object and a sense of movement. Now some people don't believe in coincidences. On the mindful photographer will choose a camera angle that removes the coincidental factor. And here's an example taken from a high angle. A boat on the water becomes the figure in a figure and ground relationship. It's a static composition, but if I get right down at sea level, I can put the boat on the horizon line to create a coincidence, which gives the image a sense of movement. We're almost there just to to go radiating lines lead out from a fixed point or in towards a point of interest. Now, like most lines, they could be implicit, like the spokes of a wheel or implied by the positioning of other objects in the frame. Finally, there's the gazing line, which is always implied. A gazing line extends from the eyes and along the line of sight, taking the viewer with it. Now, generally speaking, you should avoid putting the gazing line of the very edge of frame. Instead, gazing line should extend into the picture space, which then forms the area of interest when the area of interest includes an object. In this case, a lighthouse. That object becomes the secondary subject when there's no object to gaze at the eyes of perceived a staring out into space. In this instance, the view is more likely to connect with the main subject. You is the viewer a left? A wonder what's going on inside the subject's head. You're gonna think of a photograph is a visual journey on lines. Determine how that journey transpires for the viewer. They are the most fundamental element of design and a powerful tool for you to use in your own journey from taking photographs to making them. And that seems like the perfect line to end on 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.


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.