Skip to main content

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 3 of 50

Piece of Gear We Always Forget

Chris Weston

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

3. Piece of Gear We Always Forget


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

Piece of Gear We Always Forget

When we think about gear, we tend to think about cameras, lenses and add on, such as filters. But there's another vital bit of equipment we often forget. And it's this your body now What do I mean by that? Well, let's start with the eyes on his journey from the retina to the center of the brain. The data your eyes receive is heavily compressed, much like the visual data in a J peg, which means the part of the brain that tells you what you're looking at on what to do about it gets just 13 thousands of the original information. Think about it. That's a tiny, tiny amount. Now it performs this compression using historic information. Basically what you've learned an experience in the past, and it does it for good reasons, because that's how we navigate our environment and survive everyday life. But how does it affect your photography? Well, if your brains is only 1 3000 of what is actually there, my question is, what's it missing? What little details is the brain filtering out that could he...

lp you turn a record shot into something more that answer that question. Take this view What do you see? Amounted? Yes, but to get to that conclusion, your brain has brushed over the detail, including the most obvious one. It's a triangle. What else? Well, take a look at this image as well as a triangle. There's a bold circle created by this boulder. There's an implied horizon line, which I've positioned just above the center line, which draws your attention to the foreground. Importantly, there's also a smaller white line under the boulder, which creates separation between it and the water. There are lines on the mountain, texture in the rocks and the vivid orange color in the land, complemented by the blue in the sky. More subtle but critical to the composition is this small triangle in the foreground, which is an almost perfect mirror of the mountain line shape, color, pattern and texture. These are the building blocks of which all images created on being mindful off them is essential if you are to make well composed photographs rather than take land record shops. So a key part of composition has nothing to do with cameras and lenses and has everything to do with you knowing how your brain is interpreting what you see enables you to deactivate the filters it uses to inform you of the bigger picture so you can focus on the stories hidden underneath. Now what else? Well, what about legs? Legs of the most underutilized piece of equipment you own? Let's be honest. The predominance of zoom lenses have made us just that little bit lazy. It's so easy now just to stand in one spot with the obvious subject in front of you and zoom in and out until you get the right crop. But walking around exploring their environment often leads to finding lots more images, subjects you might have missed if it's simply stood still. A great way to get yourself moving around is to do what I did all those years ago. Get yourself a single prime lens head to a favorite location. I just see how many great shots you can get. And as well as exploring the environment, explore the subject to bend down, step up, step to the side, change your angle. Where you stand in relation to your subject is what determines perspective. And sometimes it's the smallest change in position that makes the greatest difference to the composition. 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.