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Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 22 of 50

The Elements of Design

Chris Weston

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

22. The Elements of Design


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

The Elements of Design

look closely at a leaf, any leaf, and you'll see the five basic elements of design, line, shape, color, pattern and texture. Everything on Earth, whether made naturally or built by humans or human program machines, is composed of one or more of these elements. Line, shape, color, pattern and texture of the building blocks of any photograph they communicate, meaning they suggest appearance. And they evoke both emotional and physiological reactions in the viewer in composition There, the visual tools you used to tell your story, and so part of your role in becoming the complete photographer is to become fluent in this secret language of design. Line is the most basic element of design is also the most powerful and complex lines could be straight, diagonal or curved. They can radiate, repeat, run, parallel or converge, leading you into the picture space or out of it. Line's gonna be implicit, like the horizon or implied, which is an imaginary line that is formed in the mind between two se...

parate points. As you can see, there is far more tow line than necessarily meets the eye. Horizontal lines imply space. They lead the viewers eyes across the frame, typically from left or right, because in the West that's the way we've been programmed to read with a calm, tranquil energy so calm, in fact, that objects placed on the horizontal line will appear static. Vertical lines, on the other hand, accentuate height and imply solidity and strength. They leave the eye from the foot of the image upwards diagonal lines a dynamic and create energy, unlike the horizontal gravity, now plays a part in stirring our physiological response to the visual. Curved lines also create visual energy, but the implied flow is less dramatic than the diagonal, which makes the suggested movement. Comma thin lines can imply contrast. Thick lines may denote shadow. Both imply depth, as do converging lines. As you can see, Line is a powerful, elemental photographic tool. Now I explained much more about the practical use of line in composition in Module seven. First, though I want to take you from the racing English coast to the heat of Marrakech. I don't know

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.