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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 7 of 39

Behind-the-scenes: Naples


Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 7 of 39

Behind-the-scenes: Naples


Lesson Info

Behind-the-scenes: Naples

he man, I got to not play Madi. Mhm strong. It's not too difficult to find the obvious subjects, but photography is more than just postcards and record shops. For me, photography is about storytelling. In order to tell a story with your camera, you've got to get beneath the surface. Okay? Yeah, And in terms of where we're going to be going today, where are you taking us? Old town, which is this old Greco Roman city, is where we're going to be stomping around where we're actually going to be kind of either side. So on the West is the Penis secondmarket to the north in the Senate and everyone meets and talks and communicates like a really Francesco having his parents wine shop become a site of congregation. Meeting on this one Thursday every week is much more about creating a sense of community. Naples has a great and long history of pastries, and they usually date back to the 17 hundreds and 18 hundreds where nuns are making them in convents and Children created this little cream band. ...

But it's probably got the magic ingredient that makes it light and fluffy and not too sweet. But just sweet enough to make you want more and more wonderful these little biscuits that you take around to a friend's house. Future people come from all over to to get to from there, Mr Hello. Well, no injuries embrace. Of course it was December and there's a place in historic center and in this place you could go and be able to have a pizza and pay them within seven days for the pizza. The only way that you could get out of paying for that pizza was to die. I'm definitely thinking something to do with the friction and the motion. So one of the images I want to try and get is a motion blur image with a scooter. It seems to me and Napoli's there is so much going on and even just one small area block here. So my decision is I'm actually going to take multiple stories and use one image to tell that story. So here I am. I'm in Naples unplugged today. It's just me and the camera. And to be quite honest with you, I am totally outside of my comfort zone. To make matters worse, this is what I'm gonna be using. I don't know whether you can see this, but Simon's been Simon and is completely covered it up. So I've got exposure controls. I've got focus controls. That's it. There's no delete button. I can't even see the screen on back. So this is gonna be a real challenge. Not only that, he's put a 512 med card in here, so I've got 20 shots all day and just 20 shots. He thinks he's being clever, but what he doesn't know is I've already half filled his card. Yes, that's it. So hang on a minute. Yeah. Yeah. Chris has built half my card already. You've only got 10 frames. Okay? Yes, lovely. The stories I've got in mind one is it's Francesco because I think it's the really beautiful story, this idea of trying to bring a community together. He's quite a charismatic guy. Everything that you imagine Italian and Italy to be. This will be right in the front of the picture and you'll be slightly behind. So it's like if you reach the arm out as if you've been a big toast like this, see, just, uh, yeah, as a perfect just creating a bit of separation. Perfetto. The the photo? Yeah, yeah, that's the one. Philip holes are the shops that have resisted paying the extortion racket is knowing what really is the best angle to get it from. I'm quite I'm really quite nervous. I've been this excited since I shot with a roll of film. No, this is a bit like opening the packet from boots. You know, there are a couple of things in here that intrigued me. One was the bullet wound, but also in the bottom corner. You've got these hearts, and for me, that's the story. It's this connection between the gunshot, which is where Napoli has come from, and the hearts which is where it's going. I had to work really hard to get an angle, but what I did like was the window. One window closed the past one window, opening the future. This is the image I pre visualized for me. This was the most challenging one in many ways because this was the one where I had to get in the face. I had to really connect with the person, and that's a struggle for me. There's so many sort of doubling zoom in the image that worked for me. So you've got the painting on the right and his face there. You've got a wine glass and the bulb in a dome. It's almost as if he's balancing the glass on his hand. Wine was very important. The wine, his weapon against the Mafia against the past of Napoli. And it's what he's using to bring people together. Hence the reason I wanted to be very prominent in the picture. This was definitely a shot I pre visualized. I wanted the scooter sharp and the background blurred, but I wanted something very character full in the background. It's one of those techniques is really, really hard to master. You have this really fine line between enough blurred that it doesn't look like camera shake, Yes, but not so much blur that you can't tell what the object and what the subjects are. And you've got that balance just right. It didn't matter if I didn't get the whole bike in. You don't need everything in the picture. You need the bits that are important. In fact, if they're not important, they shouldn't be there. So my final image was this fishmonger and this more than anything, this is where I would have been out of my comfort zone had we not had this day with Sophia, who gave me the confidence that I could go into these places with my unbelievably limited Italian and actually see if I could find a story that was in there. What's happening here is the angle of these two fish. You've got this start of a triangle, which comes up to the top of this guy and then connects through this guy to this guy. That's your straight line again. You have this really powerful shape right in the center. There's one thing I would change. The sword of the Swordfish is just cutting through this guy's arm, and ideally, I would want to move it really important part of composition in photography. There is so much going on in that frame, and you have to be aware of all of it, knowing that at the very beginning you are going to be way outside your comfort zone and way outside of your photographic experience. Yes, would you say through this photograph that that comfort zone has now expanded more than any of the other ones I took. Yes, because this is really about the story. So even even in the space of 24 hours as a photographer, you have grown 100%. We got here on day one, which was really just our arrival day. And we in one afternoon we walked 15. That's right kilometers through the city, into the old town, down to the port, back up again. And to be quite honest, other than a standard postcard shot, I saw nothing. And yet yesterday we spent an entire day, walked 150 m, and I feel like we saw the world. Uh huh.

Class Description


  • See images with a creative eye.
  • Capture artistic photographs of the most popular subjects.
  • Choose the right lens and camera settings for the image you want to create.
  • Recognize and capture the “decisive moment”.
  • Add visual mood and emotion to your photographs.
  • Develop your own unique photographic style.
  • Find what inspires you and apply that inspiration to your image-making.
  • Fine-tune color, tone, and visual presence with easy-to-learn Adobe Lightroom adjustments.


Once you’ve mastered basic camera craft and photo-technique, what is the next step in advancing your photographic skillset? In this in-depth course, award-winner Chris Weston shares an approach to photography that has creativity at its heart, and reveals the secrets and professional techniques that will get you creating photographs that ‘sing’.

Taking you on a step-by-step journey, from vision to print, Chris shows you how to: tap into your natural creative instincts; ‘see’ much-photographed and everyday subjects with a unique vision; set a creative intention and get the camera to capture it authentically; and, with a few simple techniques, process superb print-ready photographs. Through ‘in-the-field’ examples and inspirational case studies, he reveals the nuances of composition that can make or break a photograph, and describes the creative tools that turn snapshots into stunning photographs good enough to adorn any wall.

Delivered in an easy-to-follow, down-to-earth style, using ‘real-life’ examples and ‘live’ tuition, this course builds on the practicalities of camera technique to equip you with the creativity and vision to see, capture and process compelling photographs time after time, whatever your camera or level of experience.


  • Beginners who want to create better photographs.
  • Intermediate photographers who want to refine their image-making and be more creative.
  • All photographers looking for inspiration and creativity.
  • Outdoor photographers interested in travel, landscape/cityscape, nature, sport, and wildlife photography.


  1. Class Introduction - Three Steps To Creative Photography

    There are three elements that go into creating a compelling photograph: technique, composition and creativity. Chris explains how an ancient Japanese philosophy of art, built around the notion of hand, eye, heart, helped him develop a fool-proof process for creating beautiful photographs, time and time again.

  2. Firing The Creative Mind - Part 1: The Camera Points Both Ways

    The photographs we take reflect not just what we see but what we feel about what we see. In this lesson, Chris explains how to connect with your subject - the first step in turning snapshots in photographic art.

  3. Firing The Creative Mind - Part 2: Letting Go Of Judgement

    Almost by definition photography involves making judgements but being judgemental blocks creativity. So, to reveal how to turn negative views into positive outcomes, Chris heads to Britain’s “least-interesting” location and challenges himself to create a compelling photograph.

  4. Firing The Creative Mind - Part 3: Detaching From Outcomes

    Sometimes, we get so focussed on what we set out to photograph that we forget about everything else, which leads to missed opportunities. Often, the most successful photographs are the ones never anticipated. Chris reveals the benefits and practices of keeping an open mind.

  5. Practicing Mindfulness In Photography

    By deconstructing one of his all-time favorite images, Chris shows how approaching photography with a mindful eye can help you create photographs that show much-photographed subjects in a new and compelling way.

  6. Finding The Visual Narrative

    To find the story, you have to get involved. You have to invest time and energy and immerse yourself in your subject. Stepping way outside his photographic comfort zone, Chris heads to Naples, in Italy, to see whether he can capture on camera its people and culture, and reveals the benefits of knowing your subject.

  7. Behind-the-scenes: Naples

    In a feature-length lesson, Chris is joined by fellow professional Simon Weir. Together, they take you behind-the-scenes of photographing on assignment, and reveal their vision-to-print approach for capturing compelling images.

  8. Seeing Beneath The Surface Of Things

    Getting beneath the surface of things is key to creative photography. Chris compares his passport photograph with a masterful portrait to demonstrate the difference between the semblance of a subject and its essence.

  9. Finding Inspiration

    Where does inspiration come from? Chris looks back at the past to discover what inspired his approach to photography, and passes on ideas about how to find inspiration in the world around us.

  10. Slowing Down

    Revisiting a personal photographic project, Chris explains the benefits of taking a more thoughtful approach to image making.

  11. Three Reasons To Shoot RAW

    Looking at the whole process of photography, from visualisation to print, Chris explains the three key reasons for moving away from JPEG and embracing RAW.

  12. Choosing the Right Frame Format

    Cameras are designed to be held a specific way but that way doesn’t always suit the composition. Chris reveals how turning pro’ helped to think more carefully about frame format, and explains how to match subject and composition in the field.

  13. Don’t Be Limited By The Shape Of Your Camera

    We rarely give much thought to the shape of the camera sensor and yet it defines the image space. Investigating some of his favorite photographs, Chris shows how thinking “outside the rectangular box” can have a huge impact on the visual quality of photographs


    With a camera, what you see is what you get. Unlike the human eye, cameras record every minute detail, which can reduce the visual impact of a photograph. In this lesson, Chris reveals how he uses the viewfinder to improve his compositions and ensure every pixel counts.

  15. Choosing Lenses

    We all love to buy them but don’t always know how best to use them. Chris heads to the cinema to showcase how different lenses are used to define the visual narrative of a photograph.

  16. Perspective

    Chris takes on the challenge of capturing an image he’s long had in mind to show the benefit of looking at the world from a different perspective.

  17. Considering Foreground And Background

    Most photographs contain three elements: the subject, and what’s in front of and behind the subject. Chris puts on his walking boots to reveal the importance of considering all three elements, and show how to use foreground and background to strengthen composition.

  18. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad But Three Into Two Is Better

    Chris considers the limitations of cameras in recording the world we see and reveals compositional techniques that can be used to recreate the three-dimensional world on a flat piece of paper (or digital screen).

  19. Separate And Isolate

    Chris compares a set of images to show how separation of subject and “ground” improves composition, and shows the different camera techniques and composition rules you can use to draw attention to your main subject.

  20. The Art Of Creative Exposure

    There is no “right” or “wrong” exposure. In this lesson, Chris looks at silhouettes and high-key imaging to demonstrate that exposure is a creative tool, and reveals some of the techniques behind capturing in-camera exposures that match the photographer’s vision.

  21. Focus On The Story

    Chris poses the question, what is the point of focus? In answering that question, he reveals the power of focus and de-focus in defining the visual narrative and leading the viewer on a visual journey through the image space.

  22. The Passage Of Time

    Most photographers know the technical role of the shutter. In this lesson, Chris looks at how to use the shutter as a creative tool.

  23. Creating A Visual Sense Of Mood

    Great photographs reveal more than the physical nature of things, they elicit an emotional response, too. In this lesson, Chris heads out in the middle of winter to show you how to use light and color to add mood to a photograph.

  24. Color vs. Black & White

    We see the world in full, beautiful technicolor. So why on Earth would anyone want to compose an image without it? In this thought-provoking lesson, Chris looks towards some of the world’s leading photographers - past and present - and heads to New England to reveal when to shoot color and when to shoot black-and-white.

  25. The Decisive Moment

    Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the phrase “The decisive moment”. In this lesson, Chris talks through one of his most successful wildlife images to explain what makes a “decisive moment”.

  26. Using Color As A Cohesive Tools

    Photography isn’t always about the single image. There are several reasons you may want to consider building a portfolio of work - from exhibition to competition. Chris reveals how he set out to create a unified set of images for display in his gallery.

  27. Photography Is A Two-Part Process

    As Chris moves from out in the field to inside the digital darkroom, he explains the role of computer-based processing in photography, today, and describes the essential processing tools he use for the vast majority of his processing work.

  28. Case Study: Recreating The Art of Sumi-e

    In the first of three case studies, and with the help of some Hollywood-style GFX, Chris takes you on a step-by-step explanation of how he used Adobe Lightroom to fine tune the out-of-camera RAW files of his Japanese-style photographs, ready for exhibition in his galle

  29. Case Study: Making Something Out of Nothing

    In this second case study, Chris takes the out-of-camera image from his Lincolnshire challenge (Lesson 3) and sets about completing the process of vision to print.

  30. Case Study: Moody Blues

    In the final case study, Chris takes an image from his winter waterfall experience (Lesson 23) and, step-by-step, reveals how he used Adobe Lightroom to turn the RAW file into a finished image that perfectly matched his visual intent.

  31. Image Reviews

    In a series of image reviews, Chris deconstructs (mostly) TCP students’ images, posing the question, “Does the image tell the story the photographer wanted to tell?” Where it does, he explains how, and where it doesn’t he reveals what could be changed to better match final image and creative intent. The sequence starts with a herd of zebra and frame format.

  32. Image Review: The “Thinking Man”

    Chris reveals how to use depth-of-field to improve a portrait of an orang-utan.

  33. Image Review: The Golf Course

    Chris shows how to use the vertical format to identify and isolate the main element in a “busy” scene.

  34. Image Review: Dreamstate

    Chris uses frame format, color and the presence controls to turn an “okay” portrait into a more compelling composition.

  35. Image Review: Gone Fishing

    Chris reveals some useful composition techniques to bring visual energy to a static kingfisher.

  36. Image Review: Promenade

    Chris takes a step forward to remove a foreground distraction and open up the visual journey.

  37. Image Review: Sky and Reflections

    Chris shows how the placement of the horizon line can completely change the visual narrative.

  38. Image Review: Grass and Field

    Chris shows how an image that looks pretty on the surface, misses the visual narrative, and sets about making changes that better match the photographer’s story.

  39. Final Word: Show Me What The World Looks Like To You

    In his final word, Chris explains why just because “everyone now owns a camera” doesn’t mean the world is full of photographers, and shows why training yourself as a photographer is the most challenging but most rewarding aspect of The Complete Photographer journey.



I loved this course - in particular the latter part of it in which he demonstrated how post processing lets you really tell the story of the image. Another fabulous course. Thanks Chris & thanks Creative Live.

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 photographic composition and visual storytelling) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.

Charles Ewing

Fantastic course. Great photographer, teacher and storyteller!