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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 2 of 39

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

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

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.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction - Three Steps To Creative Photography


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


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


Firing The Creative Mind - Part 3: Detaching From Outcomes


Practicing Mindfulness In Photography


Finding The Visual Narrative


Behind-the-scenes: Naples


Seeing Beneath The Surface Of Things


Lesson Info

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

I love waterfalls, the power and the sound of the cascading water, the patterns it creates and the spray that cat is your skin and the smell. Being out in nature like this is what I love about my job. But here's the challenge. How do you use this to capture all of that information, all of those sensory inputs, and get it to work on a flat piece of paper? Well, I never said photography was easy. The first step in creating photographs, as opposed to taking simple snapshots, is knowing that it's not just what you see that moves you to create a photograph is everything you're sensing in the moment the sounds and the smells, your mood and your emotions. And that means you have to be present. You have to be in the moment to capture the moment. Remember that old saying photography is F eight and be there? Well, it's a fib. Photography isn't about physically being somewhere. It's about being present emotionally to wherever you are or put another way. It's about being mindful now. There's been ...

a lot of stuff written about mindfulness recently. It's become one of those buzzwords and a lot of what's written misses the point. Mindfulness isn't about being aware of your surroundings. It's about being aware of your emotional response to and your thoughts about your surroundings. For example, I'm aware of the existence of this waterfall. I can see it, but if I go no further than that physical awareness when I take a photograph, what I'll end up with is a rather soulless record shot of a waterfall, which is what we're aiming to move beyond in our photography. When I'm mindful, I am not only aware of the waterfalls existence. I'm also aware of how it's affecting me emotionally and physiologically. For example, how am I reacting to the sound? Well, with a camera in my hand, I find it soothing and relaxing. It adds to my emotional response to the scene, on the other hand, standing in front of John with his video camera, trying to record my voice. As we make this lesson, I'm getting annoyed by how it's interfering with our ability to capture a clean soundtrack. The sound is the same, but my emotional reaction to it is different, depending on the circumstances I view it from, and they're right there is the reason you can put two photographers in the exact same place and get two completely different photographs. The way we see the world is entirely dependent on the utterly unique way our mind interprets the data it receives. That's the importance of mindfulness in photography. By being aware of how you are emotionally responding to a subject, you're able to create photographs that tell a story that goes far deeper than the physical appearance of the subject. Now, later in the course, we'll look at examples of how this approach to photography works, and I'll show you how to use the camera to make photographs that capture not just what you see, but how you feel about what you see. Before then. However, there are a couple of other aspects of mindfulness I want to make you aware of.

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.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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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!