Skip to main content

Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 34 of 39

Image Review: Dreamstate

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

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

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


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
6 Finding The Visual Narrative Duration:02:39
7 Behind-the-scenes: Naples Duration:07:52
9 Finding Inspiration Duration:03:19
10 Slowing Down Duration:03:57
11 Three Reasons To Shoot RAW Duration:02:29
14 WYSIWYG Duration:04:15
15 Choosing Lenses Duration:05:02
16 Perspective Duration:02:44
19 Separate And Isolate Duration:02:32
20 The Art Of Creative Exposure Duration:06:38
21 Focus On The Story Duration:04:20
22 The Passage Of Time Duration:03:00
24 Color vs. Black & White Duration:03:09
25 The Decisive Moment Duration:03:00
30 Case Study: Moody Blues Duration:03:29
31 Image Reviews Duration:03:02
33 Image Review: The Golf Course Duration:02:32
34 Image Review: Dreamstate Duration:02:38
35 Image Review: Gone Fishing Duration:02:24
36 Image Review: Promenade Duration:01:47
38 Image Review: Grass and Field Duration:02:20

Lesson Info

Image Review: Dreamstate

thanks to Sue Green for submitting this image of a Japanese macaque. So and I were together on this trip, which was a photo safari I led in Hokkaido before the world went into Covid lockdown. Sue is titled This Shot Dream State, and that takes me to the monkey's face and eyes, which are full of emotion, and I can see where her image title comes from. However, like the zebra in the first lesson of this module, the rule of thirds positioning then drags my attention away from that face into this area of sort of nothing that's in the bottom right corner. So I'm finding the format and the framing a distraction from Suze Visual Intention. Now there's a very simple solution, which is to go with a square crop by simply framing this as a square image. The eye is drawn center frame, which is where we find all the relevant visual information, and it's held there completely undistracted. Just that. One change, I think, makes this a stronger composition, but I would go a little further in processin...

g. Remember, the title of this image is Dream State. So think about the sort of emotions dreaming brings up now look at the detail in the image. The texture is harsh and the colors are cool, which are both contrary to the emotional story Sou is trying to tell. So first off, I would warm the whole image by increasing white balance to a warmer setting. Think cloudy rather than daylight in terms of camera presets. Then I had softened the texture of the for without softening the eyes, so I'd set a negative clarity value for the for and increased slightly. The texture setting to compensate for the eyes now is looking a little more dreamlike. Now there's just one more thing. Sues done a really good job with her original framing of reducing the visual impact of the stone in the very bottom of the picture space. But I want to do a bit more because I'm still seeing it, which means it's a distraction. So I would use the graduated filter in light room to just darken the foreground and reduce the texture of the rock, which adds awaiting us to the foreground that lifts everything above it and adds a little bit of depth around the mouth and chin. And then we have it so minor tweaks and adjustments that I believe make a big difference in matching the image with Suze Original vision.

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.



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!