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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 37 of 39

Image Review: Sky and Reflections

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

37. Image Review: Sky and Reflections
Chris shows how the placement of the horizon line can completely change the visual narrative.


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

Image Review: Sky and Reflections

this image by another TCP student, Simon Coupe, is the reason it's worth getting out of bed early. What a glorious sunrise now, in his description, Simon told me what appealed to him most was a combination of both sky and the reflection, and I can certainly see why. The trouble is the way the image has been composed places the emphasis very much on the reflection, and de emphasizes the sky, and it's all to do with that horizon line. When the horizon is placed in the upper third of the frame as it is here, it emphasises everything below it, in this case, the reflection. So to better match Simon's vision, I would recompose the image to place the horizon. Slap bang in the middle. Now there is equal weight above and below the line, so neither foreground nor background take visual precedent. The story becomes a Simon intended about the sky and the reflection. On a technical side. I would lift the exposure a little. It feels a touch, dark or underexposed, and a little light will lift the moo...

d. I would also warm it up with a white balance shift towards the higher Calvin values, something around the shade camera preset, and from a creative perspective, to add to the dreaminess of the moment, I might soften everything with a negative clarity adjustment. Now, this might not be to everyone's taste, but I quite like it for this scene. And then, just for good measure, and to draw the eye even deeper into the scene, I'd add a mild vignette again. There are no drastic changes here, just some simple tweaks, most of which could equally have been made in camera at the point of capture and which bring the image to life, and, I think better reflect the story the photographer wanted to tell.

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!