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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 32 of 39

Image Review: The “Thinking Man”

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

32. Image Review: The “Thinking Man”
Chris reveals how to use depth-of-field to improve a portrait of an orang-utan.


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: The “Thinking Man”

orangutan to one of my favourite animals. I've often thought if you could ever socialist with great apes with a gorilla, you play chess with an orangutan, you go down the pub for a pint of beer. This is a nice study, and the photographer Traven role has titled it The Thinking Man. And I can see why the pose and the expression say it all with sharp focus and a really nice exposure, even capturing detail in those heavily hooded eyes, which isn't always easy. And there's a lovely texture in the face now I did wonder whether a square crop might suit this image to really draw attention to that face, which is the story here, but I'm not convinced, so I'll put that down to personal preference. But there is one element in this composition that's distracting to me, and that's the spiky crown sprouting from behind the orangutans head. Now it could be argued that it provides background interest, but that's not the story here. The story is the thinking man, so it's all about the ape. So while it w...

ouldn't have been possible to achieve what I'm about to do in camera, because there's not enough distance between the orangutan and the plant behind. I've had a quick play in photo shop just to reiterate the power of Blur to create emphasis. As I explained in less than two of Module five in this, let's say, roughly processed image. I've used a master artificially blur the background and notice how much more powerful than narrative becomes without those background distractions. Blur or depth of field is a fantastic compositional, tall in visual storytelling. As you can see here, it's a nice shot driving and a great image title.

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!