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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 31 of 39

Image Reviews

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

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.


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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 Reviews

before I kick off this module, let me set the scene and some ground rules for me. Image reviews are not about making judgments on other photographers work. There is no intention to say this image is good or this one's bad. Every critique sets out to answer a simple question. Does the photograph tell the story? The photographer wanted to tell. If it does, I'll explain how. And if it doesn't, I'll make suggestions about what I would change to get a closer match between image and intent. And remember, they're just ideas, and you may have a different view. So I encourage you to participate, give it your own thought and come up with your own suggestions. What comes out of sessions like these is always positive. So that said, Let's kick off with the very first image. So this is a portrait of a zebra. We have a loan face staring to camera saw an obvious main subject, and the herd provides context in a sense of place. It's a good observation and important. I think there's only one pair of eyes...

visible. It makes it clear, unambiguous visual statement now technically well executed, well exposed and the focus point is in the right place on the I. Now, while there's an exception to every rule, focusing on the eye is one rule that should rarely be broken. We are visual creatures at heart. We communicate through eye contact, and so if the eyes are blurred, you lose that connection with the subject. Also, nice catch lights, which add life to what would otherwise be a bit of a black hole. Now there are some tweaks I would suggest, firstly, the positioning. Now the subject has been placed using the rule of thirds, but I don't think it works here. When the subject is placed on an intersection of the thirds lines, what we call the polar point, it forces the eye to radiate away from the subject in this instance, towards the bottom right corner, where we find the butt of another zebra. Because this is a portrait, really, we want the subject to hold our attention so I would go with a square crop to center the main subject. Then there's the obtrusive body of the zebra in the foreground, which is so imposing and it's acting as a barrier. Visually, you get to the broadside, and you're visually blocked from going beyond it now. A simple solution would be to reframe the image as part of the crop that would also have the advantage of getting rid of this distracting twig, which is a small point I know. But often it's the little details that can make or break an image. So here's my suggested crop, and I'm going to add one small post capture tweak, which is to add a dark vignette. Now this is going to help lead the eye into the center of the frame and hold it there on the subject before and after you decide.

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!