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Mastering Your Digital Camera

Lesson 50 of 51

BONUS - In Conversation with Art Wolfe

Chris Weston

Mastering Your Digital Camera

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

50. BONUS - In Conversation with Art Wolfe
Find inspiration from a conversation with Art Wolfe, a landscape, wildlife, and cultural photographer.


Lesson Info

BONUS - In Conversation with Art Wolfe

Chris Great. Give me hope. It's been, what, a couple months since I saw you. Like living in London. I don't like the new digs. Beautiful way just opened in January. Yeah, come on over here. I love this style of photography. This use of movement to mimic that idea, the motion of the animals. What technique behind it, simply panning with the motion of the animals. Long shutter speed. It's a technique that was inspired by the work of Ernest Toss, and eventually I compiled enough of these images. It became a book called Rhythms From the Wild and I love the Cell because it takes a literal subject and interpret said into something more lyrical, more painterly and more artistic, which is always what I'm after. It's a complete change of C. Yeah, thing is one Sean. China is really on the South Coast, south central coast of eastern China. It's a place that I first visited in 1986 and once I went there for the first time, I knew I'd return in return toe return again. It's a great location. It's o...

n the top of a mountain. It's noted for its vertical columns. Iraq and bonsai trees. And if you hit it just right, you got all the swirling miss from the lowlands. And in short, it reminds me of a watercolor painting. It's got that classic Asian aesthetic, and whenever I get a photo that reminds me of a painting, it connects my history because I'm a painting major. So, China, I mean, China is a great place not only for the landscape, but it right around the corner. I want to show you another Chinese image that's distinctly different. Do you find that the influence of different cultures has changed your photography? Yes, different cultures, different landscapes, different wildlife. I started traveling internationally in and I've never stopped, because when you think about it, every new place you go stimulates your imagination, opens up the subject matter. And so I've never run out of ideas in 40 straight years of shooting, and I think that's the oh, it's well, thank you, Im. It's absolutely what I teach and love to take people with me is to show them new environments to expose him to the term culture shock because I think it's a positive thing, and I think as well that I mean, a lot of people say to me that there are short of ideas. Where do you find ideas? How do you see photographs when you have your photograph? The same subject? Different, different ways. I think that's one of the things you've been doing it for 40 years. You know, the new ideas are still there. They're still coming out, and it's been great because not only am I traveling far a field, but over the years my styles have changed. So I got it. This great variety of subjects. I'm not really a wildlife photographer or a landscape ist or even a cultural photographer. I embrace it all, and I think that's the training in art. You know, the background in art and art education. Really, I said, Don't get stock in one genre or the other. Do you feel like you're kind of like a storyteller? I am. I love taking photographs that still the bigger story, a single capture that shows contacts. It's an intimate shot. I'm just ah, few inches away from these core Marantz. This will be a 16 millimeter wide angle shot with very small aperture opening. It's totally lit by the Ambien Post Sunset lied in the the lantern lights that they're lighting that they use in fishing. Yeah, well, I just love the traditional hats. They're wearing modern shoes and modern pants, but they virtually are wearing the hats and the ring because it is actually raining. You concede drops on the boat and so on. And I was constantly wiping off my filters, and I was using a neutral density filtered to darken the sky. I mean, there were a lot of things going on at once, not the least of which is these fishermen wanted really to get out and start fishing. And I kept on telling the interpreter just a couple more seconds. I'm just getting the shot. So there's a sense of urgency, which often breathes spontaneous life into an image. I think it really conveys in 11 image, the entire story, the history of this tradition, this lip from yeah, it's entirely naturally lit. I tend not to use Flash because it overwhelms the subtleties of light. I love the use lantern fire, like candlelight. You know, romantic light for my subjects. Because my subjects are traditional. I'm not generally shooting modern people in modern cities, although I have done that. But I'm drawn towards traditional culture, and there's a sense of urgency and importance to that because many of these cultures have changed in my 40 years. And I wanna have a visual record of what may not last very far into the future. You know, Chris, this photograph is a great metaphor of tigers because it's passed me is looking back in that backward glance could be a great metaphor for, you know, looking back into a better time. Better? Yeah, 30 year cubs that were still hanging around, and I think the mother's driven him out and they're on their own. But they're still out of alliances sticking together. So virtually one after another kind of moved through this open ground. And that's why I mean, this is like the 2nd 1 going through. I was in the right position. It's even soft light late in the day. All those elements come together when, when subject circumstance in light arrived, you know magic can happen. It's a poignant any rate. India is also a great place for cultures. Yeah, one of my favorite shots over here was shot in Roger stand you can see it's very colorful. Medallion break colors on the shape, shape, color. The two things really stand out. Yeah, I'm actually shooting directly above looking down, leaning over with a wide angle. How did you get to that angle? Get just leaning over like yeah, yeah. So with a wide angle, it kind of distorts a little bit, but they gave me the depth of field and, you know, the women totally were on par with doing this. You know, it's been taking photographs for almost 40 years now. And his passion, his creativity, his enthusiasm really rub off on you. I want to take some pictures now.

Class Description


  • Set up your camera with confidence
  • Better understand shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
  • Capture perfect exposures in camera
  • Get sharp, focused images quickly
  • Understand white balance and the difference between RAW and JPEG
  • Quickly and confidently capture images “in the moment”
  • Become a better photographer by building an understanding of basic photography techniques


CreativeLive is partnering with Chris Weston to offer you his Complete Photography Master Course.

Turn terms like aperture, shutter speed and ISO from a bunch of obscure photography jargon to a toolset that you can easily manipulate to capture great photos. Led by landscape photographer Chris Weston, this class covers everything beginners need to know to master photography basics from exposure to focus.

Turn that camera dial off of auto and learn how to properly expose a photograph. With a few basic camera settings, get the most image quality and the best colors from your mirrorless or DSLR camera. Then, master focus modes and techniques for sharp photographs.

Learn the basics of photography in a series of short, memorable lessons. Chris' straight-forward teaching style is great for newbies that find the task of learning photography daunting, while the to-the-point lessons make it possible to spend just a few minutes a day mastering your camera with easy photography tips and techniques.


  • Beginner photographers
  • First time DSLR or mirrorless camera users
  • Any photographer that wants to get off automatic mode to shoot better photos


Named one of the world's most influential wildlife photographers, Chris Weston takes a contemporary approach to photography. After launching his career in 2001, the Fujifilm ambassador's images have graced the pages of top publications like BBC, The Times, Outdoor Photography, Practical Photography, and Digital Photography. As a photography educator, Chris has written over 20 photography books, along with leading photo tours and online workshops.


mark jacobson

What a marvelous course! What a marvelous teacher! When I went to college, my father would always ask me about my professors, more than the courses themselves. He was passionate about learning and although too busy with earning an income to go beyond an undergrad degree, continued to read 50 books a year. I still remember how he'd get almost visibly excited when I'd tell him about some special professor who taught with such enthusiasm and, more than just passion, evident delight and joy in the subject. 'Ah they're the best, son. How wonderful you have such a teacher." Well, he passed away decades ago but if he were still around I'd get a kick out of telling him about Chris Weston, the 'Prof' of this course. He's one of the very special ones: a teacher who's loved and lived his vocation--his avocation--since he was a boy--and still is as excited about it now as he was then. The result: a course that seems to be more a labor of love--of pouring far more energy and thought into the details then one typically finds in these courses--than anything else. Bravo Chris! I'm already on to your next one.


Chris is an amazing instructor who dissects theory giving amazing analogies that bring concepts to life. I have rarely been able to sit through most video course for more than a half-hour but watched this one from beginning to end. A good refresher course if you've been away from the camera for awhile or there are some concepts that still illude you. I highly recommend this course and look forward to watching his others. Thank you for the clarity and great explanations.

Sky Bergman

This was an amazing class. I have looked at a number of basic photography classes. This one was by far the best I have seen. Chris is an exceptional teacher. He breaks things down into digestible information and then inspires you to be creative. Thank you!