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Photos That Move Us

Lesson 6 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

Photos That Move Us

Lesson 6 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

6. Photos That Move Us

Alex explains that while there isn't a step-by-step recipe to making work that moves the viewer, but there are ways to propel you in the right direction.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info

Photos That Move Us

(gentle music) So what is a memorable image? I think it's one that can withstand the test of time. so we can look back at it in one, 10, or 100 years and be like, "Well, this is good. This would always be good," because it didn't follow a particular trend. It is only a reflection of that photographer's point of view of the world, his and not someone else's. Memorable, timeless images, they stop people on their tracks and they're incredibly hard to do. We're all busy doing life, working and browsing through bottomless feeds, and to stop someone from scrolling, it takes a lot of intent. But that's what at least I aspire to do with every one of my images. I want someone to stop what they're doing, look at the image for a while and imagine they're there, or think about how that would feel. Of course, I rarely get to that memorable images, but I'm always aiming for it and I do my best. And I think that's what counts. To make memorable images, I think it's important to start with an idea. ...

And generally, you need to have a strong idea to make a strong image. Sometimes, you stumble upon an amazing moment outside, with light is perfect, a mountain goat appears out of just nowhere. And all you do is just take the frame. It's awesome when that happens, but we just can't rely on that to make our work. So let's continue. First up, I wanna talk about harmony. So harmony is defined as the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole. The world, nature, animals, humans, we all seek harmony and balance. For example, in the human body, balance is called homeostasis. So the body is constantly making adjustments so there's balance within it. In a way, we are wired to produce balance and to seek it. So what does it mean to have harmony in an image? Well, it starts with having balanced images. It's not always about just symmetry and being straight. It's more on how each of the elements on the frame interact with each other. For example, when you look at a mountain scene, there's a mountain on each side and there's a river that leads to a lake or a waterfall that is always nested in a valley, at the lower point between the two peaks. So that is harmony. That's what nature makes. So in a way, it's very symmetrical. And actually, our human body's the same way, right? There's eyes, the nose in the middle. And I look at that in a way that it makes me very it makes me very inspired, and keeping that in mind when you're shooting photos, like looking at nature to me is the key to creating harmony. Just look. So to create that harmony, I like to rely on a set of rules. So first one is the rule of thirds. It is pretty straightforward. You've probably seen it before, but imagine an image that's cut into nine rectangles like this. There's top third, a middle, and a lower third. And then it's cut vertically like this. Personally, I like to place my horizons on the higher third, and place my subjects on the lower third. So there's enough separation between both, but not too much. It's a fine balance. If you're familiar with the thirds, go and practice placing subjects along different lines and check on the results. Show the images to your friends, peers, and family and just see what they think. Do I center my subjects in my images all the time? The answer is no, but I think that certain image formats call for certain composition. Even with the rule of thirds, I will often choose to center my subjects on the photo, but do I do it all the time? No. I think, however, that certain image formats call for certain compositions there's three image formats: portrait, landscape, and square. Portrait, in the context of outdoor photography, it calls for layers. The more, the better. So we have this natural scene and the trees are in the foreground, the valley is in the middle ground, and the mountains are in the third ground, the background. That's what portrait calls for me. It's really layering. Having thin layers of texture really gives like strength to portrait images. Landscape, the wide format, for me is really about huge scenes and epic distances. Having the biggest mountain range in front of me and a line leading to it, a ridge maybe. Whenever I shoot a wide, I'm trying to fit a lot within that frame, and that can get a bit hectic. So be mindful of where your wide begins and ends. If you're going to crop in post, imagine where you're gonna do that as you take the photo, as you take that frame. Just imagine where that's gonna be cropped. Look at the invisible lines as you compose. At the end of the day, it's geometry. And that geometry's going on inside your head. And the more you do it, the easier it will become. Square, one-by-one, for me is all about centering it. It used to be the format of Instagram back in the day where everything was all square. And it was good to train with that actually. Like, it was a good constraint. It was healthy for all of us. Actually, some old film cameras that are still super popular also use the square aspect ratio, exclusively. The Hasselblad 500C/M is one of them. It's a very harmonious image format because it calls for that symmetry. And I like to use it in that way. You know, my favorite thing about shooting square is that it somehow forces me to center my subject. And it makes me looks at scenes completely differently. In a way, I'm just looking for a frame within the frame. So try it. Second principle that I use to create harmony in my images is having studied how the eye scans an image for the first time. In the Western world, we read from left-to-right, in a Z pattern. That means that generally speaking, if I have a subject in my image moving, I want it to be moving from left-to-right to indicate motion, for example, in the direction of reading. (gentle music) Same, if the subject is looking in a certain direction, I'll want to be looking right, for example because that means the future. If I wanna look at the past, probably look left. Third is how we use color. So some colors go with other colors, right? And as photographers, we need to be familiar with the color wheel. We need to know what our complimentary colors are. So here's the color wheel. For example, you see that orange is the complimentary color of blue. That's why photographing a blue Norwegian fjord in the setting orange sun would always create a pleasing color balance, and then a pleasing image for the viewer. One last thing that we need to think about is what perspective do we like to shoot from? Do you like being under your subject, or at eye level, or above? When I'm working on a set, generally, I wanna cover them all. But what is your preference? Personally? I love shooting scenes from above. That's why I'm always trying to get as high as possible in the mountains. Shooting from above creates long and clean foregrounds that lead to the point of interest. To me, is just a gem to compose that. That's why I prefer it, but there's no right or wrong answer here. So just take a few weeks to decide which you prefer. And once you find that, make it your signature. You want people to recognize that like. Like Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous French street photographer, he really often shot his photos, his street photos from the hip. So that's his signature, what's yours? (camera shutter clicks)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

Student Work