Skip to main content

Behind-the-scenes: Naples

Lesson 7 from: Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

Behind-the-scenes: Naples

Lesson 7 from: Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Behind-the-scenes: Naples

In a feature-length lesson, Chris is joined by fellow professional Simon Weir. Together, they take you behind-the-scenes of photographing on assignment, and reveal their vision-to-print approach for capturing compelling images.


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

Behind-the-scenes: Naples

he man, I got to not play Madi. Mhm strong. It's not too difficult to find the obvious subjects, but photography is more than just postcards and record shops. For me, photography is about storytelling. In order to tell a story with your camera, you've got to get beneath the surface. Okay? Yeah, And in terms of where we're going to be going today, where are you taking us? Old town, which is this old Greco Roman city, is where we're going to be stomping around where we're actually going to be kind of either side. So on the West is the Penis secondmarket to the north in the Senate and everyone meets and talks and communicates like a really Francesco having his parents wine shop become a site of congregation. Meeting on this one Thursday every week is much more about creating a sense of community. Naples has a great and long history of pastries, and they usually date back to the 17 hundreds and 18 hundreds where nuns are making them in convents and Children created this little cream band. ...

But it's probably got the magic ingredient that makes it light and fluffy and not too sweet. But just sweet enough to make you want more and more wonderful these little biscuits that you take around to a friend's house. Future people come from all over to to get to from there, Mr Hello. Well, no injuries embrace. Of course it was December and there's a place in historic center and in this place you could go and be able to have a pizza and pay them within seven days for the pizza. The only way that you could get out of paying for that pizza was to die. I'm definitely thinking something to do with the friction and the motion. So one of the images I want to try and get is a motion blur image with a scooter. It seems to me and Napoli's there is so much going on and even just one small area block here. So my decision is I'm actually going to take multiple stories and use one image to tell that story. So here I am. I'm in Naples unplugged today. It's just me and the camera. And to be quite honest with you, I am totally outside of my comfort zone. To make matters worse, this is what I'm gonna be using. I don't know whether you can see this, but Simon's been Simon and is completely covered it up. So I've got exposure controls. I've got focus controls. That's it. There's no delete button. I can't even see the screen on back. So this is gonna be a real challenge. Not only that, he's put a 512 med card in here, so I've got 20 shots all day and just 20 shots. He thinks he's being clever, but what he doesn't know is I've already half filled his card. Yes, that's it. So hang on a minute. Yeah. Yeah. Chris has built half my card already. You've only got 10 frames. Okay? Yes, lovely. The stories I've got in mind one is it's Francesco because I think it's the really beautiful story, this idea of trying to bring a community together. He's quite a charismatic guy. Everything that you imagine Italian and Italy to be. This will be right in the front of the picture and you'll be slightly behind. So it's like if you reach the arm out as if you've been a big toast like this, see, just, uh, yeah, as a perfect just creating a bit of separation. Perfetto. The the photo? Yeah, yeah, that's the one. Philip holes are the shops that have resisted paying the extortion racket is knowing what really is the best angle to get it from. I'm quite I'm really quite nervous. I've been this excited since I shot with a roll of film. No, this is a bit like opening the packet from boots. You know, there are a couple of things in here that intrigued me. One was the bullet wound, but also in the bottom corner. You've got these hearts, and for me, that's the story. It's this connection between the gunshot, which is where Napoli has come from, and the hearts which is where it's going. I had to work really hard to get an angle, but what I did like was the window. One window closed the past one window, opening the future. This is the image I pre visualized for me. This was the most challenging one in many ways because this was the one where I had to get in the face. I had to really connect with the person, and that's a struggle for me. There's so many sort of doubling zoom in the image that worked for me. So you've got the painting on the right and his face there. You've got a wine glass and the bulb in a dome. It's almost as if he's balancing the glass on his hand. Wine was very important. The wine, his weapon against the Mafia against the past of Napoli. And it's what he's using to bring people together. Hence the reason I wanted to be very prominent in the picture. This was definitely a shot I pre visualized. I wanted the scooter sharp and the background blurred, but I wanted something very character full in the background. It's one of those techniques is really, really hard to master. You have this really fine line between enough blurred that it doesn't look like camera shake, Yes, but not so much blur that you can't tell what the object and what the subjects are. And you've got that balance just right. It didn't matter if I didn't get the whole bike in. You don't need everything in the picture. You need the bits that are important. In fact, if they're not important, they shouldn't be there. So my final image was this fishmonger and this more than anything, this is where I would have been out of my comfort zone had we not had this day with Sophia, who gave me the confidence that I could go into these places with my unbelievably limited Italian and actually see if I could find a story that was in there. What's happening here is the angle of these two fish. You've got this start of a triangle, which comes up to the top of this guy and then connects through this guy to this guy. That's your straight line again. You have this really powerful shape right in the center. There's one thing I would change. The sword of the Swordfish is just cutting through this guy's arm, and ideally, I would want to move it really important part of composition in photography. There is so much going on in that frame, and you have to be aware of all of it, knowing that at the very beginning you are going to be way outside your comfort zone and way outside of your photographic experience. Yes, would you say through this photograph that that comfort zone has now expanded more than any of the other ones I took. Yes, because this is really about the story. So even even in the space of 24 hours as a photographer, you have grown 100%. We got here on day one, which was really just our arrival day. And we in one afternoon we walked 15. That's right kilometers through the city, into the old town, down to the port, back up again. And to be quite honest, other than a standard postcard shot, I saw nothing. And yet yesterday we spent an entire day, walked 150 m, and I feel like we saw the world. Uh huh.

Ratings and Reviews

Gary Hook

Wow, what a wonderful journey. I love the concept of telling a story with one's photos and as I go through past images, I'm seeing them in a much different perspective. That's the good news, The bad? The lost opportunities I never 'saw' before; however that is a good thing. There is so much to internalize with the material so that it can get out of the head and into the 'heart'. I also found the concept really helps me with composition, both in camera and post. Biggest take away, as Chris underscored in his closing, is to slooooow down, take the time and feel it. Don't be so quick to leave one scene as there remain other aspects, yet to be discovered. A great experience that I truly enjoyed Thank you


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.

Student Work