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Image Review: Dreamstate

Lesson 34 from: Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

Image Review: Dreamstate

Lesson 34 from: Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

34. Image Review: Dreamstate

Chris uses frame format, color and the presence controls to turn an “okay” portrait into a more compelling composition.


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: Dreamstate

thanks to Sue Green for submitting this image of a Japanese macaque. So and I were together on this trip, which was a photo safari I led in Hokkaido before the world went into Covid lockdown. Sue is titled This Shot Dream State, and that takes me to the monkey's face and eyes, which are full of emotion, and I can see where her image title comes from. However, like the zebra in the first lesson of this module, the rule of thirds positioning then drags my attention away from that face into this area of sort of nothing that's in the bottom right corner. So I'm finding the format and the framing a distraction from Suze Visual Intention. Now there's a very simple solution, which is to go with a square crop by simply framing this as a square image. The eye is drawn center frame, which is where we find all the relevant visual information, and it's held there completely undistracted. Just that. One change, I think, makes this a stronger composition, but I would go a little further in processin...

g. Remember, the title of this image is Dream State. So think about the sort of emotions dreaming brings up now look at the detail in the image. The texture is harsh and the colors are cool, which are both contrary to the emotional story Sou is trying to tell. So first off, I would warm the whole image by increasing white balance to a warmer setting. Think cloudy rather than daylight in terms of camera presets. Then I had softened the texture of the for without softening the eyes, so I'd set a negative clarity value for the for and increased slightly. The texture setting to compensate for the eyes now is looking a little more dreamlike. Now there's just one more thing. Sues done a really good job with her original framing of reducing the visual impact of the stone in the very bottom of the picture space. But I want to do a bit more because I'm still seeing it, which means it's a distraction. So I would use the graduated filter in light room to just darken the foreground and reduce the texture of the rock, which adds awaiting us to the foreground that lifts everything above it and adds a little bit of depth around the mouth and chin. And then we have it so minor tweaks and adjustments that I believe make a big difference in matching the image with Suze Original vision.

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