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Lesson 16 from: Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

16. Perspective

Chris takes on the challenge of capturing an image he’s long had in mind to show the benefit of looking at the world from a different perspective.


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


So let's talk about perspective. With high quality zoom lenses, Perspective is easily forgotten about so much easier to zoom in and out rather than change. Camera position is also more natural to take photographs standing up, so the majority of pictures are taken from this perspective roughly somewhere between five and 6 ft off the ground. The problem with this approach is if an image is shot from an obvious viewpoint from, let's say, a standing position, the perspective the camera records is familiar. Essentially, it's the same perspective anyone would have, so the resulting image won't necessarily reveal anything new. What helps turn a snapshot into a photograph is when we reveal aspects of life people don't normally see. That's why underwater and aerial photography are almost always compelling because we rarely perceive those worlds. So perspective is this fantastic compositional tool, and the reason I'm standing here is to show you what a difference it can make to your photography.

I'm in Weymouth, my hometown. I live just over there, and the image I'm working on, I've been meaning to take for a few months now. Of course, I've never gotten around to it because it's on my doorstep literally and who photographs anything on their own doorstep, right? My vision is to create an image that captures the sense of stillness. I feel on days like this, when the light is as soft as clouds and the mist is cloaking the distant horizon. It's a scene I have witnessed many times when I've stepped out for an early morning walk on the beach. Now this is the easiest standpoint for this shot. I can zoom in to frame my scene, and this is the image I get. But it's not the shot I want for the shot I want. I need to change my perspective. I've come right down to the shoreline, and that's going to allow me to use a wider lens. Now, the importance of the wide lenses it creates a sense of openness and space, and that's a critical edition to my visual narrative. Also, it means I can get down much lower to change camera angle, which for this shot is important because I want the horizon line to run perfectly into the line between the pier and the sea. So this is my considered shot, and when we compare it with the original, There is a marked difference in visual impact. The original is a snapshot. This is a photograph, camera, position, angle and choice of lens are what create perspective and perspective is a vital tool in creating compelling images that reveal hidden stories about the world around us. And that's what makes photographs stand out from the crowd. Now go away so I can get back up without losing my dignity.

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