Consider a smooth, complex projective variety X inside P^n and an action of a reductive linear algebraic group G inside GL(n+1,C). On the one hand, we can view this as an algebra-geometric set-up and use geometric invariant theory (GIT) to construct a quotient variety X // G, which parameterises `most' of the closed orbits of X. On the other hand, X is naturally a symplectic manifold, and since G is reductive we can take a maximal real compact Lie subgroup K of G and consider the symplectic reduction of X by K with respect to an appropriate moment map. The Kempf-Ness theorem then says that the results of these two constructions are homeomorphic. In this talk I will define GIT and symplectic reduction and try to sketch the proof of the Kempf-Ness theorem.