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Masters of Photography

Lesson 24 of 54

Choosing your format

Albert Watson

Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

24. Choosing your format
In this lesson you will learn about formats. Albert describes different examples from various formats he has used as guidance, discover tips on how to use each type of format and his camera of choice.

Lessons

Class Trailer
1 Meet your Master 01:26 2 Learn from the journey 15:24 3 Using inspirations 08:43 4 Photography is stopping time 09:27 5 Albert's library of ideas 08:30 6 Tips on preparing for a portrait shoot 12:10 7 Setting up the studio 04:56 8 Understanding studio collaboration 07:35
9 The importance of casting and hair & make-up 08:59 10 Foreground studio set up 08:46 11 Studio session with a model - set up 1 11:23 12 Studio session with a model - set up 2 05:55 13 Studio session with a model - set up 3 08:01 14 Picking the best shot 03:36 15 Working with photoshop 13:14 16 Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock 04:18 17 The gigantic question... Colour or black and white? 07:55 18 One day with Kate Moss 05:06 19 Learn to have your ideas ready 06:14 20 Using Polariods 06:29 21 Creating beautiful photographs of hands 04:45 22 Controlling natural light 05:38 23 Shooting a monkey with a gun 06:27 24 Choosing your format 07:13 25 Composition and lens 04:47 26 Shooting landscapes. The Isle of Skye 15:18 27 Planning and ideas for a landscape shoot 06:32 28 Creating still life images 13:48 29 Photographing the Lost Diary 10:53 30 Shooting album covers 03:09 31 The Strip Search Project 10:28 32 Shooting Las Vegas landscapes 08:24 33 Photographing Breaunna 07:21 34 Balancing daylight, God bless America 03:45 35 Creating the Maroc Project 10:21 36 Creating the Maroc shoot 08:11 37 Photographing sand dunes 04:09 38 Photographing Moroccan children 10:42 39 Advice on making portraits 10:12 40 How to be alert to finding photographs 07:36 41 Making a portrait of Mike Tyson 02:40 42 Creating intense colour in a photograph 03:05 43 Portraits of rap stars and a Golden Boy 08:40 44 Photographing Jack Nicholson 04:21 45 Creating a portrait of David Cronenberg 02:14 46 How to light only using two $10 bulbs 07:30 47 Studio fashion set up 4 10:48 48 Studio session with a model. The geography of a face 13:05 49 Look inside the picture 02:57 50 Creating memorability in an image 02:54 51 Combining nudes and landscapes 04:52 52 A perfect print 07:51 53 The business side of things 06:51 54 Conclusion and farewell 03:55

Lesson Info

Choosing your format

(slow music) I wanted to talk a little bit now about formats. There's a funny thing that you'd really have to analyze with formats. Formats can range from in the early days can range from what we used to call half frame cameras. That was half of a 35 millimeter. And then you would go up to 35 millimeter. And then you would go up to two and quarter which is medium format. And then they make a jump up to four by five. Maybe five by seven into 10, eight, eight, 10. So you have to analyze these different formats and what they give you. And there's a double thing with these formats. The formats are, you think of say, two and a quarter formats. Now two and a quarter format, if you do the math on that, especially if you're shooting a vertical format on a two and a quarter camera, you're actually dealing with an image size at maximum is two and a quarter square, six by six. So you're dealing with you know four and a half square inches of film. Now you have to jump from say a Hasselblad, whic...

h is giving you four and a half square inches of negative and you jump to say an eight by 10. And you realize that an eight by is 80 square inches of format. So the amount of information is massive. You go to four by five that's 20 square inches. So almost you might say at least four plus times the size of a Hasselblad. So these different formats you say well, I'd rather my images are sharper, bigger, and so on. So you say I think I'll shoot eight by 10 all the time because I get massive quality into my image and it has its own quality. Now there are pitfalls in this. You say well the nice beauty of say shooting a 35 millimeter format. And say a Canon digital where you're shooting maybe 20, 30 megapixels is the portability and the fact and this is a big deal. The fact that your camera is in fact hand-held. Now an eight by 10 to say something really stupid. And eight by 10 camera is not hand-held. Now therefore what is the difference between finding a shot in your hand and then finding a shot on a Hasselblad which can be hand-held. And finding a shot on a four by five that could possibly be hand-held and perhaps is. Think of the great American photographer Weegee. Look up Weegee and have a look at his work. He was a news cameraman and he was working with a four by five camera. With an on camera flash. He produced some of the greatest artistic images that you'll ever see on a hand-held four by five. However traditionally a four by five is usually on a tripod. So then if for the four by five or certainly a eight by you end up with an eight by 10 camera. There are certain things that begin to creep in to that. So if you're the kind of photographer that's moving around finding a shot, high energy to kind of find a shot. Where's the composition. I'm gonna stay off a tripod. I like to remain fluent. And a lot of photographers remain hand-held. So they might be working in a studio with a strobe hand-held or they're working in the street hand-held and so on. But then you might be one of say the (in a foreign language) of German photographers who work with an eight by 10. They love the resolution of the eight by and the formality of an eight by 10. What you have to understand is putting your camera on a tripod is absolutely going to restrict you. I wouldn't really recommend at the beginning of your career an eight by 10 camera. Because you have to know where to put the camera. You know sometimes what you might try, you might try and work with a 35 millimeter camera that you can put in your pocket. And therefore you're flexible. I've actually done that. And with a very small camera found a shot. And then transferred onto an eight by 'cause I found the shot. So I would possibly recommend that. Later in life when you get really fluent with your composition and your graphic sensibilities, then you can absolutely possibly even go straight to an eight by 10. And of course the eight by 10 guys, that's how they operate and that's how they work. Another thing that you should understand is that it's not only about sharpness. That sharpness of image. It's about optical dimension in your imagery. So therefore an eight by 10 shot tends to look like an eight by 10 shot. You have to be pretty fluent in formats to be able to make an eight by look like a 35 millimeter snapshot. And also you might also say why bother? So there has to be an examination of the photographer that you examine these formats and begin to think about them. Now, sometimes it's not that easy. You might say well what am I supposed to do? Go out and buy an eight by 10? But you know who knows? Maybe you can get your hands on an old eight by 10, persuade someone to use it. Now of course an eight by 10 is an eight by 10. So you have to provide yourself with an eight by 10 film to do that. And certainly as a learning curve, you should really be, and the beauty of a lot of, you know, digital cameras is, there you are and you don't have a large film bill at the end of the week. I sometimes entailed some huge bills when I was doing film projects you know? I ended up spending something like $50, $60, $70, on film for my Las Vegas projects. So therefore sometimes it can get expensive. You have to you know, kind of examine all of this in your journey that you're doing in photography and really think about that. Think about what is the difference between an eight by and say a Hasselblad shot format shot. Or a 35 millimeter you know. I notice that these bigger cameras, I am able to produce a certain beauty of work, but at the same time they are restrictive. Therefore my camera of choice a lot of times when I was doing a lot of serious work, was absolutely was a four by five camera which was split the difference for me.

Class Description



IN THIS CLASS YOU'LL LEARN:

  • Albert’s tips and tricks on landscape, fashion, portraiture and still life photography.
  • Simple lighting techniques using natural light and studio light
  • Simple tips on preparing for portrait shoots
  • How to create incredible portraits using just two $10 bulbs
  • Albert’s tips and tricks on landscape, fashion, portraiture and still life photography.
  • Simple lighting techniques using natural light and studio light
  • Simple tips on preparing for portrait shoots
  • How to create incredible portraits using just two $10 bulbs


ABOUT ALBERT’S CLASS:

Learn how Albert creates his amazing photographs on location and in the studio using simple explanations.

Albert reveals his shoot secrets on how he photographs Presidents, Hollywood stars, music’s greatest artists, landscapes, nudes, chimpanzees and still life. We follow him on location in Morocco, Paris and in his studio in New York. You will find out where he suggests you look to get inspiration, how to approach a portrait session, see how to light like Albert.

We show you exactly how Albert works on these images after the shoot, it’s all about Albert giving you his ideas and advice and helping you see and create better images for yourself.

It’s not about what camera to use, it’s about how to see and develop ideas, concepts and narrative to make stunning photographs.

As Albert says..."You have to stay switched on"

Reviews

Richard A. Heckler
 

"Unless you're Mozart"...this course is an invaluable asset. I'm a pro, humanitarian/documentary photographer, & wilderness...and I've learned much from the 40+ sessions here. This is truly a Master Class...next best thing to being with Albert. And although I could watch studio sessions forever, this course offered a very balanced curriculum of technical information, artistic encouragement and guidance, and a open, generous window into the thinking of a gifted artist and photographer, sifted from decades of first class experience. Kudos to all involved. Excellent!

a Creativelive Student
 

I purchased my first CreativeLive class in 2011 and have continued to purchase many classes over the years. I have learned so much from the many great instructors. This one is not a technical class that will tell you to set your camera at f4, 1/60, ISO 400 and you can get this shot. If you are looking for that, there are many other options. If you have a solid working knowledge of photography, this class is so much more. The way it was filmed is like you are there with him in conversation or in the room with him watching him shoot. To see and understand the how and why he does what he does. Not to take anything away from other classes that have helped to give me a strong understanding of photography, this is my favorite CreativeLive class so far.