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Masters of Photography

Lesson 51 of 54

Combining nudes and landscapes

Albert Watson

Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

51. Combining nudes and landscapes
In this lesson we reveal one of Albert's very latest projects. Learn as Albert teaches you how he created a stunning series of images by combining nudes with different landscape textures.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Meet your Master Duration:01:26
2 Learn from the journey Duration:15:24
3 Using inspirations Duration:08:43
4 Photography is stopping time Duration:09:27
5 Albert's library of ideas Duration:08:30
7 Setting up the studio Duration:04:56
10 Foreground studio set up Duration:08:46
14 Picking the best shot Duration:03:36
15 Working with photoshop Duration:13:14
18 One day with Kate Moss Duration:05:06
19 Learn to have your ideas ready Duration:06:14
20 Using Polariods Duration:06:29
22 Controlling natural light Duration:05:38
23 Shooting a monkey with a gun Duration:06:27
24 Choosing your format Duration:07:13
25 Composition and lens Duration:04:47
28 Creating still life images Duration:13:48
29 Photographing the Lost Diary Duration:10:53
30 Shooting album covers Duration:03:09
31 The Strip Search Project Duration:10:28
32 Shooting Las Vegas landscapes Duration:08:24
33 Photographing Breaunna Duration:07:21
35 Creating the Maroc Project Duration:10:21
36 Creating the Maroc shoot Duration:08:11
37 Photographing sand dunes Duration:04:09
39 Advice on making portraits Duration:10:12
44 Photographing Jack Nicholson Duration:04:21
47 Studio fashion set up 4 Duration:10:48
49 Look inside the picture Duration:02:57
51 Combining nudes and landscapes Duration:04:52
52 A perfect print Duration:07:51
53 The business side of things Duration:06:51
54 Conclusion and farewell Duration:03:55

Lesson Info

Combining nudes and landscapes

(lighthearted music) I think I've mentioned a few times in the talk, about the importance of preparation. And there's another word that goes into preparation, which is concept. So, the preparation and concept is part of your thinking. It's not just turning up and saying well I'm so good as a photographer, I don't really need to think about anything until I get on the set. Preparation really is ganna do you well. Conceptual thinking also helps, so that's something you should be practicing. I'm ganna show you now an example of something that was preparation in the extreme. I'd always wanted to do this series of double exposures with landscape and also nudes. And I had done a project on the Island of Skye off the west coast of Scotland, beautiful island. And I shot there some very very simple, textural backgrounds: trees, leaves, rocks, where I was able to think about there would be a nude with, you know, in the back of my head, with these various elements. So I did a whole series when ...

I was doing also Landscape photography as well. So I held onto those for a couple of years and then finally I got it together back in New York to shoot some nudes and incorporate these textural landscapes with the women. So I've done a whole series of these, there's actually 60 or 70 of them. (lighthearted music) I'm just emphasizing concept, thinking about things, preparation and so on. So this is a rather extreme example of preparation where I had this idea of the double exposure and the landscape picture was done two years before I actually got to shooting the nudes. But I had the makeup artist kind of bronze the body because then I knew it would take the tattooing of the landscape, the double exposure onto her skin. And the basic idea for the nude series was also a little bit A Midsummer Night's Dream, a little bit of a tribal, strange, mystical place. That was where the whole idea came from, you know. A little bit strangely, Lord of the Rings or something. So, I had these landscapes, textural landscapes and then I proceeded with the nudes, and then this image here, you can examine it and you'll see how the skin is almost, takes on a tattoo that looks a little bit primitive. And it's a very good use of the computer to compile an image. And, I'm a big fan of the computer, I'm a big fan of the past, 30 years ago, 40 years ago film, but I'm also a fan of all the new technology as well. And just because you shoot a digital camera doesn't mean to say that you can pick up a roll of film next week and shoot a roll of film. Film hasn't gone yet. But this is a good example of preparation. So in the computer, it's actually quite easy on the surface to just do a double exposure, you're basically overlaying two images together. It's a little bit more complicated than that. Because you want to feel that this image is tattooed on the body. So, you really have to isolate the nude from her background and then you're dropping the landscape primarily onto the body. So there is, of course, some very delicate Photoshop work that you have to do. And you have to get the balance the density of the landscape on the skin the skin shouldn't be too dark, it shouldn't be too light, so this is a really beautiful way of working with modern technology and putting together a really interesting image. And it's very very flexible. So I had shot maybe as many as 30 textural landscape pieces for this project, and therefore I had a lot of flexibility when I combined them. (lighthearted music)

Class Description


  • 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


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"


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 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.