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Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock

Lesson 16 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock

Lesson 16 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

16. Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock

Discover the idea and thought process behind Albert's iconic image of Alfred Hitchcock and what it was like to photograph one of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

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

Creating a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock

(soft music) Alright, so this is, for me, one of the most important shots that I've done because it really changed my career at that point. So this is a very old shot. This is from 1973, and I had just been a photographer really for a couple of years. One day I was in my little studio in Los Angeles, and the phone rang, and it was the head of Harper's Bazaar Magazine. At that time, I wasn't working for any magazines, so I was very, very excited that Harper's Bazaar Magazine was calling me. And they asked have you ever photographed anybody famous? And I said yeah, one or two. Of course, I hadn't photographed anybody famous. And they said well, we'd like you to photograph somebody a week from now, and we'll call you tomorrow and let you know who it is. So I said okay, that's great. So the next day they called, and they let me know it was Alfred Hitchcock. Now, I was just out of film school, so the fact that Alfred Hitchcock was going to be photographed by myself was, of course, overwhe...

lming, and I was very excited about it. They explained the concept that Alfred Hitchcock was a gourmet cook. He loved cooking. It was his favorite pastime. And he was gonna give them a recipe for goose for the Christmas issue, and they needed me to photograph him as, you know, as the illustration for the, basically for the article and recipe. So they said we would like him to hold a plate with a cooked goose on it, and I thought okay, that's not a problem. And I actually thought about it overnight. Now, this was a major change here for me because I think Alfred Hitchcock holding the plate with a cooked goose, I was a little bit nervous that he might look like a maître d' or just it might be a little bit, how could I make it more fun? You know, how can I conceptualize this a little bit? How can I prepare for the shooting? And I then called him back the next day, and I said I don't mind doing the cooked goose, but I think it might be better if he's holding the plucked goose by the neck like he strangled it, and I'll put some Christmas decorations around the goose's neck, and it seems to me a little bit more Hitchcock. So the creative director said let me get back to you. He called back in half an hour later and said the editor in chief loves it, and you don't need to do the plate, and they think it's more fun. And, of course, it is more fun. And I was lucky enough to have Hitchcock, you know, in front of me. He could tell that I was terrified and nervous and so on, and he made the shooting a pleasure. And he's actually a bit of a ham actor, and he just did lots of funny things with the goose. He pretended to cry. He was upset that he strangled the goose. And he was really fabulous to photograph. So the lighting in this is very, very simple. I used to shoot just through an umbrella with a strobe head, and I set it up with two lights in the background, so the background was pure white and a simple umbrella. So back then, I knew a little bit about lighting but not a lot, so the lighting in this is very, very simple. When I finished photographing him, he said to me he said you look like you could do with a nice cup of tea, so he ordered his secretary to get a pot of tea, and I sat there in his office having afternoon tea. It was almost like with shortbread biscuits with Alfred Hitchcock chatting with him about movies and so on. So the shooting really was magical in two ways. I got a half decent shot, and I was able to sit and talk with Alfred Hitchcock. (soft music)

Ratings and 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.

Student Work

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