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Masters of Photography

Lesson 50 of 54

Creating memorability in an image

Albert Watson

Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

50. Creating memorability in an image
Learn Alberts tips on the skill of quick thinking and analysing your surroundings. Albert uses an example where he used his surroundings to create a unique and surreal shot for Italian Vogue.


  Class Trailer
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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

Creating memorability in an image

(upbeat music) So I was in London doing the collections for Italian vogue, quite a bit of time ago. About 20 odd years ago but this is a shot I remember well. And I was shooting at my old university in the sculpture school. And it was in the summer time and they had basically just had their end of the year show and I went into one of the big sculpture studios and against the wall, just by chance, there was a piece of black fabric. Just hanging there like a flag, that was just hanging there. And I had this beautiful Yohji Yamamoto dress and with a very well known model. I just suddenly, I don't know where it came from, I just got this idea. I think this idea of saying it again and again, you should be thinking the whole time, You should be analyzing things the whole time. So when I came in and I saw the flag, I just got this image of this particular dress that I'd just seen on this famous model, a super model. And when I brought her into the room, I actually put her behind the fabric.

So this is the shot. Now, of course the fashion leader said wait a minute, this is a super model, you can't hide her face, sort of thing. But of course, I was doing other shots, I said you'll see her face on the next page, sort of thing. And this was always a shot that I liked so the reason why I'm showing this is it's just the use of something that was there. An empty white studio with a skylight, this was shot on 4x5 film, it's natural light, a piece of black fabric hanging on the wall, but really the clever thing I did here was to put the girl behind it. If the girl was in front of it, it still would be quite a nice shot but, behind, it made the shot more severe, stranger, and possibly more memorable. And as I've said many, many times, memorability is a major factor in good photography. You have to remember that image, you have to say, well I remember that image. So this is really quite a good example of it. And the magazine naturally loved the shot. (upbeat 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.