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Making a portrait of Mike Tyson

Lesson 41 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

Making a portrait of Mike Tyson

Lesson 41 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

41. Making a portrait of Mike Tyson

Albert delves into the inspiration behind his famous Mike Tyson photograph, reaffirming that preparation before a shoot is often key to transforming your vision into a reality.

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

Making a portrait of Mike Tyson

(upbeat music) So this another shot that I did in the Catskills of a young Mike Tyson. And he was up and coming, but they were pretty sure that he was gonna be an important fighter. And I photographed a lot of good fighters, I mean, Evander Holyfield, a lot of them. (upbeat music) I had this idea to do a boxer from the back. My father was a professional boxer and he always said, "The strength of a really good boxer's in his neck." And he said that, "If you have a weak neck "then you're a weak boxer. "If you have a strong neck, there's a chance that you can survive a punch." And I had always wanted to do a shot of a boxer from the back, and also to try and do a shot from the back where you could almost recognize who it was. And there's a lotta people who looked at that and said, "Is that Mike Tyson?" So this was a success from that. So of course I did it from the front as well, a portrait of him from the front, but this was a shot that, you know, it was unusual, it was interesting, an...

d it was a good piece of thinking. So once again, preparation, preparation, preparation, just thinking about what you might do. At least have a plan before you go into a shooting, especially with a celebrity, especially. If you're photographing your next door neighbor you maybe have more flexibility, but with a celebrity you wanna be pretty organized. So this shot was done with a Hasselblad. It's a simple on-access strobe. The strobe's right above the lens. And there's, I had a canvas with me, and there's one light on a canvas behind just to give it some vibrancy. So it's two lights, very, very simply done. And I had him work out for about 15 minutes before I photographed him so of course he was sweating. And if you see the details on this, you can see the sweat beads on him. But it's a Hasselblad shot on Tri-X film. This is a film shot. (upbeat 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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