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Picking the best shot

Lesson 14 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

Picking the best shot

Lesson 14 from: Masters of Photography

Albert Watson

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Lesson Info

14. Picking the best shot

Albert discusses and shows you his techniques for selecting the best shot from a shoot.

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

Picking the best shot

(melancholy piano music) So the editing process is of course supreme importance. Because you can take 200 shots of one particular image. You've got to find out what's the best choice. I'm doing it in a very straightforward way. I look at the first collection of images, maybe four or five or six that I did. And then I go to the very end of the shoot and I have a look at four or five six at the end. But the important part of the process here is I pick maybe the best one of my first four and best one of my last four. Okay? And I put them side by side. And those are markers that you put up. So basically it becomes a competition between the two images that you have up there. From the beginning of the shoot and the end. And you then begin to analyze as you go through all of the shots, you're looking for shots here that beat these two shots here. So it's a process of, if you do find a shot that beats 'em, then you basically take down the one that beats it and substitute them. So it's a proc...

ess of elimination. But it's very important that you have a marker. Rather than just keep going through stuff. It's important that you have a marker. So for example here. I went through them and I said well this isn't bad here. 'Cause these are raw files here. So you say this isn't bad here. I think this has possibilities. And you check it for sharpness and go in closer and just see what details are in it. And then you basically move it over into Photoshop and then you work on it a little bit. And you end up here. With this shot here. But it's a process of elimination. Now there's another thing that you can do. If it's a very important shoot to you. One thing you can do is you can edit down to your best two or three images from that particular shot. And you can look at them and live with them for a while. Now sometimes you don't have the luxury of that. You say well I'll put it up on Monday. I'll still look at it until Friday. Sometimes you don't have that luxury to do. Very often I'll take three images if it's a very important shoot maybe for a gallery or a museum. And you put them on the wall and you really live with them for a week or two. And you see what you love about them and what you don't love about them. What you feel has permanency. But what I'm looking for, this is a key factor for me. I'm looking for memorability. That the shot is memorable. And is the shot charismatic. Now you can bring in maybe someone else's opinion that you trust. But in the end I'm afraid that the onus is on you to make your selection. Not whether it's your wife or your girlfriend or another photographer friend. I'm afraid it has to eventually fall to you. And it has to be your choice and that you're comfortable with. There shouldn't be oh I quite like that you don't like it. There has to be an absolute decision made by you as a photographer to find the best shot that you took. And it's an important decision. It can take time. But remember one thing. Maybe the importance can be also spontaneous. In other words something that grabs you right away has a value. So it grabs you right away and hopefully the following day it grabs you. And a week later and a month later and so on it still grabs you. It's really a competition to find the best shot. You're in a competition with yourself to find the best shot.

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.

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