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Masters of Photography

Lesson 14 of 34


Joel Meyerowitz

Masters of Photography

Joel Meyerowitz

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Lesson Info

14. Observation

Lesson Info


(light bright music) When I was walking along in this little town and I got a hit from this yellow sunny wall. So it was like a yellow on top of a yellow and I stopped to make a photograph of it 'cause it's kind of beautiful. But for some reason it looks like everything I've ever seen before and I can't find my way into making it really interesting. So on the one hand it's very attractive and on the other hand it's like, oh, it's too well known and I can I push this, can I make this more interesting? That's an interesting question, so let's take a little walk in and see it the thing reveals itself because sometimes you come to a dead end. And the first thing I see is a detail. A gray square on the yellow background with all these drip marks which have layers of things on it, so in a way, the offering from this street brought me in here and I see a detail instead of the whole street. So in a way I accumulated an interesting photograph. So let's go a little bit further and see if anyth...

ing else happens because that's photograph, the street called me, I answered by stopping. I came in, the next thing is going to give me another little gift maybe. This is interesting. In one of the other lessons I talked about light being the subject, so here we are, on a street in which there are basically there is no longer any sunlight, except up there, on the right hand corner is a a bar of light. The rest of the street has fallen into shadow, but as I come down the street this space opens up. And it's a simple space. Here is a door, with a funny kind of step-like quality to the door so it almost looks like steps going up, but it's actually flat, and next to it is a small arch with a little number seventeen next to it. And then there are these beautiful things on the ground. There's a metal grating and then there's another metal grating and then there's a rectangle with a circle in it which probably has water. And then there's another grating over there so suddenly this little place which is a box, with a wall behind it and a band on of light on it has a kind of theatrical power. From down there I didn't see this, but by entering this space and following my instinct I walked all this way and I get this assembly of forms. In a way the lesson here is something comes up and says, hey, come this way, go. And when you go, you're likely to find something and the picture, I tell you the picture is very interesting. It's a very interesting little picture. See, it's like a box with a line in it and then this side of the box with a black line there's a white line here and a black line here and then there's the gray walkway out there and the band of light and the architecture and the door, it becomes a simple space much more complex and rich and interesting. A very subtle, and it might make a beautiful print, but I couldn't have imagined this when I stood there because I only saw the sunlight on the yellow wall and it was like butter, melting butter and I followed it. And really, if there's any lesson to take away from this it's if something calls to you, say yes. Remember, every time you press the button on the camera (camera clicks) it's a yes.

Class Description

Internationally renowned and award winning photographer Joel Meyerowitz is known for his iconic images that encompass decades of capturing all genres of photographs. Masters of Photography is bringing Joel’s class to CreativeLive to share the learnings from his vast career.

You’ll learn:

  • How to find a subject to photograph
  • How to improve your compositional skills
  • How to determine correct lighting
  • How to print your images and also create a photo book

Walk with Joel through picturesque Tuscany, bustling Siena and the vibrant streets of New York as he shows you how he creates his photographs. He will shares ideas, experiences, and his secrets on how to make great images. Joel will also suggest ideas for projects to try yourself. You can use any device from camera phone to DSLR, but in the end it’s all about you and your photography.

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I have an all access pass and thought oh no, I have to pay for this one? I bit the bullet and I am so glad I did. Joel has a great deal of wisdom and experience because of his age. BUT, despite his age, he exudes a fountain of enthusiasm, playfulness, curiousity and constant wonder surrounding his subjects. He opened within me the possibilities of exploring different photographic subjects and allowing myself to experience the fun in pursuit of those subjects. I love the way he shows how someone can take the same ho hum scene, but then look around for a different point of view. He is indeed a Master and I thank Joel for the class.


This is a absulutely fantastic class. Joel Meyerowitz takes you on an journey of little but important advices. In each short video you got some jewels to improve your approach, your view and your art. I own a lot of classes here on CL, but this one is one of my favourits! Gentle and human. Thank you Joel Meyerowitz, you helped me a lot on my journey to develop my photography.

Cosmin Dolha

What do you do after you learn all the mechanics, the technical stuff, exposure triangle, lights, where do you start? Because I am starting, now! You will find encouragement and guidance, and real applicable wisdom. If you are new to photography as I am, this course will point you in the right direction. What a treasure! Thank you CreativeLive for this and thank you Joel Meyerowitz for taking such a gentle approach to such a complicated subject, that is photography.