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Masters of Photography

Lesson 9 of 34

Street Photography

Joel Meyerowitz

Masters of Photography

Joel Meyerowitz

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Lesson Info

9. Street Photography

Lesson Info

Street Photography

(cinematic music) (light sounds of the plaza) Siena! Look where we are. Look at this fantastic place. There'll be street photography, there'll be action between people, I'll try to meld in with the crowd, I'm gonna show you the tactics I use to kind of become invisible on the street. And sometimes I may even talk to people, because it's fun to talk to other people, so watch what I do. Let's have some fun. This is a wonderful street in Siena, where people are coming from that side, and they're coming from up there, and they're coming, it's a crossroads in a way, and I love to stand on a crossroads. When I'm there, the mix of people and energy helps me to be invisible, but also keeps on bringing me new information all the time. So I see new people, new combinations. Here's a girl talking on her cell phone, but she's also got her water bottle in her mouth, and the two together make a kind of crazy picture. I'm always looking for the light, too. There's a beautiful patch of light here, a...

nd people come in, they're lighted for a moment, they're visible and they're highly lit, so I'm kind of interested in the shadows of the street, and the light that people are entering, because for a moment they're like sparks flying. (passersby speak in Italian) Here's a lady with orange hair, in the sunlight now, bingo, the orange hair lit up like a flame. Sometimes, in the great big mix of the crowd, is a little detail. Could be a miserable kid crying, "Mama! I want my..." Whatever it is. So I'm looking for the little human detail in the larger environment, which is a great way of saying, look, in ordinary life it all seems to be going on in a normal way, but in fact, there's, you know, fatigue, and pain, and you know, unhappiness, and joy, and laughter, so it's an incredible mix. But you can train your eye to look at the whole thing and see some of these details that pull things together. Because as soon as you see a detail of, let's say a kid holding onto their mother's hand and crying, right over here is a guy with two poodles, and the poodles are up on their hind legs, and they're looking for a cookie, so, by being attentive to one thing, you can include the other things in it. That's part of what makes street photography so interesting. I'm hanging out near these guys because they've got big hand gestures, a nice little cluster of Italian guys. But I'm also watching who else is coming into the space, to see if something interesting, and I know behind me is a bulldog over there, so I'm waiting to see what's gonna happen with this bulldog, and these guys, and whoever else is coming my way. (cinematic music) (camera clicks) Ah, you see that? All those gestures! (camera click) Belissimo, belissimo. (locals chat in Italian) (camera clicks) Can't expect to have a great event fall from the sky in front of you every time you come out. But building on the little events, putting things together that don't belong together, how you make interesting photographs, and how you kind of tune up your instrument on the street.

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.