Skip to main content

photo & video

Masters of Photography

Lesson 19 of 34

Workshop Alex

Joel Meyerowitz

Masters of Photography

Joel Meyerowitz

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Workshop Alex

Lesson Info

Workshop Alex

(upbeat music) Alex, you've come enough pictures for two people. (laughs) ah there're two different groups here yeah yeah so this is the skin group which is just about people in the sun and this is about people reacting to culture and that's a work in progress. I mean this was just kind of a quick one and this is sort of a long thing that I've been doing. I'm interested in how we shape shift that people change in different scenarios and different physical settings creating different emotional responses and maybe it's just me that sees it because I'm there with a camera and I'm paying attention. Well you know I thought, I thought for a moment when you were talking about culture, that I was gonna see people looking at cultural objects but then I realize that it's all culture. That you're in museums and you know in front of historical sites. So really what you are saying is, what I see immediately, is nothing what you see. No. Because what I see is a kind of contemporary tourism...

in either historical sites or cultural settings and how tourists look Yeah. In museums and I feel you know there's a, you're taking a good swipe at some of these people. No... Well, I don't wanna ever, I'm one of them. But the angle that I take mainly is that I'm there too. I'm not trying to, I do see things which I latch on to like color or whatever interactions like you know very physical interactions like that. But I'm... Ugh, but you know, you're not taking the picture of the horse's head. I mean you are no no, I know You are but you're also taking the relationship of somebody else and the tourist in the museum taking a pic. So I think in some way, your commentary and it feels like there's something here. However, I'm not so, I feel there's also a little bit of a generalization going on. Yeah. I don't feel how pithy, cause I know it can be pithy, and this one is closer to it because of what's going on between the statue and the woman. There's, even her gesture, I mean in a way, an image like this goes beyond what you're supposed project is. This is photographically funny. It has a photographic context, her gesture and the shape of her arms and the shape of the horse. They're playing back and forth in an amusing way. In a way, I kind of like that because you're not generalizing, you're kind of specific. Where as this feels a little more generic to me. I mean I don't see much difference between Yeah that wasn't intentionally actually have two I don't see much difference. Even though this is a different body, subject body, right, this is part of the skin thing. So, you know, they seem to me to be in the same mindset. So they cross the borders of the two distinctions you're trying to make. Mm hmm. And they actually work well together. It's just the steps. Probably yeah because of steps because of the quality of the light because they both have people who are incapacitated in some way. And... I'm actually more interested in this picture. Yeah. There's a wonderful, there's a wonderful picture by Olga Saunder. Do you know the one of the man. Yeah I know that yeah. At the foot of a flight of stairs that he will never go up. Mm hmm. It's one of the most heart breaking pictures because he was ruthless. Saying I would love Saunder, he's one of my heroes but, he knew how to make a ruthlessly demanding picture. And then there's another picture of a dwarf. And he has the dwarf standing in front of a carriage where a horse would be hitched up. So the horse would pull the carriage but there's no horse, there's only a dwarf standing in where a horse would be, another impossibility. It's interesting to look at sometimes to look at you know, great photographers, historical photographers to see that they were just as wicked as we could be in their cultural observations and their little digs and stuff like that. He's a remarkable artist. I enjoy your pictures. I mean right away, I enjoy the quality of life and energy and color. You're not afraid to get in and mix it up. You know, so your confidence, and even the little details that you find to be interesting. But I'm you know I... It's an interesting idea, you know. But it, have you working this idea? Yeah well that's why I brought it along is this sort of thing I wasn't sure, you know too sure about because because it is a long idea. I mean, it's a long plan and I'm always wondering whether in a very long series, which is about a long subject, whether or not every shot needs to be a hit or whether every shot should illustrate the larger goal of the project, if you see what I mean. Well, I do. And I completely agree with you. I think a project with density and length, can sustain images that are more open in terms of relating to the project. Because they pick up strength, they pick up momentum by being with other good pictures. But, I'm not seeing here, although, I like your energy right off the bat. I feel you know how to make a picture. I don't feel that it's, you've closed Yeah. You know, you've closed on it in a way that convinces me that you're really on to what it is you say you wanna do. I think you're right. And that's what, and we're all, you're not alone. I mean I've started projects myself and I think oh, this is an idea. I'm gonna charge ahead on this. And then I charge ahead but I'm not charging as hard I should. I'm a little lazy or I, maybe the idea is not, I can't fulfill it in some way Mm hmm. You know, I've hit dead ends. Everybody does. I mean I think there's a story there. I just don't think I've completely found it yet. You know there is Well maybe you haven't clarified it to yourself well enough. Yeah. And I think that's part of, if you have the good sense to describe something that you're interested in like you were talking about solitary people. Your sense of the phenomena. Your way of dealing with you know, hats in the city (laughs) and the way you feel in the city. Each of these projects benefits by a clearer definition and usually that comes from the work. But you have to prove it in the work. True. And then you'll get one that really hooks you. And that hook, once it gets in, is the thing that will save you. Mm hmm. So it's, I think it's great that you've defined sort of a cultural activity that you're interested in. But, you really have to like go after it. And I know it could build. I can really tell you for sure that you would make interesting work out of it but it offers, it really offers an opportunity and a great sense of scale where human beings could be tiny against the vastness of it. Because it also describes ancient culture that has you know, come into the present. So it's there from another century. But we are here in nylon and rayon There's time travel, yeah. And you know. And selfie sticks and all of the all of the crap of contemporary culture. (laughing) So I think you got a really an interesting opening here. It just depends on what you do with it. Sure. Thank you.

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.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



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.