Jay Maisel is one of the world’s greatest photographers and his workshops are intended to completely change the way you take photographs. His studio is in an old bank in the Bowery section of lower Manhattan and exploring the six-story building is an experience in itself.
The following are some of the most important things I learned from Jay. They apply to street photography as well as any other type of photography .
Unless we have the camera with us at all times we may lose the opportunity to capture that great decisive moment when it presents itself because most decisive moments are also elusive moments
Nothing in the image is neutral, it either works for you or against you.
It’s important to always be aware of everything that we capture in an image because we are responsible for every square mm.
Gesture over graphics.
If the gesture is powerful then nothing else matters. Even if there is a lot of clutter in the frame ( see # 2) always go for the gesture instead of trying to “clean up” the frame. Gesture is what makes the picture emotionally involving and always overrides form.
Jay says that the goal is revelation not replication. We need to shoot until we find our own style. We could have elements from someone who we like and admire but in the end the viewer has to know that the picture they are looking at is undoubtedly ours.