Reviews |Albert Watson Masters of Photography

Albert Watson Masters of Photography Review

Masters of photography Albert Watson
Review

Price when reviewed

£130

$180

Our Verdict

The Albert Watson Masters of Photography course is the bridge between books and video self-teaching and university-style lectures.

It should be pointed out at the start that this isn’t a hand holding how to the photographic course; this series is for photographers wanting inspiration and an insight into the thought processes of a great photographer.

The course reveals Albert Watson’s journey to becoming a Masters of Photography, the creativity, inspiration and background behind the images and projects that have made his name.

I cannot recommend the course enough with the lecture style and practical insight helping to engage through the chapters. Highlights include creating a studio by starting with a black box and listening to the narrative of some of his best-known projects. The Masters of Photography course is, without doubt, one of the best investments you can make to develop your photography.

For

  • Inspiration from a top photographer
  • Beautifully filmed
  • Cheap for the price

Against

  • Passive course no tasks or assessment

What is the Albert Watson Masters of Photography?

Join a photographer as an assistant, and alongside lugging kit, running for sandwiches, pizza, drinks and being a general dogsbody, you’ll get to pick up a tip or two along the way.

It can be gruelling, but the experience will leave you absorbing knowledge that will help form your creative style and ambition.

The Masters of Photography course gives you an insight into the working lives of some of the world best-known photographers; Joel Meyerowitz, Steve Mccurry, Albert Watson and David Yarrow.

Through the interviews and the tutorial sessions in Masters of Photography courses, you’re given the same insight into these world-class photographers that would usually only be possible as one of their assistants.

Each course is broken down into a series of chapters presented by the photographer and gives an insight into each’s specialism. Each course reveals a fascinating insight into how their minds work, from conception through to the creative composition of their images.

In this review, I have taken a look at the Albert Watson Masterclass. A six-and-a-half-hour, fifty-four chapter series of videos introduces the iconic Scottish fashion photographer. The course reveals his thoughts, inspiration, and techniques to capture images of many well-known faces.

Albert Watson’s extensive portfolio, from Andy Warhol to Kate Moss, David Bowie and Steve Jobs. Having insight into his work and how he develops his style and imagery through this course is an exciting prospect.

The make-up of the course is interesting, consisting of short interviews about many of his iconic images, such as the David Cronenberg portrait shot for Rolling Stone Magazine. This interview gives you an insight into his creative processes as he talks about his use of an oil technique to create the film directors wavey distorted mirror portrait.

These insights into photographic sessions are fascinating; it great to hear the photographers journey in creating these well-known images.

Part of the course that I found really inspiring was the talk of projects. Photographic projects are carried out by many photographers in the art scene alongside their commercial work. These are usually driven by the photographer through passion. The insight into some of Albert Watson’s projects is, for me, the highlights of the course.

Hearing about the Maroc and Strip Search Projects is fascinating, especially the creative thought that drove him to produce these bodies of work.

Of course, the major part of the course is the tutorials, how to shoot a model, landscapes, working with Photoshop. In each of these, don’t expect to be handheld through the settings; these lessons are embedded in lectures – Albert Watson gives you the insight that you can then go and try.

In the studio session, you get a front-row seat, watching him in action and hearing how lighting, backgrounds and camera are all working together, along with his assistance to help create the picture.

Throughout the fifty-four lessons, you’ll pick up many tips and tricks as well as techniques. The important thing to do is to have a notebook and take notes. There’s plenty to jot down, and after you finish the course, you just need to put what you learnt into practice, such as creating your studio, starting with a black box and seeing where it takes you.

Specification

  • Running time: 6.5 hours
  • Lessons: 54

Verdict

I have loved this course, and with each video varying in length between two to around ten minutes, you can usually find time to sit back and absorb some photographic inspiration.

While this course is suitable for anyone, if you’re new to photography and want to learn the basics, this is not the right course. Albert Watson doesn’t handhold you through the techniques and settings that you need to get the shot; he gives you the creative tools to view and think about a subject. However, don’t let that put you off if you are new to photography and want inspiration.

At the outset of the course, it’s interesting to hear Albert Watson talk about his photography journey and inspiration. The lecture-style continues with interviews and practical sessions; it’s a fascinating insight.

When I started watching this course consisting of six and a half hours of video, I wanted to know one thing, would it change how I take pictures? The answer to that is yes, but not in the way I expected; watching Albert Watson makes you think about what you’re photographing and why.

It’s obvious through watching the videos that brands and names haven’t approached Albert Watson simply for his technical know-how; it’s for his vision, ideas and creativity. At the end of this course, that’s what you come away with, feeling completely inspired and determined to focus a little more on your ideas and style.

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