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Author Topic: Jay Maisel interview  (Read 18266 times)
idenford
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« on: March 25, 2008, 03:51:46 PM »
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I adore this interview, this is real teaching. Thanks for including it in the new video download
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Ray
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 03:00:08 AM »
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I adore this interview, this is real teaching. Thanks for including it in the new video download
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184234\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm surprised this post has not attracted any response. Having just viewed  Video Journal 17, I have to say that the interview with Jay Maisel was very interesting. Perhaps more interesting than the antartic expedition.

Here is a guy who has surrounded himself with a huge quantity of not only marvelous photographs, but various clever tools, such as miniature wood planes.

He lives in a palace of many rooms, each adorned with his many award-winning photographs. His house is a plethora of delights.

Yet I detect a certain sadness and futility. The amount of stuff he has in numerous drawers, cabinets and rooms is enormous. One wonders, how many house cleaners he must employ to keep the place tidy and clean.

It seems that his identy is tied to those posessions. Can one imagine a Jay Maisel divorced from his photographs, his bells, his collection of artifacts and wood carvings?
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ironimages
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 08:11:29 AM »
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I'm surprised this post has not attracted any response. Having just viewed  Video Journal 17, I have to say that the interview with Jay Maisel was very interesting. Perhaps more interesting than the antartic expedition.

Here [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196352\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, Agreed this is a fantastic interview, his comments about photography in general are very intriguing. I learned a lot from this interview, I just wish it was a lot longer.

I felt that this made the LLJ17 well worth the price, the Antartic part was a bit of a bore for me.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 07:07:28 AM by ironimages » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 10:12:09 AM »
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Jay is an amazing fellow and easily the best photo instructor I've ever had the pleasure to work with (and in the 80's, at ACCD, we had some great talent teaching there). The two weeks I spent with Jay on Michael's Amazon trip was so eye opening and made the trip one of a lifetime. Michael, you need to get Jay on more trips! Yes he's an amazing photographer, one could easily say a legend and one of the last of his breed. But his insights into art, photography, seeing, is so inspirational. I cherish every time I can hang out with him and I'm blessed to be able to do this pretty often.

If anyone who's been touched by this video (which I haven't seen) ever has the opportunity to take a class with Jay, even his amazing hour "Light, Gesture and Color" he does at Photoshop World, do it. Don't even think twice about hearing someone else locator some technique in Photoshop or making a nice print (that can wait). Go listen to Jay.

When I graduated from ACCD in 1987, I decided to take a trip to NYT to show my book. Jay's elderly uncle was actually dating my grandmother. I called his studio a few days before my trip and was able to talk "to the man" directly and when I asked if I could meet him and see his studio, he said "Sure kid, come on by". For a fresh kid out of school to be able to have a guy like Jay, someone I looked up to for years prior say he'd let me come by was a dream come true. He was so generous with his time. He didn't know me from Adam. That's the kind of guy Jay is. I really love the guy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 06:02:51 PM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 05:04:42 PM »
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I loved the interview, but I was too jealous of his digs to post a comment.  
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 08:00:03 AM »
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It seems that his identy is tied to those posessions.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196352\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No. I was in a week-end seminar with Jay here in Toronto. His identity is what's in his mind. An experience not to be missed if you have the opportunity.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ray
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 10:11:46 AM »
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No. I was in a week-end seminar with Jay here in Toronto. His identity is what's in his mind. An experience not to be missed if you have the opportunity.

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Okay, Mark, I stand corrected   . I just found it mind boggling that a guy would live in a house of 70 rooms, most of which are full of photographs, equipment, various artifacts and objets d'art. I think Michael toured about 40 of the rooms.

If the whole caboodle was destroyed in a fire, would he weep? Would he get over it?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 01:17:18 PM »
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Okay, Mark, I stand corrected   . I just found it mind boggling that a guy would live in a house of 70 rooms, most of which are full of photographs, equipment, various artifacts and objets d'art. I think Michael toured about 40 of the rooms.

If the whole caboodle was destroyed in a fire, would he weep? Would he get over it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196784\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It is mind-boggling. You know Ray, I've often thought about disaster because we see it on the TV every night, especially these days. How would we react if all our cherished stuff disappeared in a calamity of some kind? I guess we just don't know till it happens and we hope it won't, but a priori, I think to go on leading sane lives, one would have to weep and then get over it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 08:45:14 PM »
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Nicely put, Mark. It's hard to protect "stuff" and you can't take it with you, but I sure hope Jay is making a dent in archiving his life's work—a contribution not only to art, but to the history of NYC.

I like Andrew's advice to take a class with him if possible, but one should be advised that he has a very unusual critique style...I still actually laugh out loud when remembering some of the comments he made at his workshop. He's pretty blunt:)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 09:01:31 PM »
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I still actually laugh out loud when remembering some of the comments he made at his workshop. He's pretty blunt:)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196907\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

True, but its tough love and its something we need to hear.
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Andrew Rodney
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 09:58:31 PM »
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Nicely put, Mark. It's hard to protect "stuff" and you can't take it with you, but I sure hope Jay is making a dent in archiving his life's work—a contribution not only to art, but to the history of NYC.

I like Andrew's advice to take a class with him if possible, but one should be advised that he has a very unusual critique style...I still actually laugh out loud when remembering some of the comments he made at his workshop. He's pretty blunt:)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196907\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Whoever tries to archive Jay's photographs has their lives's work laid-out before them!

Yup, the style of critique is pretty much "in-your-face", but you know, it's a teaching technique, it works, and as Andrew says, he means well. Every time I start cropping an image since that workshop the fact that "I'm responsible for every square inch of it" just rings in my head. So you start looking at what every square inch contributes to the story line - and there had better be one of those or else............... nothing like Jay asking why you made that shot! Oops, yeah, now why did I..........

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 11:43:12 PM »
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I was thrilled when he pulled out the planes.  They are my favorite tools to work with.  I have a collection of Lie-Nielsens.      

This interview and the interview with Stephen Johnson have been my favorites.
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 05:20:18 AM »
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Yup, the style of critique is pretty much "in-your-face", but you know, it's a teaching technique, it works, and as Andrew says, he means well. Every time I start cropping an image since that workshop the fact that "I'm responsible for every square inch of it" just rings in my head. So you start looking at what every square inch contributes to the story line - and there had better be one of those or else............... nothing like Jay asking why you made that shot! Oops, yeah, now why did I..........
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196929\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mark,
Point taken. We need to know why we took a particukar shot (although I'm not sure we need to pay someone to ask the question for us).

My general approach is, I photograph something because it's interesting at the time of the shot. Getting the print or HD Plasma display to replicate that interest is another matter.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 07:43:22 AM »
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Mark,
Point taken. We need to know why we took a particukar shot (although I'm not sure we need to pay someone to ask the question for us).

My general approach is, I photograph something because it's interesting at the time of the shot. Getting the print or HD Plasma display to replicate that interest is another matter.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196979\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Some people may need the paid help more than others. It's good to be reminded of very basic things from time to time - especially - as you say quite correctly - we can make photographs that looked exciting at point of capture only to be disappointed by what emerges on paper - either because we fail to extract the essence of the interest we perceived, or, from an objective perspective, it wasn't really there in the first place even though we may have thought it was. Learning to see a scene in terms of its photo-graphic qualities really lies at the heart of successful photography, and as I say, paid help from a real expert has its place to improve on that skill.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Craig Brewer
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2008, 01:41:24 AM »
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Haven't seen the video but have wished I had his vision for my whole photographic career. I started out as an art director at an ad agency in the mid seventies and first became aware of Jay in publications like Communication Arts. Always wanted to use him for a project but we never had the right project for him but I did call the studio once and request some samples of his work. A few days later this big package arrived with must have been 50 or 60 tear sheets and reprints of a lot of his editorial work. I was just getting into taking my photographs at the time and treasured this package and still have it 30 years later.
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Pete Ferling
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2008, 08:26:09 AM »
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Haven't seen the video but have wished I had his vision for my whole photographic career...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208842\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You should watch the video.  If your passionate about photography, you may find similiarities in his vision as with yours.  The difference is how one believes in him or herself, and pursues it.
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Theodore
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2008, 12:43:35 PM »
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What an interesting and enjoyable interview to watch.  I really enjoyed seeing the joy he derives from his pursuits / life - from woodworking to collecting.  Mr. Maisel reminds me of an uncle of mine who worked on the first commercial helicopter for Sikorsky and then had a career for decades with Douglas aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas, later Boeing which still uses the MD logo, anyway).  His home is filed with models, mock-ups, etc. and he loves to talk about them, loves to talk about the subject.  And it was refreshing too - I do enjoy modern technology and admit to it being quite a time sink, but I appreciated that we didn't hear about any particular sharpening technique, etc. in this (again a good thing in its place).  All to say, that it was a treat to watch.
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Pete Ferling
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2008, 02:50:30 PM »
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What an interesting and enjoyable interview to watch.

... I do enjoy modern technology and admit to it being quite a time sink, but I appreciated that we didn't hear about any particular sharpening technique, etc. in this (again a good thing in its place).  All to say, that it was a treat to watch.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What struck me is when Jay did mention that he wished he could have learned more about the new digital technology.  However, his concern for "why" someone takes a picture, and not "how" are evidence to his success.

Michael, we are starving for more interviews such as Jay's.


-Pete
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 02:51:01 PM by Pete Ferling » Logged
Craig Brewer
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 03:27:31 PM »
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You should watch the video.  If your passionate about photography, you may find similiarities in his vision as with yours.  The difference is how one believes in him or herself, and pursues it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209703\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for prodding me to download the video. Watched Jay's interview last night and really enjoyed it, especially the first part where he talked more about vision and work. Liked the part where he said that they tell art directors not to give them a layout because they will not follow it.  
He is right, there are so few open ended assignments that allow a discovery and inspiration process.

I spent my early photography years devouring the photographs of Jay's and Pete Turner. Their work was so unique and easily to identify as belonging to them. They seemed to be an end of an era.
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