MASTERS: First Edition Book by HAPTICPRESS

63 Distilled Lessons From The Masters of Photography

MASTERS: First Edition Book by HAPTICPRESS

To share the exciting news that MASTERS now available on AMAZON, I wanted to share a list of lessons I’ve personally learned from all the masters of photography.

For international shipping, purchase MASTERS VOLUME I in HAPTIC SHOP >

Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
  1. Akira Kurosawa: A great director must also be their own editor
  2. Alexander Rodchenko: Shoot pictures from dynamic angles (very high looking down, or very low angles looking up
  3. Alfred Stieglitz : Create a community to empower photographers
  4. Alec Soth: Make yourself emotionally naked before you can have your subjects uncover their soul to you
  5. Alex Webb: Life is complex and multi-layered, and so should our pictures
  6. Alexey Brodovitch: Bridge the gap between graphic design and photography
  7. Anders Petersen: Shoot the streets like you were a child, seeing it for the first time
  8. Andre Kertesz: Photograph yourself
  9. Ansel Adams: You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
  10. Araki: Stay prolific, stay young.
  11. Blake Andrews: Always have a camera in hand, unless you’re sleeping.
  12. Bruce Davidson: Don’t seek to be a fine art photographer, seek to be a fine photographer.
  13. Bruce Gilden: “If you can’t smell the streets, then it isn’t a good street photograph.”
  14. Constantine Manos: Don’t get “suckered by the exotic”.
  15. Daido Moriyama: Feel what you photograph.
  16. David Alan Harvey: Be picky about what you decide to photograph. But if you see a good scene, take 100 pictures of it.
  17. David Hurn: Photography is two things: Where to stand and when to hit the shutter.
  18. Diane Arbus: Relate with your subjects.
  19. Dorothea Lange: Document history
  20. Elliott Erwitt: Make people laugh with your pictures (best tonic for the soul)
  21. Eugene Atget: Document changing cities, urban landscapes, and architecture.
  22. Eugene Smith: Be insanely passionate about your photography and visual artistry; don’t compromise your artistic ideals.
  23. Fan Ho: Elegant and simple compositions are timeless
  24. Garry Winogrand: Shoot because you love life!
  25. Gordon Parks: Document and photograph social inequality and injustice; make a social change through your photography.
  26. Helen Levitt: Never give up or get discouraged in your photography (after 2 years of shooting a color street photography project and her negatives were stolen, she didn’t get discouraged, and started over again, with even *more* zest this time).
  27. Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photography is zen.
  28. Irving Penn: Elegance and simplicity in human form, simple and dynamic backgrounds (corners of room to photograph).
  29. Jacob Aue Sobol: Shoot close.
  30. Jeff Mermelstein: Be aggressive to make good street pictures.
  31. Joel Meyerowitz: A good street photographer is a combination of a boxer and a ballerina– it is all about moving your feet, and staying light on your toes.
  32. Joel Sternfeld: Small details make great pictures.
  33. Josef Koudelka / Part 2: Live life according to your own rules.
  34. Josh White: Photographing your loved ones is more important than photographing strangers.
  35. László Moholy-Nagy: All visual art is art.
  36. Lee Friedlander: All pictures are a self-portrait of yourself.
  37. Lisette Model: Photograph the spectacular.
  38. Magnum Contact Sheets: ‘You must milk the cow a lot to get a little bit of cheese.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson (take a lot of pictures to get a few good ones)
  39. Magnum Photographers: Even Magnum photographers are human.
  40. Mark Cohen: ‘Decapitate’ and cut off the heads of your subjects, to focus on hand gestures and details.
  41. Martin Parr: Make social commentary/critique through your photography.
  42. Martine Franck: Build a name for yourself; don’t just live in the shadow of someone else.
  43. Mary Ellen Mark: Seek to make perfect compositions.
  44. Rene Burri: Kill your master in photography.
  45. Richard Avedon: All photography is dealing with your own mortality.
  46. Richard Kalvar: Dark humor makes good street photos.
  47. Robert Capa: ‘If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’
  48. Robert Frank: Your pictures aren’t about your subjects; they’re about you.
  49. Saul Leiter: Be a painter with your camera.
  50. Sergio Larrain: Zen monk with camera.
  51. Sebastião Salgado: Cross-pollinate your interests (Salgado started off as an economist, and decided to use photography as a tool to understand the world instead).
  52. Shomei Tomatsu: Integrate blur into your photos.
  53. Stephen Shore: Even ordinary objects can be beautiful.
  54. The History of Street Photography: We should be grateful for the path the masters of photography have paved for us– it is our duty to add to that legacy.
  55. Todd Hido: Even houses have souls.
  56. Tony Ray-Jones: Don’t take boring pictures.
  57. Trent Parke: If you see something good, “shoot the shit out of it.”
  58. Vivian Maier: You could be a great photographer even as a side-hobby.
  59. Walker Evans: Stay open-minded in photography (he once hated color photography, then started to shoot color polaroids, and liked it and revised his opinion).
  60. Weegee: Life is a human drama.
  61. William Eggleston: Photograph nice colors.
  62. William Klein: You aren’t a street photographer; you’re a director on the streets.
  63. Zoe Strauss: A great photo project will take you at least 10 years.

For a beginners overview to the masters of photography, read ‘Cheat Sheet: Masters of Photography.’

Videos: Lessons From The Masters of Photography


Learn From the MASTERS: First Edition Book
Learn From the Masters Book: First Edition
Learn From the Masters Book: First Edition



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