What I Learned from the Masters of Photography


Dear friends,

For a limited time in the HAPTIC SHOP, MASTERS DIGITAL EDITION is now FREE! You can also pick up a first-edition printed version of MASTERS here.

Why study the masters?

The biggest benefit to studying the masters of photography is to learn how to ‘kill’ them. That means:

Extract all the necessary wisdom and experiences from them, but then realize you must cut the umbilical chord, and pursue your own path … to pave your own path and journey in photography.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is still probably the GOAT (greatest of all time) but when he started, he wasn’t. It was probably Andre Kertesz, his personal senior.

Every master has a master somewhere

Even photographers like Richard Avedon learned from artists like Alexey Brodovitch. Even HCB’s mentor was the painter André Lhote. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s inspiration during the time was the trendy ‘surrealism‘, which was led by the radical thinker Andre Breton. So if you think about it —

Now after these masters die, we deify them as being infallible geniuses, but they all started somewhere too.

“We started from the bottom now we’re here” – Drake

To become a ‘master’ is something which is appended to your name loooong after you’re dead. To be a ‘living master’ seems like a nonsensical title. And to be a ‘master’ (maestro) is simply to be a ‘teacher’. As long as you can teach what you learn, in some ways … you too are a master.

So don’t get so caught up on becoming a master in your lifetime. Strive to plumb the deepest depths of knowledge from those who came before you, and then re-inject your own experiences, knowledge and wisdom into your own work.

And to keep learning, see all 100 lessons I learned from them [PDF].

Also you can download on Dropbox or download on Google Drive.

The book is open-source and free. Feel free to forward it to any friends, store it on any device, and you can also see all my books here.

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If you’re hungry for some new motivation, direction and inspiration in your street photography, invest your time in an upcoming ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE below:

New turbo thoughts

  1. Buying vs Creating Beauty
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What I’m up to

  1. Films and Cinema — INFINITE with Mark Wahlberg, 300 [SPARTAAA!!], Mad Max fury road black and chrome edition.
  2. Reading: The Will to Power [Penguin digital edition]
  3. My workouts: Heavy kettlebell swings (2 handed and 1 handed) with a new 48 pound kettlebell (105 pounds).

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