Selected Quotes by Jay Maisel, speaking at PhotoPlus Expo, Oct. 30, 2014, Javits Center, New York
Shape is the enemy of color.
You are responsible for every square millimeter of the image, both the figure and the ground.
Every picture should have a trigger.
The eyes are not in charge. The brain is in charge.
The lightest thing in the image is where the eye will go first.
We are programmed to see photos as if light always comes from above.
Color is an insidious, mean-spirited, lying sonofabitch. It will fool you every time.
Three words how you can be a better photographer: "move your ass."
It's ok to lie to get what you want, but it's best to start with the truth.
Don't become a one-trick pony. Try the opposite sometimes.
I saw an image and HAD to take it. I was compelled to take it. I couldn't help but take it.
Never plan to shoot it later. SHOOT IT NOW. Because later it will be different.
I don't light them. Nature lights them. You just have to look. And when you see them, they are yours forever.
Things are happening all day long. You can't just shoot during 2 hours of golden light each day.
If I have a budget, the first thing I think is "Where can I get a helicopter?"
We were driving somewhere, and I pulled over to go to the john. As I'm getting out of the van, I grabbed my camera. My assistant said "You're going to the bathroom, what the hell do you need the camera for?" I said "Grasshopper, have I taught you nothing?"
I miss 99 out of 100 shots I try to get. I've been doing this 60 years. I have more bad photos than all of you combined.
Everything has gesture. Gesture doesn't necessarily mean action.
I have no idea why he did that. These are the gifts you get from people, and you have to be ready to accept these gifts.
Things don't just happen very often. But when they do, sometime you have to work like a sonofabitch to get the shot.
The one thing I try to is make the picture my own.
Near the pyramids at Giza: "Why does nobody shoot from here?" "Because it's a firing range." "And why are we not worried?" "Because they don't start for another 20 minutes."
I realized that the 85 pictures on the wall [at an exhibit of his favorite work] had something in common: I was a terrified when I took each of them, because I wanted it so badly, and I was afraid something would change before I captured it.
I like to shoot through things. I think the interest is multiplied when you put things in front of your subject.
It ain't over till you give up.
I like photographing old walls with peeling paint. These colors have gotten to know each other. They're like an old married couple.
"Look at the light!" "It's not falling on anything." "I'll wait."
The act of photographing is as important as the finished photograph.
Sometimes you get a shot you didn't plan to get. Don't be hampered by your intention.
Thanks, Jay, for sharing some of your wit and wisdom with us.