Joel Meyerowitz‘s photos are arresting. We can’t help falling for them. But how much do you know about the mind behind the lens?
I completed the masterclass by photographer Joel Meyerowitz. In this Masters of Photography review, I’ll share what I thought about it and who this course is for.
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Who is Joel Meyerowitz?
Joel Meyerowitz is an American photographer. He is active in street, landscape and portrait photography. Nowadays, as I learnt from the class, he is also practising still life photography.
He is most famous for his street photography and his images from the streets of New York. He captures fleeting moments in a way only a few can.
Joel is a master of ideas. He uses colours and combines elements of our everyday world and breathes new life into them.
No wonder his work is featured in several books and exhibited in renowned museums.
What is The Joel Meyerowitz Masterclass About?
In his Masters of Photography course, Meyerowitz teaches us how to master street photography and discover our photographic identity.
The course also covers some still life, landscape and portrait photography. These genres are not the main focus of the course, but still, we can get fascinating insights into them. For example how to discover connections between subjects and objects and our relationship to them. And, of course, how to portray these relationships with our photography.
Meyerowitz gives us ideas and tips that we can apply to our own photographic style. In the end, it leaves us curious, motivated and with a treasure-trove of ideas.
Who Is This Course For?
This Masters of Photography course is for everyone who is interested in street, still life, landscape, or portrait photography.
Or for anyone who is moved by Joel Meyerowitz’s art, as Joel offers a deep understanding of his images. You don’t even have to be a photographer to enjoy his lessons.
It’s awe-inspiring to see him work with his camera. His masterclass is easy to comprehend, even if you’re a beginner photographer.
From beginners to intermediates and professionals, everyone will learn something new from him.
While completing this Masters of Photography course, you’ll explore your photographic identity. And at the same time, you’ll also learn how to train your eyes to identify scenes that are worth capturing.
An instant improvement to anyone’s photography!
An Overview of the Masterclass
The Joel Meyerowitz course consists of 34 lessons. Each of them further has four sections.
The course consists of short and digestible videos ranging from 4 to 18 minutes.
You can also download a document that summarises each section. You can read through it again at any time at your own pace. A great tool to help us absorb and implement the news ideas we learn about.
Some of the lessons are followed by an assignment – you can find these in the downloaded document.
You can upload your assignment photographs to a platform of Masters of Photography and get feedback on them from other students.
Others can also provide you with valuable input, based on the four key elements. These are Creativity, Composition, Technicality and Content.
How to Use the Masterclass Workspace
Once you register to Masters of Photography, you are going to see your course under My Dashboard. Here you have access to the videos and documents you can download.
If you complete a lesson, you just tick the mark complete option and the system shows your progress on a chart. It’s quite simple to track where you are.
Under Photostream, you can explore the images submitted by other students. You can engage with the community by offering your thoughtful feedback.
It takes over 5 hours to watch all the lessons. Once you have completed the whole course, you get a certificate!
Contents of the Masterclass
Each class has a different topic and they are all connected. I could go on and on about this Masters of Photography course but I’ll hold my horses and give you a taste of what awaits you.
Introduction and Basics
Joel Meyerowitz starts with an introduction of himself and his core message. Then he shares what influences and inspires him.
He even recommends books and encourages us to get inspiration from them, as well as from the world around us.
In this section, we are on the streets of New York and watch how he takes photos on the streets. It’s really inspiring to see how he implements his ideas in practice.
Meyerowitz shares and demonstrates how to build rapport with our subjects. He uses simple and genuine compliments for that. This helps people ease off while being photographed so we can capture their true self.
In the lesson called Aftermath, we learn about finding projects that are bigger than us. Joel talks about his photography process in the 9 months that followed the tragedy of 9/11. It’s an inspiring story which illustrates the power of photography.
You might think that in Composition you will learn the basics of how to compose images. Luckily, you are mistaken. It’s more about finding ideas coming from within and not simply following some rules. As Joel says, photography looks like pictures, but it’s really about ideas.
After that, we’re off to Sienna! Once again, we join photographer, Joel Meyerowitz and watch him follow his instincts as we navigate a very different environment.
He draws our attention to the simple sights and sounds of photo walks. We also learn how to spot the perfect lights and compositions even in ordinary scenes. Not only is it enlightening for professionals, but also for those embarking on street photography.
The course touches on landscape photography as well. Meyerowitz addresses his book Cape Light and how it changed his life and work. He encourages his viewers to experiment with different niches of photography, and give themselves time to develop their work.
We learn how you can take unique landscapes through a case study. Joel takes two photographs of the same scene. The first is the kind that most people would take. But the second has a twist that makes it one of a kind. The moral of the case study? No matter where you are or what you capture, you can make outstanding images.
When he is Sienna, he shows us how to play with the shadows of the trees, and how to turn our cameras from the most usual compositions to see something new.
Both, through his book, Cape Light and his visit to Sienna, he expresses how he envisions a picture and translates into a photograph.
Joel goes through how we can communicate with someone we find interesting for a portrait. He also gives us ideas for composition and expressions to look for.
The secret behind his portrait photography lays in small interactions and chats. This is how he finds people on the streets and forges connections. And this is how then he can capture remarkable portraiture.
In Sienna, we get to see a case study of him directing a man and taking his photograph. Someone with whom he only met moments ago.
Meyerowitz’s portrait photography is about seeing the uniqueness and capturing the character and beauty of the people around us.
Still Life Photography
Joel’s perspective on still life photography immediately draws you into this niche. Instead of addressing objects as static, he teaches you how to see the stories behind them.
He talks about objects like they had souls. He also explains how they can interact with each other and their surroundings and teaches us how to resonate with the seemingly useless objects.
There are five videos of workshops we can follow in this course.
Joel sits down with a group of photographers and shares his insights into their images and how they could be improved. The photographers are of different niches of photography. So we hear feedback on many genres.
Hearing the constructive feedback of a professional is both fascinating and thought-provoking. It also provides us with a new perspective that we can implement into our own photography.
The Masters of Photography Masterclass costs $170 with all 34 lessons. But you can get a discovery class for $55 that contains 8 lessons.
These 8 lessons touch on every topic. Lessons about street photography, composition, still life photography, editing and one workshop recoding.
Of course, a lot more information fits into 34 videos, but the discovery class could still be a good option for someone who’s looking for fresh ideas.
We have free access to one lesson by other masters like Steve McCurry.
What I Loved
Joel Meyerowitz Himself
As I started this course, I caught myself smiling through the first episodes. I had a positive feeling about it from the start.
Joel’s enthusiasm and passion are infectious, right from the first minute. He is full of life, and his narration is immersive.
Thanks to his clear diction, it’s easy to understand and follow his lead.
He uses the word you a lot and he points to the camera. Watch the lessons on full screen and you’ll have the feeling that Joel is talking directly to you.
The Quality of The Videos
I have to mention that the Masters of Photography crew did a great job with the video quality. It’s a treat to the senses to watch videos like these.
It definitely adds to the intimacy and the course quality.
In the beginning, I thought that it’ll be a course dedicated to street photographers. But I quickly realised this wasn’t the case.
Of course, Joel is primarily a street photographer but he also speaks about other niches. I enjoyed how he emphasised their interconnectedness and how it shaped his style as a photographer.
It’s a diverse knowledgebase that touches not only on photography but people skills as well.
Diving deep into the art of photography with a genius like Joel Meyerowitz is such a unique way to learn that it’s hard to find alternatives.
One alternative that I must mention here, though, is not a course, but a book which contains almost the same lessons as this masterclass. How I Make Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz is a great addition or alternative to the online course. I’ve read it myself, and highly recommend it to everyone!
Street photography is the genre that speaks to me, so I was already excited before I started watching this course. But I didn’t expect to finish it feeling this energetic!
This Masters of Photography course is a refreshing experience. It’s not about learning something you didn’t know, it’s about discovering your potential and resources.
Joel Meyerowitz motivates the viewers to use their imagination and takes the pressure off photography.
I fell in love with this masterclass. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Joel’s photography. It’s well-structured, and the content is of high quality.
And it’s not every day that you get to learn from Joel Meyerowitz!
|Value for Money (20)||
|Ease of Learning (15)||14|
|Production Value (15)||15|
|Community and Learning Support (5)||4|