« The Doing of Photography | Main | PSDs and Permanence »

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

jay is amazing - i don't love everything he does but he's unbelievably prolific. he'll see more opportunities from here to the corner than i'll see all day.

i love how much he loves photography.

Wonderful, heart-warming; lessons there for all of us.

"Go out as unprepared as possible." Sounds like a good project.

Here's an interview that might be of interest to some...


Just looking at Jay's work can teach you to see.

I'll rather cast my vote for my mother and father, my niece, the neigbours dog, you, Lulu, your son, Ctein, and the rat in my sewer (it's a nice freindly critter that takes up no more space then she needs).

Greets, Ed.

P.S. what stuff you are smoking Mike? And can I get some.

I've been aware of him for a long time, and it kind of looks like he's in competition with the Top Gear presenters for having the best job in the world (for the particular individuals; hence it's not just a straight competition). He does an amazing variety of stuff. And look at some of those used book prices on Amazon!

Why does Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" keep running through my head?

I saw Jay a couple of years ago at Photoshop World. He has a mouth like a longshore man and twice as funny as most standup comics. Well worth listening to.
And, he is very talented at making the business of photography look fun and easy.
Although he must really work hard at it.

How can you not appreciate a man...a photographer who takes so much joy in seeing and then captures it for all to enjoy. Thanks Mike for sharing this and letting us see...a great photographer.

Interesting juxtaposition with his 2000mm lens and, if I remember correctly, wishing for the occasional exhibitionist and the present furore in NY about the photographer taking photos through people's windows

I know you don't want this to sound like an advert but 3 years ago I wound up spending a week in NY with Jay on one of his courses. Wow.
They don't make 'em like Jay any more.
Full of life, an ability to open your eyes and genuinely one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
It was a quite magical 7 days and my only regret was that I hadn't met him many many years before.

ever take a look at the list of the highest grossing movies of all time ?

Thanks Mike. That was inspirational; what an eye.

This is a nice profile piece that I've seen previously.

I have never met Jay but I've been quite familiar with his work and, more pointedly, his approach to photography for many years. Watching this profile today led me to the revelation that Jay has probably been one of the most powerful influences on my own photographic approach for many years. It never occurred to me that watching another short film of him many years ago really tattooed me with his brand of 'Look, it's all around you, dummy!' philosophy for finding images.

But it really was not until today that I realized his influence on me. Perhaps I'll have the chance to meet him one day.

Amazing...that Jay made it seven minutes without dropping an F-bomb.

I love that Jay is one of the most successful street photographers of his time -- and yet he stands far outside the much proclaimed Street Photography Standards (SPS).

Most significantly, he is shooting most often with a 70-300mm FOV, when the SPS dictates a 28-50mm FOV. The others rules (film, Leica, B&W) are so commonly ignored they don't count that much. However, the FOV limits attributed to the example of Henry-Cartier Bresson are still gospel for thousands of street fans.

Personally, my street lenses just nudge a little at both ends of the HCB standards, so I'm not so much personally liberated by Jay Maisel's example as just pleased that someone else is breaking all the rules so I don't have to.

I have never before heard of this guy.

Thanks for sharing.

The guy is awesome.

Jay Maisel will live as long as his photographs exist and there are people to appreciate his art and his eye.

I would like to recommend this biography of Jay Maisel:


I have always loved Jays work. Looking at his work it is easy to see why he is so successful. Seeing this makes me appreciate him even more.

Can you believe that, with Maisel actually having lived and worked right there in New York for years, that Szarkowski could make the statement with a straight face that William Eggleston invented color photography?

Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

Wow, thanks for the introduction. I briefly looked at the course cost, added in hotel and airfare plus expenses and shook my head sadly. And I don't want whatever it is my namesake has been smoking, perhaps I'll spend the money on lottery tickets instead so I can afford a week in New York.

I love Jay Maisel's approach: take a camera everywhere, walk with your eyes open, shoot what moves you. It should be tatooed on every photographer's heart.

Thanks for the link Mike. Jay Maisel, Pete Turner and Ernst Haas among others have been an inspiration to me. They all share that joy of seeing.

I met jay at an Image Bank party back in the day. Sure enough, he showed up with an F4 on his shoulder.

There are three great books of his work: Light on America, Jay Maisel's New York, and Tribute, a collection of his images of the World Trade Center.

I love Jay for vigorously defending his copyright in spite of intimidation, here's the story: http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2011/06/27/“jay-maisel-is-a-dick”-freetard-mob-savages-octogenarian-photographer-over-copyright/

He certainly conveys the joy of unplanned photography. It made me realise I've become too narrow minded in that I've restricted myself to a few categories of camera usage (motor sport and associated subjects) for the last few years. Thanks, Jay, I now resolve to go back and look for the opportunities afforded by the wider world. With a bit of luck and a life-span of of a couple of hundred years I, too, could eventually have a fabulous building in Manhattan!

I know that this is a silly and off the subject question, but I wonder what was that first digital camera which converted him?


I find his work to be mediocre, with a few nice images. I see far better and more consistently interesting around me in person on a regular basis.

Reminds me of what is in the book of Ernst Haas' photos - Color Correction. The great ones have their eyes in their hearts. Commercial work shows it, but they "always carry their cameras" and see everything.

ok guys, take it easy! There is a long tradition in photography of talking! Am sure he is a great guy and has a nice place. But honestly, not a single shot I have seen made me go wow. And yes seeing is magical.

Bill, I think it was the Nikon D1.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007