Jay Maisel Day 5 – “Trust your intuition”

This is the ceiling of one room in Jay’s building. The ceiling is peeling because after a house guest painted it black, repainting it white produced the current situatioin. Jay laughs about this ceiling and won’t repair it, in fact he saves the chips that fall off.

Just as I didn’t want to end the week, it is difficult for me to end my description of the workshop. Friday was two days in one. The morning was business as usual. I was up with the sun as I was not sure I had my images from the short amount of time we had to shoot on Thursday. We had to turn in 10. The morning with Jay started with a lecture discussion on color. How colors interact and the optical illusion you can create with color. Did you know that colors vibrate?

Then on to critique. Critiques were brief, not because we had gotten lazy or tired or were running out of time, but because we could do them almost in shorthand. “Didn’t you see this here?” “Yes, gesture over graphic.”, “You are still having problems with sharpness, let’s review the data”. This was actually the first time that we actually looked at the meta-data from our images during the critique. “See, you are at f/22 – why are you at f/22?”. “Good – see how sharp this is at f/5.6 because you are shooting at 1/1000th”. If someone says that there is not technical discussion at the workshop, they would be mistaken. Technique fits in right where it should, as a means to create an end. If the end isn’t right we first examined the seeing. If the seeing was good, then we would examine the technique. But always the message that failure is ok, dare to fail, and trust your intuition.

We saw a slide show of Jay’s trip to Paris with Scott Kelby that he took the week before. They were making the next Kelby interview which will be entitled “A week with Jay Maisel in Paris”. And we saw a slide show of Jay’s pictorial biography of his daughter Amanda. It was beautiful in graphic and sentiment. We finished with a tour of the building, dinner on the roof, and 2 hours of shooting the breeze in his kitchen. Jay’s office, gallery, workshop, and home are a full expression of his curiosity and playfulness. The workshop is worth every dollar and every minute.