Straight-talking New York street photographer Jay Maisel is a living legend, and his insights on the subtle complexities of street photography are unique and priceless. One of his fundamental concepts is Gesture.

Its difficult to define but might best be described as the emotional trigger of a photograph. It can be a human gesture such as a facial expression or body position, or something more esoteric such as the interaction of some other elements within the image. Its the quality of this “gesture” that differentiates one photo from all the others and gives it that extra something which holds your attention.

Everything in the world has gesture. Its not about just people. You have to wait for something special to happen
Jay Maisel

In Jay’s opinion, gesture takes precedence over the more traditional technical requirements for a good image (lighting, framing, color, etc) as without it a photo can be good but it can’t be unique and so it won’t be great.

Jay holds photography workshops in his huge old bank building in Manhattan, but these cost several thousand dollars. An easier and cheaper way to learn from this master of the craft is to watch his online video courses hosted by Kelby Training. Worth every cent of their $6.99 rental!

And here’s his portfolio.


In Other News

Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. He may be long gone, but it looks like those conspiracy theories will live forever. Here are some merged “then and now” photos showing some of the places where it all happened.


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