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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Influences ~ Photographer Albert Watson

Albert Watson has made his mark as one of the world’s most successful fashion and commercial photographers during the last four decades, while creating his own art along the way. Over the years, his striking images have appeared on more than 250 covers of Vogue around the world and have been featured in countless other publications, from Rolling Stone to Time. Iconic portraits of rock stars, rappers, actors and other celebrities. He has also directed over 600 commercials. Albert Watson has always been one of my biggest influences.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Albert studied graphic design and later film and television at the Royal College of Art in London. He was an elementary school teacher in LA and shooting just as a hobby when he got his first big break when he was introduced to art director at Max Factor. Born blind in one eye he chose “Cyclops” (1994) as the title of his first published book of photographs.

The photo industry bible, Photo District News, named Albert one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time. He has won numerous honors, including a Lucie Award, a Grammy Award, the Hasselblad Masters Award, three ANDY Awards, and the Centenary Medal, a lifetime achievement award from the Royal Photographic Society.

Albert Watson, Naomi Campbell, Palm Springs, California (1989)
Watson recalls, 'I looked over and she was under an umbrella - right there I knew that was the shot, how perfect her head was in that raw sunlight.' The strong lines o this composition delineates Campbell's remarkable profile, like an eighteenth-century silhouette.

Albert Watson, Christy Turlington, New York (1990)
This was part of a fashion series that Watson was assigned to create at a moment when Turlington's star was continuing to rise. 'She was obviously a very good models.' 'Christy was great to work with and was always thinking, always enaging and ready for the challenges of being before the camera.'


Marilyn Manson

Albert Watson, Mick Jagger, Los Angeles (1992)
The picture was created for Rolling Stone magazine’s twenty-fifth anniversary issue. Initially, Watson photographed a leopard. He then used a marker to draw the animal’s outline on to the viewfinder of his camera and rewound the film in the camera and made an old-fashioned double exposure.

Bowie and chimp

In 2007, a large-format Watson print of a Kate Moss photograph taken in 1993 (above) sold at Christie's in London for $108,000, five times the low pre-sale estimate.Watson created probably two of the most iconic images of Moss on a shoot for German Vogue, and today they remain among his most popular pictures. At the end of a day shooting on a roof-top in Marrakech, Watson suggested he create nude photographs of Moss and she happily obliged.

Kate Moss

Jack Nicholson

LL Cool J
Kate Moss


Alfred Hitchcock
Albert Watson, Near Abilene, Texas (1987)
Watson wanted to shoot fashion in direct light and so he took advantage of the intense, raw Texas sunlight. ‘Simplicity. The challenge is to take a complex image and to make the photograph simply, but with elegance.’

Albert Watson, Leslie Navajas, Miami, Florida (1989)

A storm was approaching as Watson positioned one woman at the rear of the car. The image was captured just at the moment the models in the car were about to get out. It is a perfect example of Watson using a cinema-style effect to create energy and narrative.
P Diddy and Warhol


Mike Tyson

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