My Look into Jay Maisel’s World

For those of you who have watched our Kelby Training Online Class “Another Day with Jay Maisel,” (link) you will remember at the end of the class there was a tour of Jay’s gallery and home, including the amazing rooms where Jay has collected all sorts of tools, small objects, and well…just lots of fascinating stuff.

I was really captivated by those rooms, and in particular the objects he had on shelves along the outside windows, and so I spent a few minutes shooting them in between takes. Just available light, but it was soft beautiful light (courtesy of windows that probably hadn’t been cleaned on the outside for 20 years). All shot at 1600 ISO with my Nikon D3s.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite shots taken along “Jay’s window ledges” here on the blog.

  1. Your backlit shots of Jay’s objects are graphic, powerful, colorful, and gorgeous. Really great work.

    I asked a dozen friends from all around the country to find time to watch last Monday’s webcast of “Another Day With Jay Maisel” and all but one watched. They all said they enjoyed the webcast and learned a lot about creativity. The best part is ten of the eleven signed up for a year of Kelby Training! I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning and continue to benefit from all the great classes, so I’m happy my friends will too.

    I hope to see you again at a MacGroup Detroit event.


  2. I like the framing on these Scott. Have you put an action together for these, or are these a one off for these pics only?

    I honestly can’t choose a favourite here. You must be thrilled. I was going to ask if you were going to show some of your own photos taken during your time with Jay. We see you clicking away with Jay, but haven’t seen the results yet. I guess these make up for it. :)

  3. Very nice Scott. I enjoyed the webcast immensely and hope you plan on putting your Jay Maisel days onto DVDs.

    Daniel & Pete, I’m betting these are photographs of real framed prints, not faux frames created in Photoshop. Am I right Scott?

    1. Hi Jim: I started with an iPhone photo of a framed print hanging in my office (it’s none of these images). Then using the actual photo as a template, I rebuilt the frame piece-by-piece as a Photoshop layered document, so I could use it as a template to put any photo I want into it. This way, I could add a new gray wall behind it, and the fake shadows and everything looks sharp and clean (the photo didn’t look very good).

      The whole framing concept for the real frames hanging in my office (I have three of them) came from a framed print I saw in Delta’s Skyclub a few years ago. I took an iPhone photo of it, and then used an iPhone App to collect all the measurements (the size of the photo, width of the matting, thickness of the frame, and so on).

      Anyway, back to the PSD: So I now have this template and when I want to pop an image into it, I open the image I want in the frame, select all and copy, then I go to the frame image; reload the Layer Mask that’s already in place on a layer, and then go under the Edit menu, under Paste and choose Paste Into. Then use Free Transform to scale it down so it fits into the opening. That’s pretty much it.

      Hope that helps. :)


      1. Could you not make that layer a smart object then right click on layer and replace content? (I’ve been paying attention to ;-)

  4. Scott, I agree with Pete and Daniel, a tutorial on a couple of your framing techniques would be greatly appreciated! I remember you did the border tutorial but don’t know where it is. Thanks!

  5. I enjoyed the session with Jay on Kelby Training. He comes up with some little quips and sayings that are truly profound. Thanks for doing the session and please keep adding to them.

    Your shots are BEAUTIFUL. I bet you Jay would love to have a few of these. I would also be interested in how you created the “framing”…

  6. Scott:

    You could probably spend the rest of your life inside Jay’s home, just shooting the things that he’s collected, and not take the same picture twice. Thanks for showing some of your shots from that day. I think my favorite is the repeating wrenches. You really have to look at these pics in the larger size (wish they were a bit larger though).

    I’ll echo some other comments and ask that you post some of your street shots as well! Or did the NY cops play the part of referees and get in front of you for all your shots? ;)

    @Jim Bullard: I’m betting you’re wrong! 8)


  7. Amazing broadcast and day with Jay… thank you! I love these still life images of Jay’s collectables becoming “new art” with a whole new perspective. Isn’t art and photography grand! Like some of the others who commented, are these matted and framed in PS, or are they images of your actual framed art, I am thinking the latter? Pretty cool, that we have to ask :)

  8. I’d give my left ta-ta to be able to shoot inside Jay’s house! Your images look great the way you’ve had them matted & framed. I think Jay would be proud. ;)

  9. I’m sticking with my bet. The light isn’t entirely even and there are subtle light reflections from one surface to another. Faux mats are flat in tone and the shadows different. I use them a lot on my blog and ran a tutorial on how to do it back in 2010 You could add touches to make them more realistic but it’s a lot of work for a mat.

    If you wanted to make a digital version of a frame that looked like this the best (easiest) way would be to make an actual framed piece with a flat black panel in place of the image, photograph it under the lighting you wanted, then select and erase the black area. You’d then have a frame mask to drop over any image you wanted that would look totally ‘real’.

      1. Hey Scott, were some of the tracks on the film not publicly available? The piece for the end credits is particularly pleasing to me. I’ve looked around the web, not sure if all tracks are available to buy in the version used on the soundtrack. Do you know?

        Amazing sounds to a truly incredible film.

        Many thanks. Jonathan

  10. I have to say I really enjoyed this video(s). Not so much for it’s teaching and tips but for it’s entertainment value. It felt more like a documentary on a great photographer. I think you should do more like this with some of the other photographers who’ve been in the business through the years and maybe get more insight on things then and now.

  11. Hi Scott – any chance of the May 6th live event being put online for KelbyTraininger subscribers to watch it? I already watched “Another day with Jay Maisel” which is great, but I’m sure there was some other great things during the live event as well, right? :)

    Thanks in advance and thanks for making two great Jay Maisel videos!

    1. Hi Klaus:
      We’re talking about that right now—-releasing kind of a “Director’s Cut” with Jay’s live stuff cut in. He was a fascinating live guest, and answered a lot of great questions. :)

      1. Wow this would be great!!! I had to miss the live event and would love to see the “Director’s Cut” version of the class over at KelbyTraining

  12. Scott, I absolutely loved this seminar on Kelby Training! I’m not sure that I agree with everything Jay has to say about photography, but you just can’t deny his skill and amazing eye for photography, in addition to his character and wit.

    The tour through his studio was nuts with all of his cool stuff! I can’t believe you got such interesting photos from just shooting available light in what looked like a tight space …eh, well actually I can, you da man! :)

  13. wow really cool those shots, it look like a museum, very nice and the video w Jay Maisel was amazing, jay’s house is like living in a museum , just love the way Jay is, old school photographer !!!

  14. I agree with Joe Zimmerman – you should do days with some of the other photographers as well. Also, in Paris or elsewhere, another Day with Jay would be great.

    Also, I thought I had a lot of stuff, but all mine’s not a drop in the bucket compared to Joe’s. Would love to be able to shot in there.

  15. The tour of Jay’s house was amazing! I can only imagine what else he has in there after all those years. Thanks for sharing a little bit of it. Enjoyed the class immensely! Hoping there is more to come.

  16. Another great example of how looking….really looking shows there are pictures everywhere. Great shots and love the presentation too.

    Scott, lovin’ the suggestion from Klaus about putting the studio chat with Jay on Kelby Training too. There was so much said on camera away from the actual ‘Another Day with Jay Maisel’ you’d have a Kelby Class there in itself.

    Great work as always,
    All the best to you and yours,

  17. The shots look great, indeed. There is some magic simplicity in well positioned, colorful everyday objects. And the frames- neat idea! Thanks for sharing the trick.

  18. I have heard Scott say on numerous occasions….. ” I got nothing….. I go nothing..” Well, I am here to tell you that you got something that day. These are just down right amazing. See just hanging out with Jay has made you a better photographer. Nice work Scott.

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