As I was Saying...

As I was Saying...

When I moved out of the Bank in 2015, it coincided with my age and arthritis catching up with me. If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have gone for the extended warranty on parts.

Anyway, I lost about 27 steps going to first base, and it became too difficult to shoot the things I wanted to shoot, the way I wanted to shoot them.

Since I was always an obsessive person, I had to figure out something to do. 

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have Jeffrey Chong and Matt Dean working with me. They have lightened the load considerably. Here I was with 61 years of shooting, 45 of them with film and Matt figured out a way to scan my film into digital. 

This sounds simple today, but we had been trying using scanners, and it was a tough, slow, expensive unsatisfactory experience. Matt figured out that we could do the job by using a Nikon D810 with a Nikkor Macro 60mm lens. Since he’s started, we’ve done almost 14,000 images. We have now switched to a D850, and he’s even happier with that. 

I now spend my time looking at all the stuff I shot on film over the years. I enjoy immensely going back over all the work. I feel very lucky to be able to have the chance to edit all the work that I never had time to edit because I was always shooting.

What you will see on this website are collections of work that I shot from 1954 to 2000 in film.

Some of it was new to me. It was so long ago I was seeing it with a fresh eye.

I learned a lot about myself in the process, and the experience was joyous and humbling. Joyous when I found stuff I loved and humbling because there was so much crap.

I used to tell my classes when they raved about my work and compared it to theirs, Believe me, I’ve taken more terrible images than all of you put together.” 

The trick is not to show them to people. 

I’ve got a sign over my desk that says, Editing is next to Godliness.” The editing process itself is constantly changing. I find myself changing my standards and criteria for picking pictures. Someone said, That causes a lack of consistency.” 

I remember the quote from Ralph Waldo Emmerson, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

I’ll add more subjects to the website from time to time, and I hope some of you will let me know how you feel about the stuff. 


- Jay Maisel

New York in the 50's


“I have been shooting New York for over 60 years now. And though I have achieved age, I can safely say I have never made my way to maturity so I have never been jaded or bored. I think all this is due to the grittiness and hectic quality of the city, you never capture it, it captures you.” After studying painting and graphic design at Cooper Union and Yale, Jay Maisel began his career in photography in 1954. While his portfolio includes the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Miles Davis, he is perhaps best known for capturing the light, color, and gesture found in every day life. This unique vision kept him busy for over 40 years shooting annual reports, magazine covers, jazz albums, advertising and more for an array of clients worldwide. Recently, Maisel has gone back to his archive of early work, and put together a collection of black-and-white images he made as a young man in the 1950s, evidence of a lifetime’s pursuit of a craft and a special talent, one of the best-kept secrets in photographic history. “New York in the ‘50s” is a beautifully-produced monograph that will be equally appreciated by Jay Maisel’s followers, and anyone who has stepped inside his muse, New York City.

Signed copies of Jay’s recently published book of early black and white work; ‘Jay Maisel New York in the 50’s’ are currently available for $75.00 (includes shipping for U.S. orders).

The Oprah Winfrey Show

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Jay’s work will appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show today 4:00pm (EST) as they feature Supermodel Legends Cheryl Tiegs and Elle McPherson, among others. To celebrate, limited edition prints of Jay’s work for Sports Illustrated will be available for sale here on the site. More details about the show can be found on Oprah’s site.

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