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Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Irving Penn.

“I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That’s the curse of being a photographer.” – Irving Penn

“A good photograph is one that communicate a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.” – Irving Penn

“I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel.” – Irving Penn

“A beautiful print is a thing in itself, not just a halfway house on the way to the page.” – Irving Penn

“Over the years I must have spent thousands of hours silently brushing on the liquid coatings, preparing each sheet in anticipation of reaching the perfect print.” – Irving Penn

“I’ve tried a few times to depart from what I know I can do, and I’ve failed. I’ve tried to work outside the studio, but it introduces too many variables that I can’t control. I’m really quite narrow, you know.” – Irving Penn

“Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is the one they would like to show to the world… Every so often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe.” – Irving Penn

“Many photographers feel their client is the subject. My client is a woman in Kansas who reads Vogue. I’m trying to intrigue, stimulate, feed her. My responsibility is to the reader. The severe portrait that is not the greatest joy in the world to the subject may be enormously interesting to the reader.” – Irving Penn

“What I really try to do is photograph people at rest, in a state of serenity.” – Irving Penn

“I feed on art more than I ever do on photographs. I can admire photography, but I wouldn’t go to it out of hunger.” – Irving Penn

View more 12 Great Photographs By Great Photographers.

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.

View more in The Essential Collection Of Documentaries On Photographers.


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