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Here’s a collection of my favorite photographs by Josef Koudelka.

Read a collection of quotes by Josef Koudelka here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by Josef Koudelka.

“What matters most to me is to take photographs; to continue taking them and not to repeat myself. To go further, to go as far as I can.” – Josef Koudelka

“I am not interested in repetition. I don’t want to reach the point from where I wouldn’t know how to go further. It’s good to set limits for oneself, but there comes a moment when we must destroy what we have constructed.” – Josef Koudelka

“If I am dissatisfied, it’s simply because good photos are few and far between. A good photo is a miracle.” – Josef Koudelka

“I have to shoot three cassettes of film a day, even when not ‘photographing’, in order to keep the eye in practice.” – Josef Koudelka

“Sometimes I photograph without looking through the viewfinder. I have mastered that well enough, it is almost as if I were looking through it.” – Josef Koudelka

“When I photograph, I do not think much. If you looked at my contacts you would ask yourself: “What is this guy doing?” But I keep working with my contacts and with my prints, I look at them all the time. I believe that the result of this work stays in me and at the moment of photographing it comes out, without my thinking of it.” – Josef Koudelka

“I don’t pretend to be an intellectual or a philosopher. I just look.” – Josef Koudelka

“I photograph only something that has to do with me, and I never did anything that I did not want to do. I do not do editorial and I never do advertising. No, my freedom is something I do not give away easily.” – Josef Koudelka

“I don’t like captions. I prefer people to look at my pictures and invent their own stories.” – Josef Koudelka

“I never stay in one country more than three months. Why? Because I was interested in seeing, and if I stay longer I become blind.” – Josef Koudelka

“My photographs are proof of what happened. When I go to Russia, sometimes I meet ex-soldiers… They say, ‘We came to liberate you….’ I say: ‘Listen, I think it was quite different. I saw people being killed.’ They say: No. We never… no shooting. No. No.’ So I can show them my Prague 1968 photographs and say, ‘Listen, these are my pictures. I was there.’ And they have to believe me.” – Josef Koudelka

“The changes taking place in this part of Europe are enormous and very rapid. One world is disappearing. I am trying to photograph what’s left. I have always been drawn to what is ending, what will soon no longer exist.” – Josef Koudelka

“It never seemed important to me that my photos be published. It’s important that I take them. There were periods where I didn’t have money, and I would imagine that someone would come to me and say: ‘Here is money, you can go do your photography, but you must not show it.’ I would have accepted right away. On the other hand, if someone had come to me saying: ‘Here is money to do your photography, but after your death it must be destroyed,’ I would have refused.” – Josef Koudelka

“When I first started to take photographs in Czechoslovakia, I met this old gentleman, this old photographer, who told me a few practical things. One of the things he said was, “Josef, a photographer works on the subject, but the subject works on the photographer.” – Josef Koudelka

“I would like to see everything, look at everything, I want to be the view itself.” – Josef Koudelka

Find more Quotes By Photographers here.

Explore The Essential Collection Of Photographer’s Quotes here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by artist Chuck Close.

“I don’t work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.” – Chuck Close

“Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it’s not liable to ever happen. More often than not, work is salvation.” – Chuck Close

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” ― Chuck Close

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today you will do what you did yesterday, and tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually you will get somewhere.” – Chuck Close

“I’m not by nature a terribly intuitive person; I need to build a situation in which I will behave more intuitively, and that has really changed the life of my work – I found a way to trick myself into being intuitive.” – Chuck Close

“I was never one of those people who had to have a perfect situation to paint in. I can make art anywhere, anytime — it doesn’t matter. I mean, I know so many artists for whom having the perfect space is somehow essential. They spend years designing, building, outfitting the perfect space, and then when it is just about time to get to work they’ll sell that place and build another one. It seems more often than not a way to keep from having to work. But I could paint anywhere. I made big paintings in the tiniest bedrooms, garages, you name it. you know, once I have my back to the room, I could be anywhere.” – Chuck Close

“On a typical country day I am painting by nine, and I usually work until noon. Three hours in the morning. I will have lunch either at my desk, or if it’s nice I will go to the pool. Of if it’s really nice I will go to the beach for an hour. Have lunch on the beach perhaps, and then I come back and I paint from one to four, another three hours, and about then the light is failing, and I am beginning to fuck up. So then my nurse usually comes at four, and I stop working, clean up, have a big drink, and that’s a typical day. I work every day out there, every single day.” – Chuck Close

“Every idea occurs while you are working. If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, you could sit there forever.” ― Chuck Close

“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” – Chuck Close

“Far more interesting than problem solving is problem creation.” ― Chuck Close

“See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to [participate in] ‘problem creation’ … You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you’ll find yourself all by your lonesome — which I think is a more interesting place to be.” – Chuck Close

“Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don’t have the answers. And if you don’t have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else’s solutions will seem appropriate. You’ll have to come up with your own.” ― Chuck Close

“Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don’t apply to you.” – Chuck Close

“If it looks like art, chances are it’s somebody else’s art.” – Chuck Close

“I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine… Most of the pleasure is in getting the last little piece perfect.” – Chuck Close

“Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.” – Chuck Close

“A photograph doesn’t gain weight or lose weight, or change from being happy to being sad. It’s frozen. You can use it, then recycle it.” – Chuck Close

“What difference does it make whether you’re looking at a photograph or looking at a still life in front of you? You still have to look.” – Chuck Close

“The first thing I do is take Polaroids of the sitter – 10 or 12 color Polaroids and eight or 10 black-and whites.” – Chuck Close

“Sometimes I really want to paint somebody and I don’t get a photograph that I want to work from.” – Chuck Close

“A face is a road map of someone’s life. Without any need to amplify that or draw attention to it, there’s a great deal that’s communicated about who this person is and what their life experiences have been.” – Chuck Close

“I wanted to translate from one flat surface to another. In fact, my learning disabilities controlled a lot of things. I don’t recognize faces, so I’m sure it’s what drove me to portraits in the first place.” – Chuck Close

“I think I was driven to paint portraits to commit images of friends and family to memory. I have face blindness, and once a face is flattened out, I can remember it better.” – Chuck Close

“There are so many artists that are dyslexic or learning disabled, it’s just phenomenal. There’s also an unbelievably high proportion of artists who are left-handed, and a high correlation between left-handedness and learning disabilities.” – Chuck Close

“I’m very interested in how we read things, especially the link between seeing two-dimensional and three-dimensional images, because of how I read.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is the frozen evidence of a performance.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is a lie. It’s the most magic of all media, the most transcendent. It makes space where there is no space.” – Chuck Close

“Part of the joy of looking at art is getting in sync in some ways with the decision-making process that the artist used and the record that’s embedded in the work.” – Chuck Close

“I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around.” – Chuck Close

“It’s always a pleasure to talk about someone else’s work.” – Chuck Close

“In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.” – Chuck Close

“I build a painting by putting little marks together – some look like hot dogs, some like doughnuts.” – Chuck Close

“I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognizable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won’t be able to give much information about who it is.” – Chuck Close

“I can’t always reach the image in my mind… almost never, in fact… so that the abstract image I create is not quite there, but it gets to the point where I can leave it.” – Chuck Close

“There’s something Zen-like about the way I work – it’s like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden.” – Chuck Close
“I knew from the age of five what I wanted to do. The one thing I could do was draw. I couldn’t draw that much better than some of the other kids, but I cared more and I wanted it badly.” – Chuck Close

“Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you’re in trouble.” – Chuck Close

“You know, the way art history is taught, often there’s nothing that tells you why the painting is great. The description of a lousy painting and the description of a great painting will very much sound the same.” – Chuck Close

“It doesn’t upset artists to find out that artists used lenses or mirrors or other aids, but it certainly does upset the art historians.” – Chuck Close

“I think the problem with the arts in America is how unimportant it seems to be in our educational system.” – Chuck Close

“Most people are good at too many things. And when you say someone is focused, more often than not what you actually mean is they’re very narrow.” – Chuck Close

“The reason I don’t like realist, photorealist, neorealist, or whatever, is that I am as interested in the artificial as I am in the real.” – Chuck Close

“In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.” ― Chuck Close

“Like any corporation, I have the benefit of the brainpower of everyone who is working for me. It all ends up being my work, the corporate me, but everyone extends ideas and comes up with suggestions.” – Chuck Close

“If the bottom dropped out of the market and the artist was not going to sell anything, he or she will keep working, and the dealer will keep trying to find some way to convince somebody to buy this stuff.” – Chuck Close

“Art saved my life” ― Chuck Close

Find the book Chuck Close Photographer here.

Explore The Essential Collection of Quotes By Photographers here.

View The Essential Collection Of Photographers Documentaries here.

 

 

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Here’s a collection of my favorite photographs by photographer Harry Callahan.

“I think I came alive when I started photography.” – Harry Callahan

“To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures.” – Harry Callahan

“You only do exercises in art school. That’s not the real thing. A little bit tells you so much. You have to find your own self. And you don’t know what you are! But that’s what you have to search for.” – Harry Callahan

“Every time I talked about making a picture I didn’t do it. I had already done it – talking about it! I quit talking.” – Harry Callahan

“I photograph continuously, often without a good idea or strong feelings. During this time the photos are nearly all poor but I believe they develop my seeing and help later on in other photos.” – Harry Callahan

“I guess I’ve shot about 40,000 negatives and of these I have about 800 pictures I like.” – Harry Callahan

“In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen.” – Harry Callahan

“Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters …” – Harry Callahan

“It’s the subject matter that counts. I’m interested in revealing the subject in a new way to intensify it. A photo is able to capture a moment that people can’t always see.” – Harry Callahan

“Photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure.” – Harry Callahan

“I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting.” – Harry Callahan

“If man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life. I am interested in relating the problems that affect me to some set of values that I am trying to discover and establish as being my life. I want to discover and establish them through photography. This is strictly my affair and does not explain these pictures by any means. Anyone else not having the desire to take them would realize that I must have felt this was purely personal. This reason, whether it be good or bad, is the only reason I can give for these photographs.” – Harry Callahan

“The photographs that excite me are photographs that say something in a new manner; not for the sake of being different, but ones that are different because the individual is different and the individual expresses himself.” – Harry Callahan

“I realize that we all do express ourselves, but those who express that which is always being done are those whose thinking is almost in every way in accord with everyone else. Expression on this basis has become dull to those who wish to think for themselves.” – Harry Callahan

“The mystery isn’t in the technique, it’s in each of us.” – Harry Callahan

“I can tell you for me it goes on forever. There are some things you can’t ever find out. You can’t find out in one life either.” – Harry Callahan

“I think nearly every artist continually wants to reach the edge of nothingness – the point where you can’t go any further.” – Harry Callahan

“I can’t say what makes a picture. I can’t say. It’s mysterious.” – Harry Callahan

“A picture is like a prayer.” – Harry Callahan

“I do believe strongly in photography and hope by following it intuitively that when the photographs are looked at they will touch the spirit in people.” – Harry Callahan

“I like the simple things. I don’t know why. I’m that way. I came from a simple place.” – Harry Callahan

Read my conversation with photographer Harry Callahan here.

 Find more quotes in The Essential List Of Photographers Quotes.

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You’ll be inspired by this collection of quotes by photographer Sebastiao Salgado.

“I looked through a lens and ended up abandoning everything else.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“When I was just starting out, I met Cartier-Bresson. He wasn’t young in age but, in his mind, he was the youngest person I’d ever met. He told me it was necessary to trust my instincts, be inside my work, and set aside my ego. In the end, my photography turned out very different to his, but I believe we were coming from the same place.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“It is a great honor for me to be compared to Henri Cartier-Bresson…But I believe there is a very big difference in the way we put ourselves inside the stories we photograph. He always strove for the decisive moment as being the most important. I always work for a group of pictures, to tell a story. If you ask which picture in a story I like most, it is impossible for me to tell you this. I don’t work for an individual picture. If I must select one individual picture for a client, it is very difficult for me.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“As long as there’s journalism, there will be photojournalism. They’re two halves of a whole. And although they certainly won’t last forever, for the moment I don’t see either one of them coming to an end. Roland Barthes, in his book Camera Lucida, stated that photography, rather than film or television, is the collective memory of the world. As I see it, he’s right about this. Photography immortalize a moment, which then becomes a symbol, a reference. Photography is universal language; it doesn’t need translation. Its collective memory is a mirror in which our society continually observes itself…” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I’m not an artist. An artist makes an object. Me, it’s not an object, I work in history, I’m a storyteller.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I can be an artist a posteriori, not a priori. If my pictures tell the story, our story, human story, then in a hundred years, then they can be considered an art reference, but now they are not made as art. I’m a journalist. My life’s on the road, my studio is the planet.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“For me, art is such a wide concept – anything can be art.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I don’t want anyone to appreciate the light or the palette of tones. I want my pictures to inform, to provoke discussion – and to raise money.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“What I want is the world to remember the problems and the people I photograph. What I want is to create a discussion about what is happening around the world and to provoke some debate with these pictures. Nothing more than this. I don’t want people to look at them and appreciate the light and the palate of tones. I want them to look inside and see what the pictures represent, and the kind of people I photograph.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I am a former economist. I never went to photography school to learn photography.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I have been photographing the portrait of an end of an era, as machines and computers replace human workers. What we have in these pictures is an archeology.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“You photograph with all your ideology.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I’m not a religious person. The language of photography is symbolic.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“The language that photography has is a formal language. Any photographer is doing something formal. If it’s formal, then it must be an aesthetic way to communicate.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“Most of the information we now get is through television and is mutilated. Photography offers the opportunity to spend much more time on a topic. It’s relatively cheaper medium, and can allow a photographer really to live in another place, show another reality, get closer to the truth.” – Sebastiao Salgado
“When you work fast, what you put in your pictures is what your brought with yoiu — your own ideas and concepts. When you spend more time on a project, you learn to understand your subjects. There comes a time when it is not you who is taking the pictures. Something special happens between the photographer and the people he is photographing. He realizes that they are giving the pictures to him.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“There comes a moment when it is no longer you who takes the photograph, but receives the way to do it quite naturally and fully.

“You need to be accepted by reality.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“It’s not the photographer who makes the picture, but the person being photographed.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“The picture is not made by the photographer, the picture is more good or less good in function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.” ― Sebastião Salgado

“I have tried to bring about better communication between people. I believe that humanitarian photography is like economics. Economy is a kind of sociology, as is documentary photography.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“We live in a society where we never prepare people to be a community.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“We are one human race, and there must be understanding among all men. For those who look at the problems of today, my big hope is that they understand. That they understand that the population is quite big enough, that they must be informed that they must have economic development, that they must have social development, and must be integrated into all parts of the world.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I work alone. Humans are incredible, because when you come alone, they will receive you, they accept you, they protect you, they give you all things that you need, and they teach you all things you must know. When you come with two persons or three persons, you have a group in front of them. They don’t discuss with the new persons what is important to them…” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I tell a little bit of my life to them, and they tell a little of theirs to me. The picture itself is just the tip of the iceberg.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“There are moments that you suffer a lot, moments you won’t photograph. There are some people you like better than others. But you give, you receive, you cherish, you are there. When you are really there, you know when you see the picture later what you are seeing.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I very much like to work on long-term projects…There is time for the photographer and the people in front of the camera to understand each other. There is time to go to a place and understand what is happening there. …When you spend more time on a project, you learn to understand your subjects. There comes a time when it is not you who is taking the pictures. Something special happens between the photographer and the people he is photographing. He realizes that they are giving the pictures to him.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“So many times I’ve photographed stories that show the degradation of the planet. I had one idea to go and photograph the factories that were polluting, and to see all the deposits of garbage. But, in the end, I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet – to see the innocence.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I discovered that close to half the planet is ‘pristine.’ We live in towns such as London, Paris or Sao Paulo and have the impression that all the pristine areas are gone, but they are not.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“We are animals, born from the land with the other species. Since we’ve been living in cities, we’ve become more and more stupid, not smarter. What made us survive all these hundreds of thousands of years is our spirituality; the link to our land.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“In the end, the only heritage we have is our planet, and I have decided to go to the most pristine places on the planet and photograph them in the most honest way I know, with my point of view, and of course it is in black and white, because it is the only thing I know how to do.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“I don’t believe a person has a style. What people have is a way of photographing what is inside them. What is there comes out.” – Sebastiao Salgado

“…my way of photographing is my way of life. I photograph from my experience, my way of seeing things…” – Sebastiao Salgado

“Of course, I won’t be abandoning photography, because it is my life.” – Sebastiao Salgado

Explore The Essential Collection of Quotes By Photographers here.

View The Essential Collection Of Photographers Documentaries here.

This BAFTA award-winning BBC series with John Berger rapidly became regarded as one of the most influential art programs ever made.

In the first program, Berger examines the impact of photography on our appreciation of art from the past.

This second program deals with the portrayal of the female nude, an important part of the tradition of European art. Berger examines these paintings and asks whether they celebrate women as they really are or only as men would like them to be.

In the third program, John Berger questions the value we place on that tradition.

In the fourth program, Berger analyses the images of advertising and publicity and shows how they relate to the tradition of oil painting – in moods, relationships and poses.

Find Berger’s seminal book Ways Of Seeing here.

View The Essential Collection of Documentaries On Photographers.

Read The Essential Collection of Photographer’s Quotes here.

Read conversations with photographers here.

“A fantastic documentary on one of the key people in the history of cinema. A portrait of the pioneering photographer, forefather of cinema, showman and murderer Eadweard Muybridge. Born in Kingston upon Thames, Muybridge did his most famous work in California, where his experiments in early cinema and the public projection of his images using a machine he invented astounded audiences worldwide.”

View The Essential Collection of Documentaries On Photographers.

Read The Essential Collection of Photographer’s Quotes here.

Read conversations with photographers here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Bernice Abbott.

“Imagine a world without photography, one could only imagine.” – Berenice Abbott

“Photography helps people to see.” – Berenice Abbott

“What the human eye observes causally and incuriously, the eye of the camera notes with relentless fidelity.” – Berenice Abbott

“Some people are still unaware that reality contains unparalleled beauties. The fantastic and unexpected, the ever-changing and renewing is nowhere so exemplified as in real life itself.” – Berenice Abbott

“The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are, whether a portrait, a city street, or a bouncing ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework – that to me is the art of photography.” – Berenice Abbott

“…people say they need to express their emotions I’m sick of that. Photography doesn`t teach you to express your emotions it teachs you to see.” – Berenice Abbott

“They should just go out and photograph and stop talking about it. That’s the only way they are going to find themselves. They can’t do it in their heads – they have to go out and do it in the camera and get it on film.” – Berenice Abbott

“Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term – selectivity. To define selection, one may say that it should be focussed on the kind of subject matter which hits you hard with its impact and excites your imagination to the extent that you are forced to take it. Pictures are wasted unless the motive power which impelled you to action is strong and stirring.” – Berenice Abbott

“Just living in a place is not enough. You can live in a community and not understand it. Just looking at it wont do. I almost believe we don’t see anything until we understand it. Look into the history of the area – why it started, how it developed. The more research you can do the place, the more you may realize that you don’t know it as well as you thought you did. Let the subject speak for itself. Be true to the subject. Pretty pictures are only an escape from the subject. Don’t photograph a good-looking branch just because it looks nice; the branch should mean something about the community. Photography is statement; it has to tell us things about a place.” – Berenice Abbott

“Actually, documentary pictures include every subject in the world – good, bad, indifferent. I have yet to see a fine photograph which is not a good document.” – Berenice Abbott

“If a medium is representational by nature of the realistic image formed by a lens, I see no reason why we should stand on our heads to distort that function. On the contrary, we should take hold of that very quality, make use of it, and explore it to the fullest.” – Berenice Abbott

“I didn’t decide to be a photographer; I just happened to fall into it.” – Berenice Abbott

“I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else. Excitement about the subject is the voltage which pushes me over the mountain of drudgery necessary to produce the final photograph.” – Berenice Abbott

“Photography was the medium preeminently qualified to unite art with science. Photography was born in the years which ushered in the scientific age, an offspring of both science and art.” – Berenice Abbott

“You scientists are the worst photographers in the world and you need the best photographers in the world and I’m the one to do it.” – Berenice Abbott

“I wanted to combine science and photography in a sensible, unemotional way. Some people’s ideas of scientific photography is just arty design, something pretty. That was not the idea. The idea was to interpret science sensibly, with good proportion, good balance and good lighting, so we could understand it.” – Berenice Abbott

“I agree that all good photographs are documents, but I also know that all documents are certainly not good photographs. Furthermore, a good photographer does not merely document, he probes the subject, he “uncovers” it…” – Berenice Abbott

“A photograph is or should be significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term – selectivity. To define selection, one may say that it should be focused on the kind of subject matter which hits you hard with its impact and excites your imagination to the extent that you are forced to take it. Pictures are wasted unless the motive power which impelled you to action is strong and stirring. The motives or points of view are bound to differ with each photographer, and herein lies the important difference which separates one approach from another. Selection of proper picture content comes from a fine union of trained eye and imaginative mind.” – Berenice Abbott

“…the art is in selecting what is worthwhile to take the trouble about…” – Berenice Abbott

“To chart a course, one must have a direction. In reality, the eye is no better than the philosophy behind it. The photographer creates, evolves a better, more selective, more acute eye by looking ever more sharply at what is going on in the world. Like every other means of expression, photography, if it is to be utterly honest and direct, should be related to the life of the times–the pulse of today. The photograph may be presented as finely and artistically as you will, but to merit serious consideration, must be directly connected with the world we live in.” – Berenice Abbott

“Abstraction in photography is ridiculous, and is only an imitation of painting. We stopped imitating painters a hundred years ago, so to imitate them in this day and age is laughable.” – Berenice Abbott

“Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.” – Berenice Abbott

“There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own.” – Berenice Abbott

“The camera is no more an instrument of preservation, the image is.” – Berenice Abbott

“I haven’t seen too many images that have impressed me!” – Berenice Abbott

“Self-conscious artiness is fatal, but it certainly would not hurt to study composition in general. Having a basic understanding of composition would help construct a better organized image.” – Berenice Abbott

“The photograph may be presented as finely and artistically as you will; but to merit serious consideration, must be directly connected with the world we live in.” – Berenice Abbott

“I believe there is no more creative medium than photography to recreate the living world of our time…Photography gladly accepts the challenge because it is at home in its element: namely, realism—real life—the now.” – Berenice Abbott

“Like every other means of expression, photography, if it is to be utterly honest and direct, should be related to the life of the times – the pulse of today….The photograph…to merit serious consideration, must be directly connected with the world we live in.” – Berenice Abbott

“The photographer is the contemporary being par excellence; through his eyes the now becomes the past.” – Berenice Abbott

“Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.” – Berenice Abbott

“Does not the very word ‘creative’ mean to build, to initiate, to give out, to act – rather than to be acted upon, to be subjective? Living photography is positive in its approach, it sings a song of life – not death.” – Berenice Abbott

“Today we are confronted with reality on the vastest scale mankind has known and this puts a greater responsibility on the photographer.” – Berenice Abbott

“I am so fascinated with this century it will help keep me alive. I’ll be there until the last minute, fighting.” – Berenice Abbott

“Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage: a myriad-faceted picture containing the elegances, the squalor, the curiosities, the monuments, the sad faces, the triumphant faces, the power, the irony, the strength, the decay, the past, the present, the future of a city – that would be my favorite picture.” – Berenice Abbott

Explore The Essential Collection of Quotes By Photographers here.

View The Essential Collection Of Photographers Documentaries here.

England Garden Tour May 2008

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by Sam Abell.

“One of the things that I most believe in is the compose and wait philosophy of photography. It’s a very satisfying, almost spiritual way to photograph. Life isn’t’ knocking you around, life isn’t controlling you. You have picked your place, you’ve picked your scene, you’ve picked your light, you’ve done all the decision making and you are waiting for the moment to come to you….” – Sam Abell

“But there is more to a fine photograph than information. We are also seeking to present an image that arouses the curiosity of the viewer or that, best of all, provokes the viewer to think – to ask a question or simply to gaze in thoughtful wonder. We know that photographs inform people. We also know that photographs move people. The photograph that does both is the one we want to see and make. It is the kind of picture that makes you want to pick up your own camera again and go to work.” – Sam Abell

“As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity, I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs. Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment – this very moment – to stay.” – Sam Abell

“My first priority when taking pictures is to achieve clarity. A good documentary photograph transmits the information of the situation with the utmost fidelity; achieving it means understanding the nuances of lighting and composition, and also remembering to keep the lenses clean and the cameras steady.” – Sam Abell

“And that desire – the strong desire to take pictures – is important. It borders on a need, based on a habit: the habit of seeing. Whether working or not, photographers are looking, seeing, and thinking about what they see, a habit that is both a pleasure and a problem, for we seldom capture in a single photograph the full expression of what we see and feel. It is the hope that we might express ourselves fully – and the evidence that other photographers have done so – that keep us taking pictures.” – Sam Abell

“Above all, it’s hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made.” – Sam Abell

“You know you are seeing such a photograph if you say to yourself, “I could have taken that picture. I’ve seen such a scene before, but never like that.” It is the kind of photography that relies for its strengths not on special equipment or effects but on the intensity of the photographer’s seeing. It is the kind of photography in which the raw materials – light, space, and shape – are arranged in a meaningful and even universal way that gives grace to ordinary objects.” – Sam Abell

“In my work, the most elaborate – and essential – accessory is a standard tripod. For spiritual companions I have had the many artists who have relied on nature to help shape their imagination. And their most elaborate equipment was a deep reverence for the world through which they passed. Photographers share something with these artists. We seek only to see and to describe with our own voices, and, though we are seldom heard as soloists, we cannot photograph the world in any other way.” – Sam Abell

“It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use.” – Sam Abell

“…just like some people’s instinct to photograph is triggered by vacation… assignments might be that to me and that’s why I’ve built my life around assignments. That was the way to live the photographic life.” – Sam Abell

“I think of myself as a writer who photographs. Images, for me, can be considered poems, short stories or essays. And I’ve always thought the best place for my photographs was inside books of my own creation.” – Sam Abell

“There isn’t an aspect of book creation I don’t enjoy, and there has always been a book in my life to dream about or work on.” – Sam Abell
“Life rarely presents fully finished photographs. An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.” – Sam Abell

“The neatest part of this book I’m working on – to me – are the pictures that show the process… Because photographers… think things through and… it isn’t luck, and it isn’t random and it isn’t accidental. It isn’t.” – Sam Abell

“My best work is often almost unconscious and occurs ahead of my ability to understand it.” – Sam Abell

“A mad, keen photographer needs to get out into the world and work and make mistakes.” – Sam Abell

“In almost every photograph I have ever made, there is something I would do to complete it. I take that to be the spirit hole or the deliberate mistake that’s in a Navajo rug to not be godlike, but to be human.” – Sam Abell

“Photographs that transcend but do not deny their literal situation appeal to me.” – Sam Abell

“The best lesson I was given is that all of life teaches, especially if we have that expectation.” – Sam Abell

“How the visual world appears is important to me. I’m always aware of the light. I’m always aware of what I would call the ‘deep composition.’ Photography in the field is a process of creation, of thought and technique. But ultimately, it’s an act of imaginatively seeing from within yourself.” – Sam Abell

“Essentially what photography is is life lit up.” – Sam Abell

Find out more about Sam Abell’s Photographic Life here.

Find more photographer’s quotes here.

View photographer’s favorite quotes here.

TennesonQuotes

Joyce Tenneson shares her favorite quotes.

This is my favorite from her selection.

“When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.” - Vincent Van Gogh

Which is your favorite of her selected quotes?

Read more of Joyce’s favorite quotes here.

Read her quick Q&A here.

Read our extended conversation here.

Find out more about Joyce Tenneson here.

Read more Photographer’s Favorite Quotes here. 


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