Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980

Enj0y this collection of quotes by photographer Gary Winogrand.

“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.” – Garry Winogrand

“The photo is a thing in itself. And that’s what still photography is all about.” – Garry Winogrand

“I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” – Garry Winogrand

“I have a burning desire to see what things look like photographed by me.” – Garry Winogrand

“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.” – Garry Winogrand

“In the end, maybe the correct language would be how the fact of putting four edges around a collection of information or facts transforms it. A photograph is not what was photographed, it’s something else.” – Garry Winogrand

“The photograph should be more interesting or more beautiful than what was photographed.” – Garry Winogrand

“There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described I like to think of photographing as a two way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing it as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both.” – Garry Winogrand

“What I write here is a description of what I have come to understand about photography, from photographing and from looking at photographs. A work of art is that thing whose form and content are organic to the tools and materials that made it. Still photography is a chemical, mechanical process. Literal description or the illusion of literal description, is what the tools and materials of still photography do better than any other graphic medium. A still photograph is the illusion of a literal description of how a camera saw a piece of time and space. Understanding this, one can postulate the following theorem: Anything and all things are photographable. A photograph can only look like how the camera saw what was photographed. Or, how the camera saw the piece of time and space is responsible for how the photograph looks. Therefore, a photograph can look any way. Or, there’s no way a photograph has to look (beyond being an illusion of a literal description). Or, there are no external or abstract or preconceived rules of design that can apply to still photographs. I like to think of photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both.” – Garry Winogrand

“Photographers mistake the emotion they feel while taking the picture as judgment that the photograph is good.” – Garry Winogrand

“If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.”- Garry Winogrand

“You see something happening and you bang away at it. Either you get what you saw or you get something else – and whichever is better you print.” – Garry Winogrand

“There is no special way a photograph should look.” – Garry Winogrand

“A photograph can look any way.” – Garry Winogrand

“Every photograph is a battle of form versus content.” – Garry Winogrand

“Photos have no narrative content. They only describe light on surface.” – Garry Winogrand

“For me the true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film… if, later, the reality means something to someone else, so much the better.” – Garry Winogrand

“I don’t have messages in my pictures…The true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film.” – Garry Winogrand

“I don’t have anything to say in any picture. My only interest in photography is to see what something looks like as a photograph. I have no preconceptions.” – Garry Winogrand

“I get totally out of myself. It’s the closest I come to not existing, I think, which is the best – which is to me attractive.” – Garry Winogrand

“I really try to divorce myself from any thought of possible use of this stuff. That’s part of the discipline. My only purpose while I’m working is to try to make interesting photographs, and what to do with them is another act – an alter consideration. Certainly while I’m working, I want them to be as useless as possible.” – Garry Winogrand

“No one moment is most important. Any moment can be something.” – Garry Winogrand

“The only thing that’s difficult is reloading when things are happening. Can you get it done fast enough?” – Garry Winogrand

“There are no photographs while I’m reloading” – Garry Winogrand

“You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter.” – Garry Winogrand

“There are things I back off from trying to talk about, you know. Particularly my own work. Also, there may be things better left unsaid. At times I’d much rather talk about other (people’s) work.” – Garry Winogrand

“Great photography is always on the edge of failure.” – Garry Winogrand

 View 12 Great Photographs By Gary Winogrand here.

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Photographer’s Quotes.

001_Winogrand

003_Winogrand

004_Winogrand

005_Winogrand

006_Winogrand

007_Winogrand

008_Winogrand

 

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980

009_Winogrand

010_Winogrand

011_Winogrand

012_Winogrand

View more 12 Great Photographs By Great Photographers collections here.

Read Quotes by Gary Winogrand here.

View a documentary on Gary Winogrand here.

With inimitably quiet wit Elliot Erwitt shares his thoughts about photography.

View more in The Essential Collection Of Documentaries On Photographers.

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.

ERE69022W00001A/36

“It’s about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’m an amateur photographer, apart from being a professional one, and I think maybe my amateur pictures are the better ones.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’ll always be an amateur photographer.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’m not a serious photographer like many of my contemporaries. That is to say, I am serious about not being serious.” – Elliott Erwitt

“It’s just seeing – at least the photography I care about. You either see or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Anyone can learn how to develop. It’s how you organize what you see into a picture.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Making pictures is a very simple act. There is no great secret in photography…schools are a bunch of crap. You just need practice and application of what you’ve learned. My absolute conviction is that if you are working reasonably well the only important thing is to keep shooting…it doesn’t matter whether you are making money or not. Keep working, because as you go through the process of working things begin to happen.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Photography is pretty simple stuff. You just react to what you see, and take many, many pictures.” – Elliott Erwitt

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Read more

001_Erwitt

002_Erwitt

ERE1950101W00001/25

004_Erwitt

ERE69022W00001A/36

006_Erwitt

007_Erwitt

ERE2000001W00051-23

013_Erwitt

010_Erwitt copy

ERE1988011W00006/31 012_Erwitt

View videos on Elliot Erwitt here.

Read Quotes By Elliot Erwitt  here.

View more 12 Great Photographs collections here.

008_Trees_Blowing_Snow_500[1]

Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer John Sexton.

“It is light that reveals, light that obscures, light that communicates. It is light I “listen” to. The light late in the day has a distinct quality, as it fades toward the darkness of evening. After sunset there is a gentle leaving of the light, the air begins to still, and a quiet descends. I see magic in the quiet light of dusk. I feel quite, yet intense energy in the natural elements of our habitat. A sense of magic prevails. A sense of mystery. It is a time for contemplation, for listening – a time for making photographs.” – John Sexton

“I think the greatest photographers are the amateur photographers who do it because they love it. Arnold Newman is a good example; he is a consummate professional, but he’s also an ‘amateur’ in the pure sense of the word.” – John Sexton

“When I’m about ready to press the cable release on the View camera, I’ve tried to anticipate some of the challenges I’m going to encounter in the darkroom.” – John Sexton

“Some times I’ll peek out from underneath the focusing cloth and just look around the edges of the frame that I’m not seeing, see if there’s something that should be adjusted in terms of changing the camera position.” – John Sexton

“Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make.” – John Sexton

“The reason I do workshops is so I can learn, and I am fortunate that I’ve probably gained more from the whole experience of teaching than any one participant has. It is all about asking.” – John Sexton

“A photographer needs to be a good editor of negatives and prints! In fact, most of the prints I make are for my eyes only, and they are no good. I find the single most valuable tool in the darkroom is my trash can – that’s where most of my prints end up.” – John Sexton

“Many photographers are consumed with the idea of making beautiful contact sheets. I am far more interested in making the best final print I can.” – John Sexton

“For me the printing process is part of the magic of photography. It’s that magic that can be exciting, disappointing, rewarding and frustrating all in the same few moments in the darkroom.” – John Sexton

“I’ve found even after nearly 30 years of doing this, there are all kinds of new surprises that rear their heads at various times and I truly believe that 51% of the images, success takes place in the darkroom.” – John Sexton

“There is a considerable amount of manipulation in the printmaking from the straight photograph to the finished print. If I do my job correctly that shouldn’t be visible at all, it should be transparent.” – John Sexton

“I support any procedure that allows photographers to express themselves, whether that involves color, black and white, platinum, palladium and digital technology.” – John Sexton

“I find the surface of a photograph a thing of beauty in and of itself, and it is this surface that makes a photograph unique relative to other two-dimensional media.” – John Sexton

“Whatever it takes to get the image to reach that level is what that photographer needs to do.” – John Sexton

“When the object that is produced, the photographic image has the ability to make tears come to your eyes; to inspire you to the point where you have to catch your breath, then nothing else matters.” – John Sexton

“We all start in this medium because of the magic and the challenge is to keep it going.” – John Sexton

“I really don’t have any secrets. I’ve never met a photographer whose work I respected that had a secret because the secret lies within each and every one of us.” – John Sexton

View 12 Great Photographs By John Sexton here.

Watch a documentary on John Sexton here.

Find more quotes in The Essential Collection Quotes By Photographers.

06_Kenna

 

Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Michael Kenna.

“I do have strong convictions and political opinions, but I don’t think it’s necessary to imbue my photographic work with them. I use photography as a vessel for visual material to flow through, to encourage conversation with the viewer. I try to present a catalyst and invite viewers to tell their own stories.” – Michael Kenna

“I find that when one has worked long enough, technical know-how becomes almost irrelevant. In photography, it’s not difficult to reach a technical level where you don’t need to think about the technique any more. I think there is far too much literature and far too much emphasis upon the techniques of photography. The make of camera and type of film we happen to use has little bearing on the results.” – Michael Kenna

“I don’t have any particular method to my madness. When I decide “what” I want to photograph, I choose the appropriate locations. Sometimes I choose “where” I want to photograph, then look for the “what” when I get there! Simple – no magic involved. I have a theory, which seems to work for me, that the best ideas come through thinking about something else! One of my hobbies is long distance running. I find there is something therapeutic and hypnotic in this activity, similar to practicing landscape photography. While thinking about one thing, and being active at the same time, other ideas float in and out. These floating ideas usually turn out to be the catalysts for my future projects.” – Michael Kenna

“I sincerely believe it is normal and healthy to study the work of other artists, and even imitate other’s efforts, as a means to explore one’s personal vision. It has been thus throughout history in all mediums of creative expression. One advances by “standing on the shoulders of giants”. The perspective becomes a lot clearer from such high ground. On my own journey, I have actively tried to see through the eyes of many well known photographers, including but not limited to Atget, Bernhard, Brandt, Callahan, Cartier Bresson, Giacomelli, Misrach, Scheeler, Steiglitz, Sudek, Sugimoto, Weston (Brett) and many others. I have gone to places where they have photographed and have consciously and unconsciously emulated their style and subject matter. Other artists, in many mediums, have greatly helped my own development as a photographer. As small tokens of appreciation, I have often credited those influences openly by including their names in the titles of work. I have done this out of basic courtesy and respect. I do not feel that I have ever stolen from these artists.” – Michael Kenna

“I think style is just the end result of personal experience. It would be problematic for me to photograph in another style. I’m drawn to places and subject matter that have personal connections for me and I photograph in a way that seems right. Where does it all come from, who knows?” – Michael Kenna

“I often think of my work as visual haiku. It is an attempt to evoke and suggest through as few elements as possible rather than to describe with tremendous detail.” – Michael Kenna

“It’s possible to think of photography as an act of editing, a matter of where you put your rectangle pull it out or take it away. Sometimes people ask me about films, cameras and development times in order to find out how to do landscape photography. The first thing I do in landscape photography is go out there and talk to the land – form a relationship, ask permission, it’s not about going out there like some paparazzi with a Leica and snapping a few pictures, before running off to print them.” – Michael Kenna

“The first time, I usually skim off the outer layer and end up with photographs that are fairly obvious. The second time, I have to look a little deeper. The images get more interesting. The third time it is even more challenging and on each subsequent occasion, the images should get stronger, but it takes more effort to get them.” – Michael Kenna

“Getting photographs is not the most important thing. For me it’s the act of photographing. It’s enlightening, therapeutic and satisfying, because the very process forces me to connect with the world. When you make four-hour exposures in the middle of the night, you inevitably slow down and begin to observe and appreciate more what’s going on around you. In our fast-paced, modern world, it’s a luxury to be able to watch the stars move across the sky.” – Michael Kenna

“Life is about turning up. The more you get yourself out there, whether you wake up at 5:00 a.m. to pouring rain or not, the more you’re likely to experience the wonderful happenings that are going on all around you. Sometimes the most interesting visual phenomena occur when you least expect it. Other times, you think you’re getting something amazing and the photographs turn out to be boring and predictable. So I think that’s why, a long time ago, I consciously tried to let go of artist’s angst, and instead just hope for the best and enjoy it. I love the journey as much as the destination. If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d still be a traveler.” – Michael Kenna

“There are many characteristics associated with night photography that make it fascinating. We are used to working with a single light source, the sun, so multiple lights that come from an assortment of directions can be quite surreal, and theatrical. Drama is usually increased with the resulting deep shadows from artificial lights. These shadows can invite us to imagine what is hidden. I particularly like what happens with long exposures, for example, moving clouds produce unique areas of interesting density in the sky, stars and planes produce white lines, rough water transforms into ice or mist, etc. Film can accumulate light and record events that our eyes are incapable of seeing. The aspect of unpredictability inherent with night exposures can also be a good antidote for previsualization…” – Michael Kenna

“When exposures last hours rather than fractions of a second, there is much time for watching. Sometimes it is a basic concern for security but at others it is a more meditational activity. I watch the sky and imagine what patterns the clouds and stars will make on my film. I watch the water, the leaves on the trees, passing cars, changing shadows, smoke from chimneys, whatever is around. Wind, rain, mist, etc., all have effects on the eventual image. We live pretty fast-paced lives so it is a luxury to be able to slow down and better appreciate some of the more subtle effects of nature that we can so easily miss or take for granted.” – Michael Kenna

“Photographing at night can be fascinating because we lose some of the control over what happens in front of the camera. Over a period of time the world changes; rivers flow, planes fly by, clouds pass and the earth’s position relative to the stars is different. This accumulation of time and events, impossible for the human eye to take in, can be recorded on film. For the photographer, real can become surreal, which is exciting. During the day, when most photographs are made, scenes are usually viewed from the vantage-point of a fixed single light source, the sun. At night the light can come from unusual and multiple sources. There can be deep shadows which act as catalysts for our imagination. There is often a sense of drama, a story about to be told, secrets revealed, actors about to enter onto the stage. The night has vast potential for creativity.” – Michael Kenna

“I gravitate towards places where humans have been and are no more, to the edge of man’s influence, where the elements are taking over or covering man’s traces.” – Michael Kenna

“Parks and gardens are the quintessential intimate landscapes. People use them all the time, leaving their energy and memories behind. It’s what’s left behind that I like to photograph.” – Michael Kenna

“In my photographic work I’m generally attracted to places that contain memories, history, atmospheres and stories. I’m interested in the places where people have lived, worked and played. I look for traces of the past, visual fingerprints, evidence of activities – they fire my imagination and connect into my own personal experiences. Using the analogy of the theater, I would say that I like to photograph the empty stage, before or after the performance, even in between acts. I love the atmosphere of anticipation, the feeling in the air that events have happened, or will happen soon…” – Michael Kenna

“Perhaps most intriguing of all is that it is possible to photograph what is impossible for the human eye to see – cumulative time.” – Michael Kenna

“Nothing is ever the same twice because everything is always gone forever, and yet each moment has infinite photographic possibilities.” – Michael Kenna

View 12 Great Photographs By Michael Kenna.

Read a conversation with Michael Kenna.

View a video with Michael Kenna here.

Explore quotes in The Essential Collection Quotes By Photographers.

01_Gowin

02_Gowin

03_Gowin

04_Gowin

05_Gowin

06_Gowin

07_Gowin

08_Gowin

09_Gowin

10_Gowin

11_Gowin

12_Gowin

Enjoy this collection of photographs by Emmet Gowin.

Read a collection of quotes by Emmet Gowin here.

Read a conversation with Emmet Gowin here.

Watch a video with Emmet Gowin here.

View more 12 Great Photographs collections here.

01_Gowin

Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Emmet Gowin.

“Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn’t attending to. My photographs are intended to represent something you don’t see.” – Emmet Gowin

“All important pictures embody something that we do not yet understand.” – Emmet Gowin

“The challenge of photography is to show the thing photographed so that our feelings are awakened and hidden aspects are revealed to us.” – Emmet Gowin

“As a good picture would come, I would never know exactly what I had done. When you did see it, it would strike you as a great surprise – who did that? How did it happen? Being surprised by your own work makes you both less serious and have serious reverence.” – Emmet Gowin

“Of course, this is one of the really important things about art, that you can make more than you can understand at the moment the thing is being made. But the gap between what we recognize inside ourselves – our feelings- and our ability to trust ourselves and to trust exposing ourselves to those ideas, can be great.” – Emmet Gowin

“It might take us a lifetime to find out what it is we need to say. Most of us fall into where our feelings are headed while we’re quite young. But the beauty of all this uncertainty would be that in the process of exhausting all the possibilities, we might actually stumble unconsciously into the recognition of something that’s useful to us, that speaks to a deep need within ourselves. At the same time, I like to think that in order for any of us to really do anything new, we can’t know exactly what it is we are doing.” – Emmet Gowin

“The authentic thing is to follow your heart, your instincts, your emotions. If you located yourself in an idea, your life would be lived very sadly.” – Emmet Gowin

“The picture is like a prayer, an offering, and hopefully an opening through which to seek what we don’t know, or already know and should take seriously.” – Emmet Gowin

“This is the gift of the landscape photograph, that the heart finds a place to stand.” – Emmet Gowin

“I feel that whatever picture an artist makes it is in part a picture of himself — a matter of identity.” – Emmet Gowin

“What’s great is that the picture is already taken before it goes public. It’s in secret. The trust that develops from such a habit engenders risk, and you realize you’re not as vulnerable as you thought. Once you become comfortable with being more truthful about who you are, the easier it is, the prouder you become. That’s the way it unfolded for us.” – Emmet Gowin

“Twentieth-century art has allowed me to see things in a cryptic way. I love the butterfly’s wings, which disappear when folded and when open leave this brilliant, intense pronouncement of nature, ‘Here I am.’” – Emmet Gowin

“I am pessimistic about a picture’s power to be the emissary of just one thing. What I hope is that the picture says, “Here I am, this is what I am like,” and the person seeing the picture says in return, ‘You know a lot but you don’t know half of what I know.’” – Emmet Gowin

“I was going round the world searching for an interesting place, when I realized that the place that I was in was already interesting.” – Emmet Gowin

“I made 10 times as many images as the other students,” he says of the early years. “I destroyed all those negatives except a few. I did it as a reminder that you can’t afford to waste time: take it seriously.” – Emmet Gowin

Read a conversation with Emmet Gowin here.

Watch a video on Emmet Gowin here.

Find more quotes in The Essential Collection Quotes By Photographers.

02_Porter

03_Porter

04_Porter

05_Porter

06_Porter

image copy

08_Porter

09_Porter

10_Porter

11_Porter

12_Porter

13_Porter

14_Porter

 

01_Porter

Enjoy this collection of photographs by Eliot Porter.

Read a collection of quotes by Eliot Porter here.

View a documentary on Eliot Porter here.

View more 12 Great Photographs collections here.


keep looking »

Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email