Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on questions.

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” – Nancy Willard

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Decouvertes

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers”  – Voltaire

“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” – Robert Half

“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.” – John Ruskin

“If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer.” – Edward Hodnett

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

“For true success ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?” – James Allen

“Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.” – Francis Bacon

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” – James Thurber

“I found I wasn’t asking good enough questions because I assumed I knew something.” – Alan Alda

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Anthony Jay

“We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” – Bono

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” – Thomas Pynchon

“There are no right answers to wrong questions.” – Ursula K Le Guin

“The one who asks questions doesn’t lose his way.” – African Proverb

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.” – Engineer’s Motto

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Find more Creativity Quotes here.

Discover more quotes daily in my Twitter and Facebook streams.

The Benefits Of Not Knowing

January 17, 2013 | 1 Comment |

Sounding I, Wiscassett, Maine, 2001 

What I don’t know makes this image more interesting.

Several years after making this image, I couldn’t remember whether I had captured the snow photographically or rendered it digitally or if the appearance of snow was created with a combination of both. It was one of the few times where I felt my experience of my images was closer to the experience others have of them. In this instance, I no longer suffered from the curse of knowledge. I was confronted with a mystery. Rather than quickly rushing to open the file and settle the question, as only I could, I chose to cultivate the question and see what useful insights I could find in doing so.

I looked very closely at the image and saw more than I had seen before. I looked more closely at other people’s images of snow and saw more than I had seen before. I looked more closely at snow and saw more than I had seen before. Because of what I didn’t know, I knew more. Because I questioned what I learned (and the ways I learned), I learned more. Not knowing, can be wonderful! You may be pleasantly surprised by what you don’t know.

Many people look to photographs to confirm what they already know or think they know. I prefer to look to photographs to challenge, expand, and enrich what I know. In works of art, sometimes the things that remain unanswered and remain open become more valuable than the things that are answered and closed. The life of a good photograph extends far beyond itself and our initial experience(s) of it.

How do you know what you know?

How many ways can you challenge what you know in order to experience more?

Find out more about this image here.

View more related images here.

Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

 

Seeing With New Eyes

March 18, 2011 | 2 Comments |

Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscape but in having new eyes.”

Increasingly, we all find ourselves photographing at locations where many have photographed before us.
When I encounter this I ask myself many questions.
Here are a few.
What’s been done before?
What made it work?
How could it be improved?
What hasn’t been done before?
How have things changed since that work was done?
What could be done to reflect that change?
What’s unique about this moment?
How many ways could that be made clear in images?
What’s special about my perspective?
How many ways can I make that strongly felt?

The right set of questions can help generate many ideas as well as guide and focus work.

I usually have so many thoughts and feelings that I need to make notes to catch them all. Trying to find the best words to express them with makes my understanding of them clearer.

Next time you find yourself in familiar territory, I recommend you start asking many useful questions.

Read more about the creation of this image here.

Find more resources about developing your personal vision here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Seek Feedback

November 29, 2010 | Leave a Comment |


One of the most valuable aspects of a workshop is getting feedback on your work. You get it from a respected authority. You also get if from diverse participants. The combination of both is powerful. You’ll see your work more clearly, see it through others eyes, and find new ways of looking at your work.

One helpful approach is to ask a lot of questions.

Polls quickly give consensus on key issues. Which image is most memorable? Which image is strongest? Is it a 3, 4, or 5 star image?

How good is an image? First, identify the best thing about it. Then, to rate it, compare it to other images (your best or a respected artist’s) with same strengths.

Compare images. How do different images work together? Find formal echoes. Find thematic consistencies. Find shared stylistic traits. Sometimes, two images paired together are stronger than either one alone.

Identify outliers. Which image doesn’t fit with the others?

What could be done now to make it better? Crop? Adjust color? Dodge and burn?

What could be done in the future to make similar images better? Reframe? Return at a special time? Introduce a new element?

Read more in my Creativity Lessons here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

4 Questions – Orwig

September 11, 2009 | 5 Comments |

In Chris Orwig’s new book Visual Poetry , top photographers answer the same four questions.

What inspires you?

What makes a photograph good?

What character qualities should the photographer nurture and develop?

Advice for the aspiring photographer?

Find out what Chris’ answers were.

What are yours? Comment here!

Read more


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