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.

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Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Harold Edgerton.

“If you don’t wake up at three in the morning and want to do something, you’re wasting your time. ” – Harold Egerton

“When I was a boy, I read with great interest but skepticism about as magic lamp which was used with success by a certain Aladdin. Today I have no skepticism whatsoever about the magic of the xenon flash lamp which we use so effectively for many purposes.” – Harold Egerton

“The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don’t realize they’re learning until it’s too late.” – Harold Eugene Edgerton

“We worked and worked, didn’t get anywhere. That’s how you know you’re doing research.” – Harold Egerton

“In many ways, unexpected results are what have most inspired my photography.” – Harold Egerton

“Don’t make me out to be an artist. I am an engineer. I am after the facts, only the facts.” – Harold Egerton

“Work like hell, tell everyone everything you know, close a deal with a handshake, and have fun.” – Harold Egerton

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.

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Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Edward Burtynsky.

“[Taking good images] is about knowing oneself and trying to listen to that kind of intuitive forces that allow you to respond more positively to one image or to one subject over another and pay attention to that emotion and to follow that and also to be aware of it.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I think you learn about pictures in yourself … being true to things that you personally respond to and this is the only way you find your original voice, by following your own instinct.” – Edward Burtynsky

“You need to have an inquiring mind. You have to ask questions (…), not accept what is given, but say: “Why is it so?” And it is in that kind of asking that you begin to get behind some of the issues that allow the world appear the way it does. So if you just accept the world the way it is and don’t question it I can’t see how you can go far creatively.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Sometimes you don’t know why you’re doing something. You’re intuitively following, to see where it leads.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Somebody referred to what I do as subliminal activism, which I like.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I wish my artwork could persuade millions of people to join a global conversation about sustainability.” – Edward Burtynsky

“We come from the nature and we have to understand what it is, because we are conected to it and we are part of it. And if we destroy nature we destroy ourselves” – Edward Burtynsky

“Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I’m working in this very complex set of issues having to do with who we are as a species and how much we can do to the Earth before it starts to buckle under. My work can easily read as an indictment, but I don’t see it as that simple a problem.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I can go into the wilderness and not see anyone for days and experience a kind of space that hasn’t changed for tens of thousands of years. Having that experience was necessary to my perception of how photography can look at the changes humanity has brought about in the landscape. My work does become a kind of lament.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Industrial landscape – define us and our belonging to the planet.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Water, like many other resources, is harvested, transported and used throughout all aspects of society. Unlike other resources, water is critical to the survival of all forms of life. The underlying question that sits at the core of my exploration is to what degree can we shape water before it begins to shape us.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I think the environmental movement has failed in that it’s used the stick too much; it’s used the apocalyptic tone too much; it hasn’t sold the positive aspects of being environmentally concerned and trying to pull us out.” – Edward Burtynsky

“Digital photography and Photoshop have made it very easy for people to take pictures. It’s a medium that allows a lot of mediocre stuff to get through.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I wish I could create an IMAX film that would make my work accessible to a broader audience.” – Edward Burtynsky

“I wish we could launch a ground-breaking competition that motivates kids to invent new ideas in sustainable living.” – Edward Burtynsky

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.

View more in 12 Great Photographs By Great Photographers.

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Chris Orwig lives by this quote.

“Photography is savoring life at 1/100th of a second.” – Marc Riboud

What quotes do you live by?

Read a collection of Chris Orwig’s favorite quotes here.

Find out more about Chris Orwig here.

Read more Photographers’ Favorite Quotes here.

48 Quotes On Wonder

September 29, 2015 | Leave a Comment |


Enjoy this collection on wonder.

“Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

“As knowledge increases, wonder deepens.” – Charles Morgan

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates

“What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.” – Ralph Sockman

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30 Quotes On Depth

September 23, 2015 | Leave a Comment |


Enjoy this collection of quotes on Depth.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The length of your education is less important than its breadth, and the length of your life is less important than its depth” – Marilyn vos Savant

“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth” – Henry Louis Mencken

“What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” – Ezra Pound

”Like the sea itself, the unconscious yields an endless and self-replenishing abundance of creatures, a wealth beyond our fathoming.” – C.G. Jung

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green

“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure… I think.” – Ellen DeGeneres

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Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Paul Strand.

“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.” – Paul Strand

“I’ve always wanted to be aware of what’s going on around me, and I’ve wanted to use photography as an instrument of research into and reporting on the life of my own time.” – Paul Strand

“Your photography is a record of your living – for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people’s ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will have eventually to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzche meant when he said, ‘I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him.’ He knew how insidious other people’s ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own personal vision.” – Paul Strand

“Look at the things around you, the immediate world around you. If you are alive, it will mean something to you, and if you care enough about photography, and if you know how to use it, you will want to photograph that meaningness. If you let other people’s vision get between the world and your own, you will achieve that extremely common and worthless thing, a pictorial photograph.” – Paul Strand

“The material of the artist lies not within himself nor in the fabrications of his imagination, but in the world around him. The element which gives life to the great Picassos and Cezannes, to the paintings of Van Gogh, is the relationship of the artist to context, to the truth of the real world. It is the way he sees this world and translates it into art that determines whether the work of art becomes a new and active force within reality, to widen and transform man’s experience. The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” – Paul Strand

“The camera machine cannot evade the objects which are in front of it. When the photographer selects this movement, the light, the objects, he must be true to them. If he includes in his space a strip of grass, it must be felt as the living differentiated thing it is and so recorded. It must take its proper but no less important place as a shape and a texture in relationship to the mountain tree or what not, which are included.” – Paul Strand

“The decision as to when to photograph, the actual click of the shutter, is partly controlled from the outside, by the flow of life, but it also comes from the mind and the heart of the artist. The photograph is his vision of the world and expresses, however subtly, his values and convictions.” – Paul Strand

“I go and get the camera and do it. Photography is a medium in which if you don’t do it then, very often you don’t do it at all, because it doesn’t happen twice. A rock will probably always be more or less there juts the way you saw it yesterday. But other things change, they’re not always there the day after or the week after. Either you do it or you don’t. Certainly with things as changeable as shy and landscape with moving clouds and so on, if they look wonderful to you on a certain day and if you don’t do it then, you may never see them again for the rest of your life. So as a photographer you become very conscious – at least I do – that everything is in movement.” – Paul Strand

“The documentary photographer aims his camera at the real world to record truthfulness. At the same time, he must strive for form, to devise effective ways of organizing and using the material. For content and form are interrelated. The problems presented by content and form must be so developed that the result is fundimentally true to the realities of life as we know it. The chief problem is to find a form that adequately represents the reality.” – Paul Strand

“All good art is abstract in its structure.” – Paul Strand

“Objectivity is of the very essence of photography, its contribution and at the same time its limitation…” – Paul Strand

“Honesty no less than intensity of vision is the prerequisite of a living expression. This means a real respect for the thing in front of… the photographer… this is accomplished without tricks of process or manipulation through the use of straight photographic methods…” – Paul Strand

“The existence of a medium, after all, is its absolute justification, if as so many seem to think, it needs one and all comparison of potentialities is useless and irrelevant. Whether a water-color is inferior to an oil, or whether a drawing, an etching, or a photograph is not as important as either, is inconsequent. To have to despise something in order to respect something else is a sign of impotence. [emphasis added] Let us rather accept joyously and with gratitude everything through which the spirit of man seeks to an ever fuller and more intense self-realization.” – Paul Strand

“Did I express my personality? I think that’s quite unimportant because it’s not people’s selves but what they have to say about life that’s important.” – Paul Strand

“It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.” – Paul Strand

“No matter what lens you use, no matter what speed the film, no matter how you develop it, no matter how you print it, you cannot say more than you can see.” – Paul Strand

“The important thing is, you have to have something important to say about the world.” – Paul Strand

“The artist is one who makes a concentrated statement about the world in which he lives and that statement tends to become impersonal—it tends to become universal and enduring because it comes out of something very particular.” – Paul Strand

“It has always been my belief that the true artist, like the true scientist, is a researcher using materials and techniques to dig into the truth and meaning of the world in which he himself lives; and what he creates, or better perhaps, brings back, are the objective results of his explorations. The measure of his talent––of his genius, if you will––is the richness he finds in such a life’s voyage of discovery and the effectiveness with which he is able to embody it through his chosen medium.” – Paul Strand

“And if you can find out something about the laws of your own growth and vision as well as those of photography you may be able to relate the two, create an object that has a life of its own, which transcends craftsmanship. That is a long road, and because it must be your own road nobody can teach it to you or find it for you. There are no shortcuts, no rules.” – Paul Strand

“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” – Paul Strand

“If the photographer is not a discoverer, then he is not an artist.” – Paul Strand

“Photography is only a new road from a different direction, but moving toward the common goal, which is life.” – Paul Strand

“I think of myself as an explorer who has spent his life on a long voyage of discovery.” – Paul Strand

View 12 Great Photographs By Paul Strand.

View A Documentary On Paul Strand.

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Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Keith Carter.

“At a fundamental level photography is much like pointing, and all of us occasionally point at things: look at that, look at that sailboat, look at that tree, etc. etc.” – Keith Carter

“The raw materials of photography are light and time and memory.” – Keith Carter

“Sharpness is overrated.” – Keith Carter

“When I started using the extreme short depth of field and single point of focus, I was trying to replicate my changing eyesight. We have binocular vision; one eye perceives space from the other. I don’t experience a scene visually at F32. It’s more like F1.4.” – Keith Carter

“I think the equipment you use has a real, visible influence on the character of your photography. You’re going to work differently, and make different kinds of pictures, if you have to set up a view camera on a tripod than if you’re Lee Friedlander with handheld 35 mm rangefinder. But fundamentally, vision is not about which camera or how many megapixels you have, it’s about what you find important. It’s all about ideas.” – Keith Carter

“In the history of photography, one process has always replaced another. The tumultuous realignment that’s going on in the photography now is really just a natural evolution. The irony is that none of the processes that have been replaced have disappeared. More people than ever are practicing every approach to shooting and printing.” – Keith Carter

“I love the history of photography and one process has always replaced another. However, very, very few have disappeared.” – Keith Carter

“I think there is an element of magic in photography — light, chemistry, precious metals — a certain alchemy. You can wield a camera like a magic wand almost. Murmur the right words and you can conjure up proof of a dream. I believe in wonder. I look for it in my life every day; I find it in the most ordinary things.” ― Keith Carter

“I think you go through stages in making art. In the first stages you get excited about the medium itself. It offers a very immediate kind of gratification. Here is what I see and here is a picture of it. Then it gets harder. Then you find somebody whose work excites you, such as Robert Frank, and it opens up new doors and so you replicate them or you do work that is influenced by them. I think all of that is very, very useful in terms of your own growth. Because if you have anything at all, you will only do that for a while, and then you use what you have learned and you try to turn it into your own voice. That is where things really get hard. If you can make that leap, then you start making personal work. Personal work is where most people stop. Most people stop when it gets personal. I will tell you my greatest secret, and I probably shouldn’t, but I will tell you anyway. Here is what I think and feel and I hope it is useful to you. If you really want to do something special, if you want to make poetry, and granted most people don’t, but if you do, you have to go beyond what is merely personal. You have to reach a level in the human psyche where we are all the same. That is the real journey.” ― Keith Carter

“I live in a small place more urban centers make fun of, where art is not necessarily the first thing in most people’s minds, and I thought: Gee, I don’t need to go in some exotic locations to make a meaningful picture, why don’t I just play like I came from China and I was transplanted into this culture, with this people and this language and this landscape and this architecture and this music and all these animals I’ve never seen before… why don’t I try to belong to my own place and make pictures that I really would like to make. I started doing that and it was the first time that anybody started paying attention to my work.” – Keith Carter

“I like small things, I like small moments that are almost elliptical, that are not necessarily linear; they’re natural things that happen in the world, but if you look at them from a slight angle there’s more than meets the eye.” – Keith Carter

“I don’t just look at the thing itself or at the reality itself; I look around the edges for those little askew moments — kind of like what makes up our lives – those slightly awkward, lovely moments.” – Keith Carter

“I don’t think science is necessarily incompatible with mystical or spiritual sensibilities. I often weigh them equally in my thinking, which sometimes finds itself into the work.” – Keith Carter

“I like to work in the real world, so I do a lot of searching or just simple looking. But I’m not above tweaking reality and making something up. I don’t think there are any rules in art. It’s not so much what you see as it is the significance you, the artist, see in it.” – Keith Carter

“I’m fond of implied narratives, oblique angles, and leaving a little room for the viewer to finish a picture.” – Keith Carter

“Your ideas come out of the way you conduct your life.” – Keith Carter

“Making these photographs has often seemed to me like a kind of dance. Often I have danced badly and the world has fallen apart at my feet. But sometimes the dance has gone well and my subject and I have moved together as if with shared purpose.” – Keith Carter

“I like what Wallace Stevens said: “Poetry must almost successfully resist intelligence.” I just change the word “poetry” to “my photographs.” – Keith Carter

“Poetry at least in my own life, is really about your own mortality. Everything in poetry makes me think of my mortality. It is not a dark thing in life; it prepares you for the graceful things that happen in your life. It gives me a license to make any kind of picture I want with great courage.” – Keith Carter

“You are lucky if you have one or two epiphanies in your life, particularly a creative one.” – Keith Carter

“I don’t know if I can articulate how I feel. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it here.” – Keith Carter

“How do you find a way to say what an extraordinary experience it is to be alive in this world? That is the kind of subject matter I try to work with.” – Keith Carter

“I want to be made better personally. That is the gig.” – Keith Carter

Read my Conversation With Keith Carter.

View 12 Great Photographs By Great Photographers.

Explore The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.


Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Lee Friedlander.

“The world makes up my pictures, not me.”

“ … photographs are so loaded with information. They’re remarkable. As I said, you get both the tree and the forest.” – Lee Friedlander

“It fascinates me that there is a variety of feeling about what I do. I’m not a premeditative photographer. I see a picture and I make it. If I had a chance, I’d be out shooting all the time. You don’t have to go looking for pictures. The material is generous. You go out and the pictures are staring at you.” – Lee Friedlander

“The idea that the snapshot would be thought of as a cult or movement is very tiresome to me and, I’m sure, confusing to others. It’s a swell word I’ve always liked. It probably came about because it describes a basic fact of photography. In a snap, or small portion of time, all that the camera can consume in breadth and bite and light is rendered in astonishing detail: all the leaves on a tree, as well as the tree itself and all its surroundings.” – Lee Friedlander

“I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary’s laundry and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and seventy-eight trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It’s a generous medium, photography.” – Lee Friedlander

“I suspect it is for one’s self-interest that one looks at one’s surroundings and one’s self. This search is personally born and is indeed my reason and motive for making photographs. The camera is not merely a reflecting pool and the photographs are not exactly the mirror, mirror on the wall that speaks with a twisted tongue. Witness is borne and puzzles come together at the photographic moment which is very simple and complete. The mind-finger presses the release on the silly machine and it stops time and holds what its jaws can encompass and what the light will stain.” – Lee Friedlander

“I take more to the subject than to my ideas about it. I am not interested in any idea I have had, the subject is so demanding and so important.” – Lee Friedlander

“Sometimes just the facts of the matter make it interesting.” – Lee Friedlander

“When you take a picture you haven’t a clue that it is going to be what it is. Maybe you have a clue but you don’t really know. There are too many possibilities. Part of the game is how many balls you can juggle. It is to me. When you are 12 you can juggle two. Maybe when you are 50 you can juggle five. That is an interesting concept to me: how much I can put in and still make it pull together?” – Lee Friedlander

“If one really knew what one was doing, why do it? It seems to me if you had the answer why ask the question? The thing is there are so many questions.” – Lee Friedlander

“Anything that looks like an idea is probably just something that has accumulated, like dust. It looks like I have ideas because I do books that are all on the same subject. That is just because the pictures have piled up on that subject. Finally I realize that I am really interested in it. The pictures make me realize that I am interested in something.” – Lee Friedlander

“Photographs also show the way that the camera sees. It’s not just me or you or anybody else. The camera does something that is different from our own setting.” – Lee Friedlander

“… a mysterious intersection of chance and attention that goes well beyond the existential surrealism of the ‘decisive moment’.” – Lee Friedlander

“With a camera like that [a Leica 35mm rangefinder] you don’t believe you’re in the masterpiece business. It’s enough to be able to peck at the world.” – Lee Friedlander

“I always wanted to be a photographer. I was fascinated with the materials. But I never dreamed I would be having this much fun. I imagined something much less elusive, much more mundane.” – Lee Friedlander

Read more in The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.

Read my conversation with Lee Friedlander.


Enjoy this collection of quotes on Adapting.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein

“The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher” – Chinese Proverb

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.” – Richard Branson

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. It’s the end you’re after.” – Anthony Robbins

“Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

“But in practice master plans fail – because they create totalitarian order, not organic order. They are too rigid; they cannot easily adapt to the natural and unpredictable changes that inevitably arise in the life of a community.” – Christopher Alexander

“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” ― Jeff Bezos

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw

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