Here’s a collection of quotes by photographer Wynn Bullock.
“At forty-two, I decided to become a photographer because it offered a means of creative thought and action. I didn’t rationalize this, I just felt it intuitively and followed my intuition, which I have never regretted.” – Wynn Bullock
“For me photography has been a profession, an avocation. Now it has become a way of life.” – Wynn Bullock
“I love the medium of photography, for with its unique realism it gives me the power to go beyond conventional ways of seeing and understanding and say, “This is real, too.” – Wynn Bullock
“As sounds in a musical composition can be used not to express physical objects but ideas, emotions, harmonies, rhythmic orders and most any expression of the human mind and spirit, so light can be used visually to express the mind and spirit.” – Wynn Bullock
“When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.” – Wynn Bullock
“Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.” – Wynn Bullock
“Searching is everything – going beyond what you know. And the test of the search is really in the things themselves, the things you seek to understand. What is important is not what you think about them, but how they enlarge you.” – Wynn Bullock
“I didn’t want to tell the tree or weed what it was. I wanted it to tell me something and through me express its meaning in nature.” – Wynn Bullock
“A thing is not what you say it is or what you photograph it to be or what you paint it to be or what you sculpt it to be. Words, photographs, paintings, and sculptures are symbols of what you see, think, and feel things to be, but they are not the things themselves.” – Wynn Bullock
“What you see is real – but only on the particular level to which you’ve developed your sense of seeing. You can expand your reality by developing new ways of perceiving.” – Wynn Bullock
“The medium of photography can record not only what the eyes see, but that which the mind’s eye sees as well. The camera is not only an extension of the eye, but of the brain. It can see sharper, farther, nearer, slower, faster than the eye. It can see by invisible light. It can see in the past, present, and future. Instead of using the camera only to reproduce objects, I wanted to use it to make what is invisible to the eye, visible.” – Wynn Bullock
“In a photograph, if I am able to evoke not alone a feeling of the reality of the surface physical world but also a feeling of the reality of existence that lies mysteriously and invisibly beneath its surface, I feel I have succeeded. At their best, photographs as symbols not only serve to help illuminate some of the darkness of the unknown, they also serve to lessen the fears that too often accompany the journeys from the known to the unknown.” – Wynn Bullock
“As I became aware that all things have unique spatial and temporal qualities which visually define and relate them, I began to perceive the things I was photographing not as objects but as events. Working to develop my skills of perceiving and symbolizing these event qualities, I discovered the principle of opposites. When, for example, I photographed the smooth, luminous body of a woman behind a dirty cobwebbed window, I found that the qualities of each event were enhanced and the universal forces which they manifested were more powerfully evoked.” – Wynn Bullock
“My pictures are never pre-visualized or planned. I feel strongly that pictures must come from contact with things at the time and place of taking. At such times, I rely on intuitive, perceptual responses to guide me, using reason only after the final print is made to accept or reject the results of my work.” – Wynn Bullock
“What I feel is that the picture-taking process, anyway a greater part of it, is an intuitive thing. You can’t go out and logically plan a picture, but when you come back, reason then takes over and verifies or rejects whatever you’ve done. So that’s why I say that reason and intuition are not in conflict–they strengthen each other.” – Wynn Bullock
“Everything went together perfectly, and this is what I mean by knowing. I didn’t have to analyze anything. I just recognized what was in front of me. All I had to do was set up and take the picture.” – Wynn Bullock
“The urge to create, the urge to photograph, comes in part from the deep desire to live with more integrity, to live more in peace with the world, and possibly to help others to do the same.” – Wynn Bullock
“I feel all things as dynamic events, being, changing, and interacting with each other in space and time even as I photograph them.” – Wynn Bullock
“There is nothing mysterious about space-time. Every speck of matter, every idea, is a space-time event. We cannot experience anything or conceive of anything that exists outside of space-time. Just as experience precedes all awareness and creative expression, the visual language of our photographs should ever more strongly express the fourth dimensional structure of the real world.” – Wynn Bullock
“I now measure my growth as a photographer in terms of the degrees to which I am aware of, have developed my sense of, and have the skills to symbolize visually the four-dimensional structure of the universe.” – Wynn Bullock
“A person is quite different from a tree or rock or stream. By introducing the nude into my pictures, I started perceiving all the things I was photographing in new ways. In contrast or opposition to each other, things became much more significant and interesting, revealing many more qualities than I had ever dreamed of knowing and expressing. By using the nude, I stopped thinking in terms of objects. I was seeing things, instead, as dynamic events, unique in their own beings yet also related and existing together within a universal context of energy and change.” – Wynn Bullock
“For me a nude photograph should be erotic, not devoid of emotion. The body is a sensual thing, sensuality being one of its most beautiful and meaningful qualities.” – Wynn Bullock
“Theoretical scientists who probe the secrets of the universe and philosophers who seek answers to existence, as well as painters such as Paul Klee who find the thoughts of men of science compatible with art, influence me far more than most photographers.” – Wynn Bullock
“I totally disagree with the belief that nature was only made for the use of people. Human beings are not the center of the universe, and, if they are to sustain themselves, it is vitally important for them to be awakened to how closely they are linked with the rest of nature.” – Wynn Bullock
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Here’s a collection of quotes by Andy Warhol.
“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” – Andy Warhol
“Art is what you can get away with.” ― Andy Warhol
“I’d asked around 10 or 15 people for suggestions. Finally one lady friend asked the right question, “Well, what do you love most?” That’s how I started painting money.” – Andy Warhol
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol
“Success is when the checks don’t bounce.” – Andy Warhol
“I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work,’ because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.” – Andy Warhol
“I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.” ― Andy Warhol
“You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things.” ― Andy Warhol
“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” – Andy Warhol
“Beauty is a sign of intelligence.” ― Andy Warhol
“Sometimes the little times you don’t think are anything while they’re happening turn out to be what marks a whole period of your life.” ― Andy Warhol
“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.” – Andy Warhol
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” ― Andy Warhol
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” ― Andy Warhol
“And your own life while it’s happening to you never has any atmosphere until it’s a memory.” ― Andy Warhol
“A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual diary.” ― Andy Warhol
“Empty space is never-wasted space. Wasted space is any space that has art in it.” – Andy Warhol
“When I look at things, I always see the space they occupy. I always want the space to reappear, to make a comeback, because it’s lost space when there’s something in it.” – Andy Warhol
“It’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are.” ― Andy Warhol
“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” – Andy Warhol
“The interviewer should just tell me the words he wants me to say and I’ll repeat them after him. I think that would be so great because I’m so empty I just can’t think of anything to say.” – Andy Warhol
“It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” – Andy Warhol
“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” – Andy Warhol
“Publicity is like eating peanuts. Once you start you can’t stop.” – Andy Warhol
“Pop art is for everyone.” – Andy Warhol
“The pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second — comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles. All the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried not to notice at all.” –
“I like boring things.” ― Andy Warhol
“If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” – Andy Warhol
“I am a deeply superficial person.” – Andy Warhol
“I like to be the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place. Being the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place is worth it because something interesting always happens.” ― Andy Warhol
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by Aaron Siskind.
“As soon as I became familiar with the camera, I was intrigued with the possibilities of expression it offered. It was like a discovery for me.” – Aaron Siskind
“The business of making a photograph may be said in simple terms to consist of three elements: the objective world (whose permanent condition is change and disorder), the sheet of paper on which the picture will be realized, and the experience that brings them together.” – Aaron Siskind
“As the saying goes, we see in terms of our education. We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect. And indeed it is socially useful that we agree on the function of objects. But, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs. Move on objects with your eye straight on, to the left, around on the right. Watch them grow large as you approach, group and regroup as you shift your position. Relationships gradually emerge and sometimes assert themselves with finality. And that’s your picture.” – Aaron Siskind
“In any art, you don’t know in advance what you want to say – it’s revealed to you as you say it. That’s the difference between art and illustration.” – Aaron Siskind
“I may be wrong, but the essential illustrative nature of most documentary photography, and the worship of the object per se, in our best nature photography, is not enough to satisfy the man of today, compounded as he is of Christ, Freud, and Marx.” – Aaron Siskind
“As the language or vocabulary of photography has been extended, the emphasis of meaning has shifted, shifted from what the world looks like to what we feel about the world and what we want the world to mean.” – Aaron Siskind
“The only nature I’m interested in is my own nature.” – Aaron Siskind
“When I make a photograph, I want it to be an altogether new object, complete and self-contained, whose basic condition is order.” – Aaron Siskind
“First, and emphatically, I accept the flat plane of the picture surface as the primary frame of reference of the picture. The experience itself may be described as one of total absorption in the object. But the object serves only a personal need and the requirements of the picture. Thus, rocks are sculptured forms; a section of common decorated ironwork, springing rhythmic shapes; fragments of paper sticking to a wall, a conversation piece. And these forms, totems, masks, figures, shapes, images must finally take their place in the tonal field of the picture and strictly conform to their space environment. The object has entered the picture in a sense; it has been photographed directly. But it is often unrecognizable; for it has been removed from its original context, disassociated from its customary neighbors and forced into new relationships.” – Aaron Siskind
“What is the subject matter of this apparently very personal world? It has been suggested that these shapes and images are underworld characters, the inhabitants of the vast common realm of memories that have gone down below the level of conscious control. It may be they are. The degree of emotional involvement and the amount of free association with the material being photographed would point in that direction.” – Aaron Siskind
“However, I must stress that my own interest is immediate and in the picture. What I am conscious of and what I feel is the picture I am making, the relation of that picture to others I have made and, more generally, its relation to others I have experienced.” – Aaron Siskind
“To me documentary photography means making a picture so that the viewer doesn’t think about the man who made the picture. At its esthetic core is very old tradition in art: naturalism. And its purpose is to document all facets of social relationships.” – Aaron Siskind
“Producing a photographic document involves preparation in excess. There is first the examination of the idea of the project. Then the visits to the scene, the casual conversations, and more formal interviews – talking, and listening, and looking, looking. … And finally, the pictures themselves, each one planned, talked, taken and examined in terms of the whole.” – Aaron Siskind
“The start of a photograph is from a previous picture. There is no preconception, rather predisposition (which predisposition includes the camera, lenses and the film with me at the time). I will usually return to a familiar place or one that seems familiar. I stand still or move slowly, feeling things like the impulse of shapes, the direction of lines, the quality of surfaces. I frame with my eye (sometimes with my hands) as the ground glass would frame. Nothing that one could reasonably call thinking is taking place al this stage. The condition is total absorption; the decision (a picture) is spontaneous … Ambiguity may be the clue, there is the material. and there am I intruding my private intent. I know the imminence of the world and experience it with full sensuality; at the same time I am involved with projection of myself as idea. Strong tensions are inevitable, pleasurable and disturbing. Is not the aesthetic optimum order with the tensions continuing?” – Aaron Siskind
“Almost inevitably there are tensions in the picture, tensions between the outside world and the inside world. For me, a successful picture resolves these tensions without eliminating them.” – Aaron Siskind
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving, what you have caught of film is captured forever… It remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind
“If you look very intensely and slowly things will happen that you never dreamed of before.” – Aaron Siskind
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Ruth Bernhard.
“Every artist, in a sense, is missionary. He tries to convey a message to his fellow man – he communicates the awesome presence of truth and beauty he discover in the world around him, in its lakes and mountains, trees, rocks and plants, in its living creatures. Down through the centuries poets, sculptors, painters and now photographers, have also been striving to grasp and immortalize the beauty of the human body, both male and female. I see in these forms the elemental relationship to the large forms of nature; a sense of strength like a rock – fluidity like water – space like a mountain range. If I have chosen the female form in particular, it is because beauty has been debased and exploited in our sensual twentieth century. We seem to have a need to turn innocent nature into evil ugliness be the twist of the mind. Woman has been target of much that is sordid and cheap, especially in photography. To raise, to elevate, to endorse with timeless reverence the image of woman, has been my mission – the reason for my work.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Photography is art when it’s used by an artist.” – Ruth Bernhard
“A person cannot learn to be a photographer. He can only cultivate what he already has. I try to make people aware that they have something very precious to cultivate.” – Ruth Bernhard
“If you’re not interested in life, then photography has no meaning.” – Ruth Bernhard
“If you are not passionately devoted to an idea, you can make very pleasant pictures but they won’t make you cry.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Fall in love. Every day. With everything. With life. If you can fall in love, you can be a photographer. I think that is absolutely essential.” – Ruth Bernhard
“I always said “yes” to everything.” – Ruth Bernhard
“There is no such thing as taking too much time, because your soul is in that picture.” – Ruth Bernhard
“For me, the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny. Whether working with a human figure or a still life, I am deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it. In my life, as in my work, I am motivated by a great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Light is my inspiration. My photographic images search for dimensions that words cannot touch– the result of intense responses to personal experiences. I do not wish to “record,” but rather to touch upon the illusive meanings which I perceive and try to comprehend in this limitless universe.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Light is my inspiration, my paint and brush. It is as vital as the model herself. Profoundly significant, it caresses the essential superlative curves and lines. Light I acknowledge as the energy upon which all life on this planet depends.” – Ruth Bernhard
“My quest, through the magic of light and shadow, is to isolate, to simplify and to give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity. To indicate the ideal proportion, to reveal sculptural mass and the dominating spirit is my goal.” – Ruth Bernhard
“What the human eye sees is an illusion of what is real. The black and white image transforms illusions into another reality.” – Ruth Bernhard
“If you can’t make the image bigger or more important than what you see, then don’t push the button.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Never ever say the word shoot when you are taking a picture with a camera because a camera is not a violent weapon.” – Ruth Bernhard
“I expect photographs to find me. I never thought of looking for them. I instinctively put them (props) there. My intellect had nothing to do with it.” – Ruth Bernhard
“You have to follow your instinct all the time. Otherwise you don’t make it.” – Ruth Bernhard
“I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help.” – Ruth Bernhard
“If you are not willing to see more than is visible, you won’t see anything.” – Ruth Bernhard
“Everything is one and I am one with it.” – Ruth Bernhard
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Robert Adams.
“Henry James proposed asking of art three modest and appropriate questions: What is the artist trying to do? Does he do it? Was it worth doing?” – Robert Adams
“The history of art is filled with people who did not live long enough to enjoy a sympathetic public, and their misery argues that criticism should try to speed justice.” – Robert Adams
“Philosophy can forsake too easily the details of experience… many writers and painters have demonstrated that thinking long about what art is or ought to be ruins the power to write or paint.” – Robert Adams
“C.S. Lewis admitted, when he was asked to set forth his beliefs, that he never felt less sure of them than when he tried to speak of them. Photographers know this frailty. To them words are a pallid, diffuse way of describing and celebrating what matters. Their gift is to see what will be affecting as a print. Mute. ” ― Robert Adams
“Part of the difficulty in trying to be both an artist and a businessperson is this: You make a picture because you have seen something beyond price; then you are to turn and assign to your record of it a cash value. If the selling is not necessarily a contradiction of the truth in the picture, it is so close to being a contradiction—and the truth is always in shades of gray–that you are worn down by the threat.” – Robert Adams
“Your own photography is never enough. Every photographer who has lasted has depended on other peoples pictures too – photographs that may be public or private, serious or funny but that carry with them a reminder of community.” – Robert Adams
“…the only things that distinguish the photographer from everybody else are his pictures: they alone are the basis for our special interest in him. If pictures cannot be understood without knowing details of the artist’s private life, then that is a reason for faulting them; major art, by definition, can stand independent of its maker.” – Robert Adams
“How can we hope, after all, to see a tree or rock or clear north sky if we do not adopt a little of their mode of life, a little of their time? …if the time it takes to cross space is a way by which we define it, then to arrive at a view of space “in no time” is to have denied its reality…” ― Robert Adams
“If as individuals we can improve the geography only slightly, if at all, perhaps the more appropriately scaled subject for reshaping is ourselves.” ― Robert Adams
“I have asked students at the beginning of their careers, what things of that sort might haunt them – what things they must photograph, things they have to try to shoot even before they master the intricacies of making dye transfer prints.” – Robert Adams
“At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands before our camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect–a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known.” – Robert Adams
“One does not for long wrestle a view camera in the wind and heat and cold just to illustrate a philosophy. The thing that keeps you scrambling over the rocks, risking snakes, and swatting at the flies is the view. It is only your enjoyment of and commitment to what you see, not to what you rationally understand, that balances the otherwise absurd investment of labor.” – Robert Adams
“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” – Robert Adams
“The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope.” – Robert Adams
“By Interstate 70: a dog skeleton, a vacuum cleaner, TV dinners, a doll, a pie, rolls of carpet….Later, next to the South Platte River: algae, broken concrete, jet contrails, the smell of crude oil…. What I hope to document, though not at the expense of surface detail, is the form that underlies this apparent chaos.” – Robert Adams
“Why is Form beautiful? Because, I think, it helps us confront our worst fear, the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning.” – Robert Adams
“The word beauty is unavoidable … it accounts for my decision to photograph … There appeared a quality, beauty seemed the only appropriate word for it, in certain photographs, and I am compelled to live with the vocabulary of this new sight … through over many years [I] still find it embarrassing to use the word beauty, I fear I will be attacked for it, but I still believe in it.” – Robert Adams
“Why do most great pictures look uncontrived? Why do photographers bother with the deception, especially since it so often requires the hardest work of all? The answer is, I think, that the deception is necessary if the goal of art is to be reached: only pictures that look as if they had been easily made can convincingly suggest that beauty is commonplace.” – Robert Adams
“What we hope for from the artist is help in discovering the significance of a place. In this sense we would choose in most respects for thirty minutes with Edward Hopper’s painting Sunday Morning to thirty minutes on the street that was his subject; with Hopper’s vision we see more.” – Robert Adams
“Silence is, after all, the context for the deepest appreciation of art: the only important evaluations are finally, personal, interior ones.” – Robert Adams
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.
“All photographers have to do, is find and catch the story-telling moment.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“It’s important to understand it’s OK to control the subject. If most editorial stories were photographed just as they are, editors would end up throwing most in the waste basket. You have to work hard at making an editorial picture. You need to re-stage things, rearrange things so that they work for the story, with truth and without lying.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I have to be as much diplomat as a photographer.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“In a photograph a person’s eyes tell much, sometimes they tell all.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“It’s more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I don’t like to work with assistants. I’m already one too many; the camera alone would be enough.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“My style hasn’t changed much in all these sixty years. I still use, most of the time, existing light and try not to push people around. I have to be as much a diplomat as a photographer. People don’t often take me seriously because I carry so little equipment and make so little fuss… I never carried a lot of equipment. My motto has always been, “Keep it simple.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“With photography, everything is in the eye and these days I feel young photographers are missing the point a bit. People always ask about cameras but it doesn’t matter what camera you have. You can have the most modern camera in the world but if you don’t have an eye, the camera is worthless. Young people know more about modern cameras and lighting than I do. When I started out in photography I didn’t own an exposure meter – I couldn’t , they didn’t exist! I had to guess.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I don’t use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it.That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Today’s photographers think differently. Many can’t see real light anymore. They think only in terms of strobe – sure, it all looks beautiful but it’s not really seeing. If you have the eyes to see it, the nuances of light are already there on the subject’s face. If your thinking is confined to strobe light sources, your palette becomes very mean – which is the reason I photograph only in available light.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I always prefer photographing in available light – or Rembrandt-light I like to call it – so you get the natural modulations of the face. It makes a more alive, real, and flattering portrait.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I enjoy traveling and recording far-away places and people with my camera. But I also find it wonderfully rewarding to see what I can discover outside my own window. You only need to study the scene with the eyes of a photographer.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“People will never understand the patience a photographer requires to make a great photograph, all they see is the end result. I can stand in front of a leaf with a dew drop, or a rain drop, and stay there for ages just waiting for the right moment. Sure, people think I’m crazy, but who cares? I see more than they do!” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“We are only beginning to learn what to say in a photograph. The world we live in is a succession of fleeting moments, any one of which might say something significant.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“The way I would describe a pictorial is that it is a picture that makes everybody say ‘Aaaaah,’ with five vowels when they see it. It is something you would like to hang on the wall. The french word ‘photogenique’ defines it better than anything in English. It is a picture which must have quality, drama, and it must, in addition, be as good technically as you can possible make it.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I seldom think when I take a picture. My eyes and fingers react – click. But first, it’s most important to decide on the angle at which your photograph is to be taken.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“The important thing is not the camera but the eye.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“I dream that someday the step between my mind and my finger will no longer be needed. And that simply by blinking my eyes, I shall make pictures. Then, I think, I shall really have become a photographer.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Yes, I sold buttons to earn living. But I took pictures to keep on living. Pictures are my life – as necessary as eating or breathing.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Retire? Retire from What? Life? I will only retire when I am dead!” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Andreas Feininger.
“Photographers — idiots, of which there are so many — say, “Oh, if only I had a Nikon or a Leica, I could make great photographs.” That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. It’s nothing but a matter of seeing, and thinking, and interest.” – Andreas Feininger
“It’s nothing but a matter of seeing, thinking, and interest. That’s what makes a good photograph. And then rejecting anything that would be bad for the picture. The wrong light, the wrong background, time and so on. Just don’t do it, not matter how beautiful the subject is.” – Andreas Feininger
“Experience has shown that the more fascinating the subject, the less observant the photographer.” – Andreas Feininger
“Two factors thus emerge as requisites of success in the field of creative photography. First, the subject must be photogenic. Second, its re-creation in a photograph must be based upon technical knowledge, guided and supported by artistic inspiration.” – Andreas Feininger
“Human vision is untrustworthy, subjective and selective. Camera vision is total and non – objective.” – Andreas Feininger
“Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are “camera lies,” inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a naturalistic medium of rendition and that striving for “naturalism” in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.
“The first impression of a new subject is not necessary the best. Seen from a different angle or under different condition it might look even better. Always study a three – dimensional subject with one eye closed.” – Andreas Feininger
“Don’t look for “depth” but instead search for subject aspects which prove the presence of depth.” – Andreas Feininger
“Before you shoot an irresistible subject, mute all your senses except sight to find out how much is left for the camera to record.” – Andreas Feininger
“(1) The more thoroughly a photographer explores his subject with the camera (i.e., the more pictures he makes), the more he sees and the better his chance of getting good results.
(2) Even slight changes in subject approach can make significant differences in the effect of the picture.” – Andreas Feininger
“The difference in “seeing” between the eye and the lens should make it obvious that a photographer who merely points his camera at an appealing subject and expects to get an appealing picture in return, may be headed for a disappointment.” – Andreas Feininger
“As an amateur you have an advantage over photographers – you can do as you wish… This should make amateurs the happiest of photographers.” – Andreas Feininger
“Every successful photograph, except for lucky shots, begins with an idea and a plan. The more precisely a photographer knows what it is he wishes to do, the better the chances are that he will do it.” – Andreas Feininger
“Realism and superrealism are what I’m after. This world is full of things the eye doesn’t see. The camera can see more, and often 10 times better.” – Andreas Feininger
“With a short lens I can reveal the hidden things near at hand, with a long lens the hidden things far away. The telephoto lens provides a new visual sensation for people: it widens their horizons. And, conversely, the things under our nose invariably look good when blown up really big.” – Andreas Feininger
“The camera can push the new medium to its limits – and beyond. It is there – in the “beyond” – that the imaginative photographer will compete with the imaginative painter. Painting must return to the natural world from time to time for renewal of the artistic vision. The key sector of renewal of vision today is the new vistas revealed by science. Here photography, which is not only art but science also, stands on the firmest ground.” – Andreas Feininger
“Any good photograph is a successful synthesis of technique and art.” – Andreas Feininger
“Light is the photographic medium par excellence; it is to the photographer what words are to the writer; color and paint to the painter; wood, metal, stone, or clay to the sculptor.” – Andreas Feininger
“I believe that photography at its best is an Art, and photo-technique is but a means to an end: the creation of the picture. Today, even a fool can learn to operate any of our modern foolproof cameras, and produce technically perfect pictures — but is this knowledge really all he needs for taking purposeful and pictorially exciting photographs? Naturally, as in any other art, there are artists and there are dabblers. If photography really were nothing but the simple and purely mechanical reproduction process the majority of people still think it is, why are there so many dull and meaningless photographs around?” – Andreas Feininger
“A technically perfect photograph can be the world’s most boring picture.” – Andreas Feininger
“Know – how is worthless unless guided by know – why and know – when.” – Andreas Feininger
“No one can do inspired work without genuine interest in his subject and understanding of its characteristics.” – Andreas Feininger
“What matters is not what you photograph, but why and how you photograph it. Even the most controversial subject, if depicted by a sensitive photographer with honesty, sympathy, and understanding, can be transformed into an emotionally rewarding experience.” – Andreas Feininger
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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue.
“It’s marvelous, marvelous! Nothing will ever be as much fun. I’m going to photograph everything, everything!” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“Photography is a magic thing. A thing that has mysterious odors, a little strange and frightening, something one quickly grows to love.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“Photography is something you learn to love very quickly. I know that many, many things are going to ask me to have their pictures taken and I will take them all.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“I have never taken a picture for any other reason than that at that moment it made me happy to do so.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“I take photographs with love, so I try to make them art objects. But I make them for myself first and foremost–that is important. If they are art objects at the same time, that’s fine with me.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“What’s so incredibly amusing with photography is that while seemingly an art of the surface, it catches things I haven’t even noticed. And it pains me not to have seen things in all their depth.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“The golden rule is “work fast.” As for framing, composition, focus—this is no time to start asking yourself questions: you just have to trust your intuition and the sharpness of your reflexes.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“I have two pairs of eyes – one to paint and one to take photographs.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“One shouldn’t be only two photographers but thousands.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“I think just about everything has been tackled, but it may be that things will be done again, only better and differently.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
“To talk about photos rather than making them seems idiotic to me. It’s as though I went on and on about a woman I adored instead of making love to her.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
1) Never, never be lazy.
2) Know how to eat well; the right foods in small quantities.
3) Know how to sleep well; the sleep that comes after a good day’s work.
4) Know how to appreciate, really appreciate, any good art.
5) Know how to enjoy silence, as well as good music.
6) Open your ears to the ideas and suggestions of God.
7) Love God.
– Jacques-Henri Lartigue (Advice To Young Photographers)
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We can all learn a lot from the photographers who make the classic photographs.
Here’s a list of links to collections of my favorite quotes by master photographers.
You’ll find them inspiring!
John Paul Caponigro
David La Chapelle
W Eugene Smith
Read new additions to this collection here.
View The Essential Collection Of Documentaries On Photographers Online here.
Read Photographer’s Favorite Quotes here.
Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by photographer Bill Brandt.
“It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country.” – Bill Brandt
“It is the gift of seeing the life around them clearly and vividly, as something that is exciting in its own right. It is an innate gift, varying in intensity with the individual’s temperament and environment.” – Bill Brandt
“Most photographers would feel a certain embarrassment in admitting publicly that they carried within them a sense of wonder, yet without it they would not produce the work they do, whatever their particular field.” – Bill Brandt
“The good photographer will produce a competent picture every time whatever his subject. But only when his subject makes and immediate and direct appeal to his own interests will he produce a work of distinction.” – Bill Brandt
“It is essential for the photographer to know the effect of his lenses. The lens is his eye, and it makes or ruins his pictures. A feeling for composition is a great asset. I think it is very much a matter of instinct. It can perhaps be developed, but I doubt if it can be learned. To achieve his best work, the young photographer must discover what really excites him visually. He must discover his own world.” – Bill Brandt
“A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold on to those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere.” – Bill Brandt
“If there is any method in the way I take pictures, I believe it lies in this. See the subject first. Do not try to force it to be a picture of this, that or the other thing. Stand apart from it. Then something will happen. The subject will reveal itself.” – Bill Brandt
“By temperament I am not unduly excitable and certainly not trigger-happy. I think twice before I shoot and very often do not shoot at all. By professional standards I do not waste a lot of film; but by the standards of many of my colleagues I probably miss quite a few of my opportunities. Still, the things I am after are not in a hurry as a rule.” – Bill Brandt
“But I did not always know just what it was I wanted to photograph. I believe it is important for a photographer to discover this, for unless he finds what it is that excites him, what it is that calls forth at once an emotional response, he is unlikely to achieve his best work.” – Bill Brandt
“Sometimes they are a matter of luck; the photographer could not expect or hope for them. Sometimes they are a matter of patience, waiting for an effect to be repeated that he has seen and lost or for one that he anticipates.” – Bill Brandt
“I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive.” – Bill Brandt
“Photographers should follow their own judgment, and not the fads and dictates of others.” – Bill Brandt
“And only the photographer himself knows the effect he wants. He should know by instinct, grounded in experience, what subjects are enhanced by hard or soft, light or dark treatment.” – Bill Brandt
“I consider it essential that the photographer should do his own printing and enlarging. The final effect of the finished print depends so much on these operations.” – Bill Brandt
“No amount of toying with shades of print or with printing papers will transform a commonplace photograph into anything other than a commonplace photograph.” – Bill Brandt
“Photography is not a sport. It has no rules.” – Bill Brandt
“Photography is still a very new medium and everything must be tried and dare.” – Bill Brandt
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