13 Quotes By Photographer Richard Misrach

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Enjoy this collection of quotes by master photographer Richard Misrach.
“I’ve come to believe that beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas. It engages people when they might otherwise look away.” – Richard Misrach
“To me, the work I do is a means of interpreting unsettling truths, of bearing witness, and of sounding an alarm. The beauty of formal representation both carries an affirmation of life and subversively brings us face to face with news from our besieged world.” – Richard Misrach
“I’m not interested in victim photography. Photographing people suffering and putting it on a museum wall is too weird.” – Richard Misrach
“The very act of representation has been so thoroughly challenged in recent years by postmodern theories that it is impossible not to see the flaws everywhere, in any practice of photography. Traditional genres in particular—journalism, documentary studies, and fine-art photography—have become shells, or forms emptied of meaning.” – Richard Misrach
“In spite of recent trends towards fabricating photographic narratives, I find, more than ever, traditional photographic capture, the ‘discovery’ of found narratives, deeply compelling.” – Richard Misrach
“The desert … may serve better as the backdrop for the problematic relationship between man and the environment. The human struggle, the successes … both noble and foolish, are readily apparent in the desert. Symbols and relationships seem to arise that stand for the human condition itself.” – Richard Misrach
“People have responded to the pictures I make as mystical things, and they somehow carry the illusion further thinking that the place is this mystical, magical place. The desert is also a very barren place, a very lonely place, a very boring, uneventful place.” – Richard Misrach
“The one thing that seems to be consistent through all my work that I like, and I experimented a lot, is the viewer is allowed to meditate on something that normally we don’t stop and stare at, whether it’s people or a cactus.” – Richard Misrach
“One of the things that was really influential early on was Ezra Pound’s Cantos, one poem he worked on for 50 years. It’s epic. I had a great deal of difficulty understanding it. One of the problems was you’d be reading along in English and he would move to a Chinese ideogram or French–he actually used seven different languages in a given poem. And for somebody who’s not fluent in different languages it has the impact of rupturing your way of understanding something. It was very purposeful on his part to put these obstacles of language in there so that you become conscious of the whole system. You don’t get a neat narrative or a neat poem. Once you run into these obstacles of language you have to stop and think about other things. So, for me, in putting The Playboys or The Paintings or these language things in with these more conventional landscapes they inform each other. It does scatter, it does rupture, the way cubist paintings would. Each gives you a different way to approach something and sheds light on everything else.” – Richard Misrach
“Our experience with knowledge, the way we know things, is not that neat. It doesn’t fit into a grand narrative, the way we’ve been taught to read.” – Richard Misrach
“I am not unaware that I have the mindset, as contradictory as it may sound, to discover in the world what I am in fact looking for. Perhaps the best pictures are a seamless hybrid of discovery and construction.” – Richard Misrach
“Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is always about time.” – Richard Misrach
“I think this is the most exciting time in the history of photography. Technology is expanding what photographers can do, like the microscope and the telescope expanded what scientists could do.” – Richard Misrach

Read my conversation with Richard Misrach.

View 12 Great Photographs By Richard Misrach here.

View 4 videos with Richard Misrach here.

21 Quotes By Photographer Fredrick Sommer

 
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Fredrick Sommer.
“The only way to understand something is to be confronted by something that is difficult to understand.” – Frederick Sommer
“Everything is shared by everything else; there are no discontinuities.” – Frederick Sommer
“The coherent way of investigating any field is to examine its possible relatedness to other things.” – Frederick Sommer
“Photography is a distributive act leading to a privileged condition.” – Frederick Sommer” – Fred Sommer
“Life itself is not the reality. We are the ones who put life into stones and pebbles.” – Frederick Sommer
“Some speak of a return to nature. I wonder where they could have been.” – Frederick Sommer
“… art is images you carry. You cannot carry nature with you, but you carry images of nature. When you go out to make a picture you find you are moved by something which is in agreement with an image you already held within yourself.” – Frederick Sommer
“The field of action of a photograph should be that chessboard of the heart and mind upon which poetry and art have always operated.” – Frederick Sommer
“My photographs are not pure: they are a seething wealth of imperfection.” – Frederick Sommer
“Poetic and speculative photographs can result if one works carefully and accurately, yet letting chance relationships have full play.” – Frederick Sommer
“If I could find them (assemblages) in nature I would photograph them. I make them because through photography I have a knowledge of things that can’t be found.” – Frederick Sommer
“Art is not arbitrary. A fine painting is not there by accident; it is not arrived at by chance.” – Frederick Sommer
“Art and accident are one.” – Frederick Sommer
“Choice and chance structure art and nature.” – Frederick Sommer
“Ideas and thoughts collide and sort themselves out in these fruitful collisions.” – Frederick Sommer
“Ideas and art are the possibility of an answer tomorrow.” – Frederick Sommer
“Art accepts what it finds.” – Frederick Sommer
“In total acceptance, almost everything becomes a revelation.” – Frederick Sommer
“Art is the splendor of reality before everything has become meaning.” – Frederick Sommer
“Reality is greater than our dreams.” – Frederick Sommer
“We work for that part of our vision which is uncompleted.” – Frederick Sommer
View 12 Great Photographs By Fredrick Sommer.
View a documentary on Fredrick Sommer.
Read more in The Essential Collection Of Photographer’s Quotes.

32 Quotes By Photographer Walker Evans

 
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Walker Evans.
“The eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.” ― Walker Evans,
“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans
“Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.” – Walker Evans
“I think there is a period of esthetic discovery that happens to a man and he can do all sorts of things at white heat.” – Walker Evans
“With the camera, it’s all or nothing. You either get what you’re after at once, or what you do has to be worthless. I don’t think the essence of photography has the hand in it so much. The essence is done very quietly with a flash of the mind, and with a machine. I think too that photography is editing, editing after the taking. After knowing what to take, you have to do the editing.” – Walker Evans
Interviewer: “Do you think it’s possible for the camera to lie?”
Walker Evans: “It certainly is. It almost always does.” – Walker Evans
“I’m sometimes called a ‘documentary photographer’ but… a man operating under that definition could take a sly pleasure in the disguise. Very often I’m doing one thing when I’m thought to be doing another.” – Walker Evans
“Documentary: That’s a sophisticated and misleading word. And not really clear… The term should be documentary style… You see, a document has use, whereas art is really useless.” – Walker Evans
“I used to try to figure out precisely what I was seeing all the time, until I discovered I didn’t need to. If the thing is there, why, there it is.” – Walker Evans
“Detachment, lack of sentimentality, originality, a lot of things that sound rather empty. I know what they mean. Let’s say, “visual impact” may not mean much to anybody. I could point it out though. I mean it’s a quality that something has or does not have. Coherence. Well, some things are weak, some things are strong…” – Walker Evans
“What I believe is really good in the so-called documentary approach to photography is the addition of lyricism. This quality is usually produced unconsciously and even unintentionally and accidentally by the cameraman.” – Walker Evans
“The secret of photography is, the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler.” – Walker Evans
“When I first made photographs, they were too plain to be considered art and I wasn’t considered an artist. I didn’t get any attention at all. The people who looked at my work thought, well, that’s just a snapshot of the backyard. Privately I knew otherwise and through stubbornness stayed with it…” – Walker Evans
“I began to wonder – I knew I was an artist or wanted to be one – but I was wondering whether I really was an artist. I was doing such ordinary things that I could feel the difference. Most people would look at those things and say, ‘Well, that’s nothing. What did you do that for? That’s just a wreck of a car or a wreck of a man. That’s nothing. That isn’t art.’ They don’t say that anymore. – Walker Evans
“Leaving aside the mysteries and the inequities of human talent, brains, taste, and reputations, the matter of art in photography may come down to this: it is the capture and projection of the delights of seeing; it is the defining of observation full and felt.” – Walker Evans
“The meaning of quality in photography’s best pictures lies written in the language of vision. That language is learned by chance, not system; …our overwhelming formal education deals in words, mathematical figures and methods of rational thought, not in images.” – Walker Evans
“The photographs are not illustrative. They, and the text, are coequal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative. By their fewness, and by the importance of the reader’s eye, this will be misunderstood by most of that minority which does not wholly ignore it. In the interests, however, of the history and future of photography, that risk seems irrelevant, and this flat statement necessary.” – Walker Evans
“Somewhere in our search for reality we have passed something by, something important that we no longer find amid the bits and pieces of disassembled matter-something vital that we cannot build out of these parts. There is surely something else, some piece of divinity in us, something that was before the elements, and that owes no homage to the sun.” – Walker Evans
“It is easy to imagine fantasy as physical and myth as real. We do it almost every moment. We do this as we dream, as we think, and as we cope with the world about us. But these worlds of fantasy that we form into the solid things around us are the source of our discontent. They inspire our search to find ourselves.” – Walker Evans
“I work rather blindly. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and response to what’s before your eyes.” – Walker Evans
“I do note that photography, a despised medium to work in, is full of empty phonies and worthless commercial people. That presents quite a challenge to the man who can take delight in being in a very difficult, disdained medium.” – Walker Evans
“I say half jokingly that photography is the most difficult of the arts. It does require a certain arrogance to see and to choose. I feel myself walking on a tightrope instead of on the ground.” – Walker Evans
“Good photography is unpretentious.” – Walker Evans
“Do we know what we look like? Not really.” – Walker Evans
“…nature photographs downright bore me for some reason or other. I think: ‘Oh, yes. Look at that sand dune. What of it?’” – Walker Evans
“Photography is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances it is anything ever anywhere near a beach.” – Walker Evans
“Incidentally, part of a photographer’s gift should be with people. You can do some wonderful work if you know how to make people understand what you’re doing and feel all right about it, and you can do terrible work if you put them on the defense, which they all are at the beginning. You’ve got to take them off their defensive attitude and make them participate.” – Walker Evans
“It’s easy to photograph light reflecting from a surface, the truly hard part is capturing the light in the air.” – Walker Evans
“Privilege, if you’re very strict, is an immoral and unjust thing to have, but if you’ve got it you didn’t choose to get it and you might as well use it. You’re privileged to be at Yale, but you know you’re under an obligation to repay what’s been put into you.” – Walker Evans
“I never took it upon myself to change the world. And those contemporaries of mine who were going around falling for the idea that they were going to bring down the United States government and make a new world were just asses to me.” – Walker Evans
“It’s too presumptuous and naïve to think you can change society by a photograph or anything else… I equate that with propaganda; I think that’s a lower rank of purpose.” – Walker Evans
“Die knowing something. You’re not here long.” ― Walker Evans
See more in 12 Great Photographs By Great Photographers.
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27 Quotes By Photographer Gary Winogrand

 
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.

31 Quotes By Photographer Elliot Erwitt

 
“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
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17 Quotes By Photographer John Sexton

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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.

19 Quotes By Photographer Edward Steichen



Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Edward Steichen.
“No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.” – Edward Steichen
“I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself…” – Edward Steichen
“Art for art’s sake is dead, if it ever lived.” – Edward Steichen
“It is an error common to many artists, (who) strive merely to avoid mistakes, when all our efforts should be to create positive and important work. Better positive and important with mistakes and failures than perfect mediocrity.” – Edward Steichen
“The precision of his (Harry Callahan) skill places his work beyond the tentative and the experimental stage. He is continually searching and exploring both himself and his surroundings. and in this exploration of the realm of places, people and things, contrasts and relationships, Callahan is no respecter of conventional technical formula or code. His delicate sense of pattern is an integral part of his photography and not a thing by itself.” – Edward Steichen
“Most photographers seem to operate with a pane of glass between themselves and their subjects. They just can’t get inside and know the subject.” – Edward Steichen
“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen
“When I first became interested in photography, I thought it was the whole cheese. My idea was to have it recognized as one of the fine arts. Today I don’t give a hoot in hell about it. The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself. And that is no mean function.” – Edward Steichen
“Photography is a major force in explaining man to man.” – Edward Steichen
“There is only one optimist. He has been here since man has been on this earth, and that is man himself. If we hadn’t had such a magnificent optimism to carry us through all these things, we wouldn’t be here. We have survived it on our optimism.” – Edward Steichen
“A photograph is worth a thousand words, provided it is accompanied by only ten words.” – Edward Steichen
“When that shutter clicks, anything else that can be done afterward is not worth consideration.” – Edward Steichen
“Every other artist begins (with) a blank canvas, a piece of paper… the photographer begins with the finished product.” – Edward Steichen
“It is rather amusing, this tendency of the wise to regard a print which has been locally manipulated as irrational photography – this tendency which finds an esthetic tone of expression in the word faked. A MANIPULATED print may be not a photograph. The personal intervention between the action of the light and the print itself may be a blemish on the purity of photography. But, whether this intervention consists merely of marking, shading and tinting in a direct print, or of stippling, painting and scratching on the negative, or of using glycerine, brush and mop on a print, faking has set in, and the results must always depend upon the photographer, upon his personality, his technical ability and his feeling. BUT long before this stage of conscious manipulation has been begun, faking has already set in. In the very beginning, when the operator controls and regulates his time of exposure, when in dark-room the developer is mixed for detail, breadth, flatness or contrast, faking has been resorted to. In fact, every photograph is a fake from start to finish, a purely impersonal, unmanipulated photograph being practically impossible. When all is said, it still remains entirely a matter of degree and ability.” – Edward Steichen
“Photography is a medium of formidable contradictions. It is both ridiculously easy and almost impossibly difficult. It is easy because its technical rudiments can readily be mastered by anyonwith a few simple instructions. It is difficult because, while while the artist working in any other medium begins with a blank surface and gradually brings his conception into being, the photographer is the only imagemaker who begins with the picture completed. His emotions, his knowledge, and his native talent are brought into focus and fixed beyond recall the moment the shutter of his camera has closed.” – Edward Steichen
“The use of the term “art medium” is, to say the least, misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium. It is the artist in photography that gives form to content by a distillation of ideas, thought, experience, insight and understanding.” – Edward Steichen
“To make good photographs, to express something, to contribute something to the world he lives in, and to contribute something to the art of photography besides imitations of the best photographers on the market today, that is basic training, the understanding of self.” – Edward Steichen
“Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.” – Edward Steichen
“Some day there may be… machinery that needs but to be wound up and sent roaming o’er hill and dale, through fields and meadows, by babbling brooks and shady woods – in short, a machine that will discriminately select its subject and, by means of a skillful arrangement of springs and screws, compose its motif, expose the plate, develop, print, and even mount and frame the result of its excursion, so that there will be nothing for us to do but to send it to the Royal Photographic Society’s exhibition and gratefully to receive the ‘Royal Medal’.” – Edward Steichen
View 12 Great Photographs By Edward Steichen here.

Watch a documentary on Edward Steichen here.

Find more quotes in The Essential Collection Quotes By Photographers.

15 Quotes By Photographer Emmet 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.

10 Quotes By Photographer Eliot Porter


Enjoy this collection of quotes by Eliot Porter.
“Every photograph that is made whether by one who considers himself a professional, or by the tourist who points his snapshot camera and pushes a button, is a response to the exterior world, to something perceived outside himself by the person who operates the camera.” – Eliot Porter
“Photographs are believed more than words; thus they can be used persuasively to show people who have never taken the trouble to look what is there.” – Eliot Porter
“Photography is a strong tool, a propaganda device, and a weapon for the defense of the environment…and therefore for the fostering of a healthy human race and even very likely for its survival.” – Eliot Porter
“I don’t think it’s necessary to put your feelings about photography in words. I’ve read things that photographers have written for exhibitions and so forth about their subjective feelings about photography and mostly I think it’s disturbing. I think they’re fooling themselves very often. They’re just talking, they’re not saying anything.” – Eliot Porter
“I do not photograph for ulterior purposes. I photograph for the thing itself — for the photograph — without consideration of how it may be used.” – Eliot Porter
“You learn to see by practice. It’s just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.” – Eliot Porter
“Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject.” – Eliot Porter
“But before all else a work of art is the creation of love. Love for the subject first and for the medium second. Love is the fundamental necessity underlying the need to create, underlying the emotion that gives it form, and from which grows the unfinished product that is presented to the world. Love is the general criterion by which the rare photograph is judged. It must contain it to be not less than the best of which the photographer is capable.” – Eliot Porter
“My emotions, instincts, and interests are all with nature.” – Eliot Porter
“Much is missed if we have eyes only for the bright colors. Nature should be viewed without distinction… She makes no choice herself; everything that happens has equal significance. Nothing can be dispensed with. This is a common mistake that many people make: They think that half of nature can be destroyed — the uncomfortable half — while still retaining the acceptable and the pleasing side.” – Eliot Porter
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12 Quotes By Photographer John Pfahl

 
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer John Pfahl.
“People think the camera steals their soul. Places, I am convinced, are affected in the opposite direction. The more they are photographed (or drawn and painted) the more soul they seem to accumulate.” – John Pfahl
“It would have been possible to structure my photographs in such a way that no indicators of the present were discernible. However, I wanted to incorporate into the project as a whole the jostling of time-frames I would feel as I set up my tripod on various rocky promontories.” – John Pfahl
“I often wondered why I was attracted to certain landscapes and not others and why my photographs (and depictions by other artists) looked the way they did, Archetypes imprinted on my mind started me on a search …” – John Pfahl
“Somehow I felt that if Fox Talbot had had more time and more drawing talent, he would have filled in the interval between his two drawings and made a complete panorama. Now, 163 years later, I was able to use his great invention to elaborate on his youthful dream of capturing and fixing the fleeting image. In doing so, I may also have added another little bit to the soul of this extraordinary place.” – John Pfahl
“I have been using the art of photography to research the ways in which the pictorial strategies of the Nineteenth Century color the way in which the American landscape is apprehended by today’s viewers.” – John Pfahl
“Photography, of course, is the perfect medium for the investigation. It can reveal the truth of present day specifics and particularities, while at the same time, by conscious choice of lighting and pictorial structure, suggest the aesthetic legacy of the past.” – John Pfahl
“It is not without trepidation that I have appropriated the codes of “the Sublime” and “the Picturesque” in my work. After all, serious photographers have spent most of this century trying to expunge such extravagances from their art. The tradition lives on, mostly in calendars and picture postcards. I was challenged to rework and revitalize that which had been so roundly denigrated.” – John Pfahl
“While making my “picture window” photographs, I came to think that every room was like a gigantic camera forever pointed at the same view.”” – John Pfahl
“Strangers with puzzled looks were amazingly cooperative in letting me into their rooms with my photographic gear. They let me take down the curtains, wash the windows, and rearrange the furniture. Often, too, they expressed their desire to share their view with others, as if it were a non-depletable treasure.
I liked the idea that my photographic vantage points were not solely determined by myself. They were predetermined by others, sometimes years earlier, and patiently waited for me to discover them.” – John Pfahl
“As Estelle Jussim wrote, it is almost impossible for a single photograph to state both the problem and the solution.” – John Pfahl
“I became wary of simple interpretations that assumed fixed and final meanings.” – John Pfahl
“I want to make photographs whose very ambiguity provokes thought, rather than cuts it off prematurely. I want to make pictures that work on a more mysterious level, that approach the truth by a more circuitous route.” – John Pfahl
Find out more about John Pfahl here.
Explore The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.