“At B&H’s Optic 2018, photographer Keith Carter talks about myths, magic, and mojo. He believes that the best way to elevate your photography is to tell the truth as you know it through your photos, and he stresses that there are great lessons to be learned by revisiting history. We can learn a lot about how to shoot well – even in this digital age – by studying classic photos that pre-date digital photography.”
Find out more about Keith Carter here.
Read our conversation here.
Read quotes by Keith Carter here.
View 12 Great Photographs By Keith Carter here.
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Dorothea Lange.
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange
“Put your camera around your neck along with putting on your shoes, and there it is, an appendage of the body that shares your life with you.” – Dorothea Lange
“I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck.” – Dorothea Lange
“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.” – Dorothea Lange
“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” – Dorothea Lange
“To be good, photographs have to be full of the world.” – Dorothea Lange
“Photographers stop photographing a subject too soon before they have exhausted the possibilities.” – Dorothea Lange
“You know, so often it’s just sticking around and being there, remaining there, not swooping out in a cloud of dust: sitting down on the ground with people, letting children look at your camera with their dirty, grimy little hands, and putting their fingers on the lens, and you just let them, because you know that if you will behave in a generous manner, you are apt to receive it, you know?” – Dorothea Lange
“This benefit of seeing…can come only if you pause a while, extricate yourself from the maddening mob of quick impressions ceaselessly battering our lives, and look thoughtfully at a quiet image…the viewer must be willing to pause, to look again, to meditate.” – Dorothea Lange
“It is not a factual photograph per se. The documentary photograph carries with it another thing, a quality in the subject that the artist responds to. It is a photograph which carries the full meaning of the episode or the circumstance or the situation that can only be revealed – because you can’t really recapture it – by this other quality. There is no real warfare between the artist and the documentary photographer. He has to be both.” – Dorothea Lange
“Art is a by-product of an act of total attention.” – Dorothea Lange
“I would like to see photographers become responsible and photography realize its potential.” – Dorothea Lange
“My own approach is based upon three considerations. First – hands off ! Whenever I photograph I do not molest or tamper with or arrange. Second – a sense of place. I try to picture as part of its surroundings, as having roots. Third – a sense of time. Whatever I photograph, I try to show as having its position in the past or in the present.” – Dorothea Lange
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error of confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.” – Dorothea Lange
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange
“Every image he sees, every photograph he takes, becomes in a sense a self-portrait. The portrait is made more meaningful by intimacy – an intimacy shared not only by the photographer with his subject but by the audience.” – Dorothea Lange
“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion…the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.” – Dorothea Lange
“As photographers, we turn our attention to the familiarities of which we are a part. So turning, we in our work can speak more than of our subject – we can speak with them; we can more than speak about our subjects – we can speak for them. They, given tongue, will be able to speak with and for us. And in this language will be proposed to the lens that with which, in the end, photography must be concerned – time, and place, and the works of man.” – Dorothea Lange
“I’ve never not been sure that I was a photographer any more than you would not be sure you were yourself. I was a photographer, or wanting to be a photographer, or beginning – but some phase of photographer I’ve always been.” – Dorothea Lange
“It came to me that what I had to do was to take pictures and concentrate on people, only people, all kinds of people, people who paid me and people who didn’t.” – Dorothea Lange
“I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch.” – Dorothea Lange
“The good photograph is not the object, the consequences of the photograph are the objects.” – Dorothea Lange
Enjoy this video portrait of photographer Imogene Cunningham.
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Imogene Cunningham.
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I was brought up on art. My father thought I had a great hand at art and sent me to art school. But he did not want me to become a photographer.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I was poor. When you’re poor you work, and when you’re rich you expect somebody to hand it to you. So I think being reasonably poor is very good for people.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I never stopped photographing. There were a couple of years when I didn’t have a darkroom, but that didn’t stop me from photographing.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I photograph anything that can be exposed to light. The reason during the twenties that I photographed plants was that I had three children under the age of four to take care of so I was cooped up. I had a garden available and I photographed them indoors. Later when I was free I did other things.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I wasn’t very ambitious. I think that’s the solution. I just took things as they came. I wouldn’t say I didn’t have any problem, but I didn’t care. I didn’t think I was going to save the world by doing photography as some of these people do. I was just having a good time doing it, and so I still had a good time no matter what I had to photograph.” – Imogen Cunningham
“One must be able to gain an understanding at short notice and close range of the beauties of character, intellect, and spirit so as to be able to draw out the best qualities and make them show in the outer aspect of the sitter. To do this one must not have a too pronounced notion of what constitutes beauty in the external and, above all, must not worship it. To worship beauty for its own sake is narrow, and one surely cannot derive from it that esthetic pleasure which comes from finding beauty in the commonest things.” – Imogen Cunningham
“A woman said to me when she first sat down, You’re photographing the wrong side of my face. I said, Oh, is there one?” – Imogen Cunningham
“So many people dislike themselves so thoroughly that they never see any reproduction of themselves that suits. None of us is born with the right face. It’s a tough job being a portrait photographer. – Imogen Cunningham
“The thing that’s fascinating about portraiture is that nobody is alike.” – Imogen Cunningham
“I’m never satisfied staying in one spot very long, I couldn’t stay with the mountains and I couldn’t stay with the trees and I couldn’t stay with the rivers. But I can always stay with people, because they really are different. ” – Imogen Cunningham
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little. People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.” – Imogen Cunningham
“There are too many people studying it (photography) now who are never going to make it. You can’t give them a formula for making it. You have to have it in you first, you don’t learn it. The seeing eye is the important thing.” – Imogen Cunningham
“The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.
“You know, a documentary is only interesting once in a while. If you look at a whole book of Dorothea [Lange]’s where she has row after row of people bending over and digging out carrots – that can be very tedious. And so it’s only once in a while that something happens that is worth doing.” – Imogen Cunningham
“Everybody who does anything for the public can be criticized. There’s always someone who doesn’t like it.” – Imogen Cunningham
“Once a woman who does street work said to me, ‘I’ve never photographed anyone I haven’t asked first.’ I said to her, ‘Suppose Cartier-Bresson asked the man who jumped the puddle to do it again – it never would have been the same. Start stealing!’ – Imogen Cunningham
“I don’t talk about success. I don’t know what it is. Wait until I’m dead.” – Imogen Cunningham
“Berenice Abbott’s Documenting Science was a partnership with MIT for use in school textbooks. Its subject and design elements are as timeless as nature and science themselves.”
View 12 Great Photographs By Bernice Abbot.
Read Great Quotes By Photographer Bernice Abbot.
Enjoy this rare interview with photographer / historian Beaumont Newhall.
Explore The Essential Collection Of Quotes By Photographers.
Explore 12 More 12 Great Photographs Collections here.
Explore The Essential Collection Of Documentaries On Photographers
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About Magnum Photos
In 1947 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David Seymour founded one of the most important artists’ cooperative ever created – The Magnum Photos agency.
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