Quotes About Photography

 

Photography is a system of visual editing. At bottom, it is a matter of surrounding with a frame a portion of one's cone of vision, while standing in the right place at the right time. Like chess, or writing, it is a matter of choosing from among given possibilities, but in the case of photography the number of possibilities is not finite but infinite.

-John Szarkowski

 

Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing; light is everything.

-Leonard Misonne

 

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technicque, who ask "how," while others of a more curious nature will ask "why." Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.

-Man Ray

 

No matter how slow the film, spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen.

-Minor White

 

The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.

-Paul Strand

 

Many pictures turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own. There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.

-Robert Heinecken

 

To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical
and intellectual joy.

-Henri Cartier Bresson

 

The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.

-Edward Weston

 

If you are not passionately devoted to an idea, you can make very pleasant pictures but they won't make you cry.

-Ruth Bernhard

 

Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a pene- trating statement, which can be described in a very simple term - selectivity.

-Berenice Abbott

 

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

 

"There is no art which affords less opportunity to execute expression than photography. Everything is concentrated in a few seconds, when after perhaps an hours seeking, waiting, and hesitation, the photographer sees the realization of his inward vision,     and in that moment he has one advantage over most arts - his medium is swift enough   to record his momentary inspiration.

-Sadakichi Hartmann

 

Photographs are perhaps the most mysterious of all the objects that make up, and thicken, the environment we recognize as modern. Photographs really are experience captured, and the camera is the ideal arm of consciousness in its acquisitive mood.

-Susan Sontag

 

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.

-W. H. Auden

 

The two most engaging powers of [a photographer] are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.

-W. Thackeray

 

The meaning of quality in photography's best pictures lies written in the language of vision. That language is learned by chance, not system.

-Walker Evans

 

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

 

When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision.

-Edward Weston

 

Pictures are wasted unless the motive power which impelled you to action is strong and stirring.

-Berenice Abbott

 

Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic.

-Edward Weston

 

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

 

The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks!

-Henri Cartier-Bresson (during the 1930's)

 

Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be.

-Edward Weston

 

 

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Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyrighted by G. Arnell Williams.

This site is dedicated to the memories of my brother Roderic Terrance Williams (1953 - 2000)

&  Herb Lewis (1918 - 2009) an inspiration to the photographers who knew him.