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Random Quotes, (In Random Order):

"...To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters..." - Harry Callihan

"Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts." - Minor White

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

"A painter works with color as the medium, a photographer works with light." - Carlotta M. Corpron

"Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence." - Minor White

A newspaper report in the Leipzig City Advertiser (c.1839) stated: "The wish to capture evanescent reflections is not only impossible... but the mere desire alone, the will to do so, is blasphemy. God created man in His own image, and no man-made machine may fix the image of God. Is it possible that God should have abandoned His eternal principles, and allowed a Frenchman... to give to the world an invention of the Devil?" - Quoted by Dr R. Leggat, Royal Photographic Society

"Here are faces that I have found memorable. If they are not all as happy as kings, it is because in this imperfect world and these hazardous times, the camera's eye, like the eye of a child, often sees true." - Toni Frissell

Writing is not about words. Painting is not about pigment. Music is not about tones. As long as photographers insist that photography is about photographs, the art is limited and self-containing! - Brook Jensen, LWQ, no.18, p.56

"I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself...." - Edward Steichen

"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." - Jacques-Henri Lartigue

"I don't know what too much film is, but I do know what's not enough. Not enough is when there are images you want to capture and you're out of film. I never want that to happen to me again." - Forrest H. R. Bard

"There are three things to leave behind: your photographs, your library and your personal journals. These things are certainly going to be more valuable to future generations than your furniture!" - Jim Rohn

"(I)f you take photos, don't speak, don't write, don't analyze yourself, and don't answer any questions." - Robert Doisneau

"The technique of 35mm photography appears simple. One is beguiled by the quick viewing and operation, and by the very questionable inclination to make many pictures with the hope that some will be good." – Saint Ansel (Adams)

"Photography is not just a pleasure, it is a need. Like breathing air or drinking water...I need it." - Julia Bailey (Grigrigirl)

"Catherine, if you teach the children nothing else, teaching them to see the light." - Myron Wood, quoted by Cathy O’Canna

“I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” Woody Allen

"I like to make people look as good as they'd like to look, and with luck, a shade better." - Norman Parkinson

"I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight." - Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre

"If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't have to lug a camera." - Lewis Hine

We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

"It seems positively unnatural to travel without taking a camera along... The very activity of taking pictures is soothing and assuages general feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel." - Susan Sontag, On Photography

"It (photography) is my one recreation and I think it should be done well." - Lewis Carroll

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

"When gifts are given to me through my camera, I accept them graciously." - Minor White

"Photography is not my hobby, it's not my profession: it's my Mistress and my passion!" - David Timms

"To the complaint, 'There are no people in your photographs,' there are always two people. The photographer and the viewer." - St. Ansel

"It's marvellous, marvellous! Nothing will ever be as much fun. I'm going to photograph everything, everything!" - Jacques-Henri Lartigue, (after taking his first photographs)

"I've never made any picture, good or bad, without paying for it in emotional turmoil." - W. Eugene Smith

"My picture-taking and picture-making are as different as day and night. I take my pictures quite unconsciously. I see them in my mind and. . . it is done without thinking. I feel the exposure. My only concern is to be ready for that moment of truth, always ready to grasp it quickly before it's gone, or to wait patiently until that split-second when it appears." - Nell Dorr

To take a photograph is to participate in another person's(or thing's) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt.- Susan Sontag, On Photography

"The function of the photographer is to help people understand the world around them." - Sid Grossman

"The portrait I do best is of the person I know best." - Nadar

"The ability to make a truly artistic photograph is not acquired off-hand, but is the result of an artistic instinct coupled with years of labor." - Alfred Steiglitz

"It fills the frame from corner to corner...." - Casey Bohne, on how to comment tactfully on a less-than-impressive photo

"It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary." - David Bailey

"It is only a little planet but how beautiful it is. Water that owns the north and west and south and is all colors and is never quiet, and the fogs are its breath. . . All the free companies of windy grasses. . . pure naked rock. . . a lonely clearing: a little field of corn by the streamside; a roof under spared trees. Love that, not man apart from that...." - Robinson Jeffers

"Photographs are the most reliable, the most correct recording means, and therefore they become the most important aid in educating and obtaining instruction." - Sir Benjamin Stone

"Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past." - Berenice Abbott

"Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true." - Jacques-Henri Lartigue

"Photography will be the twentieth-century art - and the international language." - Willard Morgan, 1925

"Portraits are the most intimate photographs. The image will survive the subject." - Skrebneski

"Edward and I both agreed with the view of a Greek friend of ours, Jean Varda, who was fond of saying there were three perfect shapes in the world .... the hull of a boat, a violin and a woman's body." -Charis Wilson, Edward Weston Nudes

"The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself. And that is the most complicated thing on earth." - Edward Jean Steichen

"Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography - that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent." - Alfred Stieglitz

"The photo is a thing in itself. And that's what still photography is all about." - Garry Winograd

"There are as many photographs possible from a single negative as the artist can imagine. I can never bear to finish with a negative, to say, 'This is it.' Tomorrow I can come and make new pictures from that negative. This is the thing I love most of all: the making of the final picture. No one else can do that for me, nor do I ever completely satisfy myself." - Nell Dorr

"There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own." - Berenice Abbott

"Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn't go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

"To do a portrait today, I decide how close I can get to my subject. First, of course, mentally or intellectually, then in the viewfinder. Music cues the subject and me when to shoot. The music played during a photography session is most important -- stimulating to the subject and to me. As in a film, the music builds or becomes quiet, romantic; just one note sets the actor up to emote for his audience. I want a reciprocal portrait, not a bureaucratic one." - Skrebneski

"When choosing a tripod, buy the most expensive one you can afford, and the biggest one your wife can carry." - Chuck from McBain Camera, Edmonton

"When I have had such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavored to do its duty to them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man. The photograph thus taken has almost the embodiment of a prayer." - Julia Margaret Cameron

"My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person." - Andy Warhol

"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people." - Annie Leibowitz

"There's no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I'm always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don't give a damn how it got made." -Minor White

"Look how noble the world is, the lonely-flowing waters, the secret-keeping stones, the flowing sky...." - Robinson Jeffers

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world." - Hans Margolius

"In photography, the biggest difference between an amateur and a professional is... the size of the wastebasket." - quoted by David Timms

"Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions. Ask yourself: "Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print - my own personal statement of what I feel and want to convey - from the subject before me?" - St. Ansel (Adams)

"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible." - Jonathan Swift

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important." - Bertrand Russell

"(Professional) photographers are like Hookers: at first we started doing it because we liked it and it felt good, then we kept doing it but only for our friends, and NOW we're still doing it but are charging money for doing it!" – Dean Collins

"I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn." - Pablo Picasso


Edward Weston Quotes:

"I see no reason for recording the obvious." – Daybook II, p.252

Anything that excites me, for any reason, I will photograph: not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual, nor indulging in extraordinary technique to attract attention. – Daybook II, p. 155

My way of working – I start with no preconceived idea... discovery excites me to focus – then rediscovery though the lens – final form of presentation seen on ground glass, the finished print previsioned complete in every detail of texture, movement, proportion, before exposure – – the shutter's release automatically and finally fixes my conception, allowing no after manipulation – the ultimate end, the print, is but a duplication of all I saw and felt through the camera. – Daybook II

The... arguments against photography ever being considered a fine art are: the element of chance which enters in, finding things ready-made for a machine to record, and of course the mechanics of the medium. ...I say that chance enters into all branches of art: a chance word or phrase starts a new trend of thought in a writer, a chance sound may bring a new melody to a musician, a chance combination of lines, new composition to a painter. ...Chance – which in reality is not chance – but being ready, attuned to one's surroundings – and grasp my opportunity.... Daybook II

I was extravagant in the matter of cameras – anything photographic – I had to have the best. But that was to further my work. In most things I have gone along with the plainest – or without. – Daybook II, p. 159

There is nothing like a Bach fugue to remove me from a discordant moment... only Bach hold up fresh and strong after repeated playing. I can always return to Bach when the other records weary me. – Daybook II


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