Selected Quotes about Photography

I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else. Excitement about the subject is the voltage which pushes me over the mountain of drudgery necessary to produce the final photograph. -- Berenice Abbott

Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself. -- Berenice Abbott

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

Photography helps people to see. -- Berenice Abbott

What the human eye observes causally and incuriously, the eye of the camera notes with relentless fidelity. -- Berenice Abbott

'To the complaint, 'There are no people in these photographs,' I respond, 'There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.' -- Ansel Adams

I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term -- meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching -- there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster. -- Ansel Adams

In my mind's eye, I visualize how a particular . . . sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice. -- Ansel Adams

Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter. -- Ansel Adams

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. -- Ansel Adams

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. -- Diane Arbus

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. -- Diane Arbus

I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do -- that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse. -- Diane Arbus

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 extraordinary. -- David Bailey

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum. -- Tallulah Bankhead

The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget. -- John Berger

The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget. -- John Berger

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. -- Henri Cartier Bresson

Blessed be the inventor of photography! It has given more positive pleasure to poor suffering humanity than anything else that has "cast up" in my time -- this art by which even the "poor" can possess themselves of tolerable of their absent dear ones. -- Jane Welsh Carlyle

Actually, I'm not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I'm not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren't cooks. -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box. -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event. -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

The camera has an interest in turning history into spectacle, but none in reversing the process. At best, the picture leaves a vague blur in the observer's mind; strong enough to send him into battle perhaps, but not to have him understand why he is going. -- Denis Donoghue

Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the 'ah-ha'. -- Ernst Haas

The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE. -- Ernst Haas

We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don't know these lost people but if you look around, you'll find someone just like them. -- Gene McSweeney

Photography, fortunately, to me has not only been a profession but also a contact between people - to understand human nature and record, if possible, the best in each individual. -- Nickolas Muray

Photograph is a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art. It is a little better than the work of an Apache, but not quite so good as that of a Cheyenne. -- Ambrose Pierce

Maybe because it's entirely an artist's eye, patience and skill that makes an image and not his tools. -- Ken Rockwell

No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want. -- Ken Rockwell

The camera's only job is to get out of the way of making photographs. -- Ken Rockwell

Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you can spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need. -- Ken Rockwell

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man. -- 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

I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything. -- John Steinbeck

For half a century, photography has been the "art form" of the untalented. Obviously some pictures are more satisfactory than others, but where is credit due? To the designer of the camera? To the finger on the button? To the law of averages? -- Gore Vidal

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen. -- Minor White

A very receptive state of mind... not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it. -- Minor White

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen. -- Minor White

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

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. -- Oscar Wilde

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