Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.
In order to educate man to a new longing, everyday familiar objects must be shown to him with totally unexpected perspectives and in unexpected situations. New objects should be depicted from different sides in order to provide a complete impression of the object.
Keep it simple.
When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.
It is more important to click with people than to click with the shutter.
The fight for photography became my life.
You will find as you go through life that if you ask what a thing means, a picture, or music, or whatever, you may learn something about the people you ask, but as for learning about the thing you seek to know, you will have sense it in the end through your own experience, so that you had better save your energy and not go through the world asking what cannot be communicated in words. If the artist could describe in words what he does, then he never would have created it.
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.
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Of course a picture can lie, but only if you are not honest with yourself…
You do not have to imagine things; reality gives you all you need.
A photographer must learn to photograph everything. I see new things every day
Unless a subject interests me, I’ll pass it over and save my film for better things.
Die Gefahr einer tautologischen Aussage ware gegeben, wenn der Kunstler das Bestehende bildhaft bestätigt, und eine Abstrahierung des Faktischen auf eine höhere Ebene nicht glücken würde. Ware das fotografische Abbild nicht mehr als die Summe seiner einzelnen Teile, hatten wir es natürlich immer mit einem reproduktiven Abbild zu tun. Mir geht es bei meinen Bildern aber stets darum, daß ihr tatsachlicher Bedeutungszusammenhang unklar bleibt.
In my work, I explore my own Catholic obsessions.
I am an artist first and a photographer second.
I think that if the Vatican is smart,someday they’ll collect my work.
My idea of a good picture is one that is in focus and of a famous person.
The hardest thing in photography is to create a simple image.
I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.
People buy ideas, they don’t buy photographs.
I still need the camera because it is the only reason anyone is talking to me.
If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.
Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.
You don’t take a photograph. You make it.
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.
You make tests, preferably with the soft paper. Just take a strip test and that shows you everything that’s in the negative. Suppose that I start with a new negative for me, one I haven’t seen for 20 years. I just make a print and see, and then I can revisualize the image that I wanted. Then I build up contrast. Of course, I have to get the print to have all the correct feeling. Then I write down how I did it, so no matter how many duplicates I have to make, I have my basic instructions. And then I’ll remember that I have to shade in here, maybe five seconds during the exposure, and burn it a little and…that’s all written out, it’s all charted out, you see. And I use an electric metronome in the darkroom rather than a clock timer. Rather than having to look at a clock I can watch the print. I can watch for three seconds here and burn for five there. And all the time there’s a timer going in my head.
The music doesn`t really give me that many ideas. Also with this album their music wasn`t that experimental. It was different with Achtung Baby where the music was really experimental and you see that reflected in the pictures. So for me its more important to find places where they feel at ease, that’s more my kind of set up. And furthermore I really didn`t like U2s music in the beginning. When I did my first shooting with them in New Orleans, I mainly accepted it because of the city. On the flight there I was listening to ‘October’ and it really wasn`t my cup of tea. So I wanted to take some pictures, hear a few songs and they go to the city and have a look at it. What I didn`t realise was that the concert took place on a boat that went onto the Mississippi once the concert started. So I was forced to stay on the boat and listen to them…
Photography has taken me from isolation.
By self-analysis you can not change your character, but you may change your mentality.
Happiness always contains a mixture of something like unhappiness. When I photograph unhappiness I only capture unhappiness, but when I photograph happiness, life, death, and everything else comes through. Unhappiness seems grave and heavy; happiness is light, but happiness has its own heaviness, a looming sense of death.
Photography was destined to be involved with death. Reality is in color, but at its beginnings photography always discolored reality and turned it into black and white. Color is life, black and white is death. A ghost was hiding in the invention of photography.
While it’s all well and good to take advantage of what digital has to offer it’s crucial to not neglect those things that are absolutely essential to all photography. I mean, unflinchingly photographing the most personal subjects. Men photograph women. Women photograph men. It’s not just taking pictures of things like the sky and city streets that a photographer thinks are neat (laughs). Take the love out and it means nothing. There’s an aspect of photography that has nothing to do with whether a photo is shot with digital or conventional techniques, and the photographer must consider it.
I am interested in what motivates individuals, what they do with their lives, their personalities, and how I perceive and interpret them. But of equal importance, or of perhaps even greater importance is that, even if the person is not known or already forgotten, the photograph itself should still be of interest or even excite the viewer. That is what my life and work is all about.
We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds.
Photography is 1% percent inspiration and 99% moving furniture.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)
Photography offers the most complete satisfaction of our curiosity.
In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.
Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.
Photography helps people to see.
What the human eye observes causally and incuriously, the eye of the camera notes with relentless fidelity.
The more you do, the more you realize there is to do, what a vast object the metropolis is, and how the work of photographing could go on forever.
We simply thought that we would be considerably poorer in Europe if we didn’t have the sacred buildings of earlier epochs. It’s still possible to experience the Gothic period, not to mention the Romantic. Only nothing remains of the industrial age. So we thought that our photos would give the viewer the chance to go back to a time that is gone forever.
As time went by we developed a sort of ideology without ever formulating it as such. I’ve always said that we are documenting the sacred buildings of Calvinism. Calvinism rejects all forms of art and therefore never developed its own architecture. The buildings we photograph originate directly from this purely economical thinking.
There was all sorts of talent in our school. The rest was coincidence. All we did was to turn back the time to a photography of precision which is superior to the human eye. Other art schools used to put the fear of God into their students by asking them ‘Can you make a living out of that?’ We wanted just the opposite and simply told them to make stuff first and then we’d go on from there. They could see how we’d made our way. Showing by doing, maybe that was it. What d’you say, Hilla?
When someone discovers something in their lives that really interests them, then they should be content with doing that – without having to go and lie on a beach once a year.
I remember the first time I took a picture with a camera as a kid. I was so amazed by the very fact that I could photograph my mother, in the kitchen without lights. Years later I got the same feeling being able to turn on a video tape recorder and record sound and images in low light…. and it worked! It’s hard to imagine today how powerful this technology was to us then. The still camera gave me an identity. I could document my life. I could record those fabulous moments–like a girl I met, or my mother–or anything. Video brought that feeling back to me.
When a portrait evokes a feeling, then you’ve got something. Technique isn’t really important. What I want is a believeable moment.
You know, the Chinese don’t like to be photographed because they believe that a part of their life is being taken away by the photographer. And in a way, they’re right. The photographer is trying to get the prettiest moment of a life in his camera.
Women especially ask me to take their pictures, because they think I’ll make them beatuful.
Speaking of Andy Warhol, I had a store years ago across from my studio on 1st Avenue. We sold innovative objects, art objects, Lichtenstein paper plates and Marilyn Monroe scarves. I had lunch with Warhol one day and asked him to let me sell his movies in the store. He wouldnít agree right away like the other artists. I think he thought it was a good idea and he should do it himself. Anyhow, he left and went back to his studio and got shot that afternoon. From then on whenever I’d see him at a party he’d cross the room saying, “No, no, last time I met with him I got shot.
I have the urge to achieve now. If I forget everything I’ve done it will just end up on the street one day. It’s a huge job. You know George Eastman House is still archiving Steichen. I’ve lost a lot of negatives, but some images can be recreated from the contact sheets electronically. I’ve hired myself to do the job of organizing my material.
It is about faking. Fake games, fake locations. The girls are in fake reality because that’s where you are when you’re young;it’s not real life.
The work has to do with not knowing how to use your seductiveness.
A good nude photograph can be erotic, but certainly not sentimental or pornographic.
I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive.
I have found this subject and I like to make the most of it. I think that, in this part of the world at least, it cannot die – it will be there forever, as long as there will be people around here. I say, in this part of the world, because in fact there are homeless people everywhere.
For me the criterion of a good photograph is that it is unforgettable.
We should try, without creasing to tear ourselves constantly by leaving our subjects and even photography itself from time to time, in order that we may come back to them with reawakened zest, with the virginal eye. That is the most precious thing we can possess.
A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.
Most of the good-looking people I’ve met in my life are always wearing a hat pulled over their faces. They don’t look into the mirror, and they never expect anybody to find them attractive.
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Photography must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created not supplanted literature.
To pick a character like that was about my own ambivilance about sexuality – growing up with the women role models that I had, and a lot of them in films, that were like that character,
and yet you were supposed to be a good girl.
The work is what it is and hopelfully it’s seen as feminist work, or feminist-adviced work, but I’m not going to go around sepousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff.
If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already… the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.
When I do work, I get so much done in such a concentrated time that once I’m through a series, I’m so drained I don’t want to get near the camera.
Clarence Hudson White
I do not believe a photographer should go with a preconceived idea of what he is going to get. He should be moved by his subject. If he is not, he will become blind to the most beautiful aspects of nature.
Some magazines have a policy to show only a certain amount of black girls on their covers. Naomi is right. It’s not fair, and I wish it would change.
It’s something I decided from the very beginning I would never do – nudity.
I have an obvious talent for somberness.
I prefer to work with gay fashion designers because they have a fantasy of a woman whereas straight designers have a vision of a woman they want to sleep with,which is not always the right image for what they’re trying to sell. A fantasy of a woman is much more applicable to fashion.
If you try to get famous you won’t, but if you don’t care you probably will. You’ve got to stick to your guns, too, because once you back down you’re finished. The drawback of being famous is you get criticised for your fame rather than your work. People judge your lifestyle, not what you do. There used to be a lot of resentment if you had flash cars and beautiful women.
They’re photographs of cocks and vaginas. They’re kind of medical, done absolutely close-up with no pretensions to lighting or anything. I just thought it’s something everybody’s got but you never see them in photographs. And, you’d be surprised at the personality of them; you can’t believe that every one is different.
I got no reaction to the show in the papers, none! The English! They didn’t see them, they tended to look away all the time. There was no reaction at all, not even horror. I would have liked there to have been horror, but the English are not particularly responsive to anything visual, they still live in the world of Shakespeare. In England, being an artist is considered something rich people do on weekends.
My wife has this great theory, she says taste comes from food. When people love food, like the French and Italians do, they concern themselves with other aesthetic things. The English don’t care much about food so it reflects on the rest of it, on all aspects of life. Her theory has definitely got something going for it. Food leads to other things.
The satisfaction comes from working next to 500 photographers and coming away with something different.
I want to catch youth on its heigth.
Slowly I began to use cameras and then think about what it was that was going on. It took me a long time, I mean I actually played with cameras and photography for about 20 years.
But the moment you use an ordinary camera, you are not seeing the picture, remember, meaning, you had to remember what you’ve taken. Now you could see it of course, with a digital thing, but remember in 1982 you couldn’t.
The computer is slave to the camera, because without a good photograph all the technology in the world doesn’t take a good picture. you have to have a good photograph to begin with.
My work is about making candy for the eyes. It’s about grabbing your attention.
People say photographs don’t lie, mine do.
If you want reality take the bus.
It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.
Most people go through life dreading the’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with a trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. The’re aristocrats.
These are characters in a fairy tale for grown-ups. Wouldn’t it be lovely? Yes.
I always thought photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, it felt perverse.
I really believe there are things nobody would see if I did’nt photograph them.
A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.
My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.
One thing I would never photograph is a dog lying in the mud.
When I think of home I see a giant bulletin board packed with hundreds of thousands of photographs thumb-tacked across the panorama of my mind. Over the years the images that refuse to disappear center on the beauty of Spanish architecture. It’s almost as if they remain to remind me that the eye sees what the mind knew from as far back as the day I felt an ache standing in front of the San Juan Capistrano Mission 50 years ago….
The camera can photograph thought. It’s better than a paragraph of sweet polemic.
Dirk de Herder
I want to look, I never get tired of looking. And I want to dream more dreams.
Photographic dreams, poetry.
Photography isn’t about seeing, it’s about feeling. If I don’t have some kind of feeling for what I’m shooting, how can I expect the person who looks at it to feel anything?
I am a professed atheist, until I find myself in serious circumstances. Then I quickly fall on my knees, in my mind if not literally, and I say : “Please God, save me from this”. Once I was taken to a prison in Uganda by Idi Amin’s soldiers, and beaten, another time I was under very heavy shellfire in Cambodia. I thought : “I will pray to God to get me out of this”. And I did get out. There is no doubt that my photographs have a very strong religious overtone, they are like twentieth century icons. When human beings are suffering, they tend to look up, as if hoping for salvation. And that’s when I press the button.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
One should really use the camera as though tomorrrow you’d be stricken blind.
The best way to go into unknown territory is to go in ignorant.
Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
When I came on the scene I knew nothing about photography. I never went to a photography school, which was my saving grace. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to write on a photograph, and I didn’t have to unlearn all the rules that schools teach you.
I was an OK photographer at reportage, and to be a photographer then meant you had to do that, so when I did an exhibit where I began to tell stories half the people walked out. It was a very tight little world.
Things that are now considered almost traditional to do in photography schools, I was the first one to do them! I’m saying that because I know when things get written up, in books on sequences, I’m just a footnote. It’s outrageous, and it pisses me off!
It deals with religious hypocrisy, and abortion, and homosexuality, all the buzzwords in American culture. Everything should be subject to photography, not just the polite things like moonrise and sunsets and tits and ass. I mean everything, your dreams and your nightmares and Margaret Thatcher.
I’m always working on something. I’m not a photographer the moment I pick up the camera.
When I pick one up, the hard work’s already been done. The hard part for me is what do I think, what do I care enough about for me to do a photograph?
Ed van der Elsken
In 1/10 of a second I know everything.
The wandering photographer sees the same show that everyone else sees. He, however, stops to watch it.
Was it the same light that enchanted the first photographers? It is the same, and it is still brand new – it is something that never wears out.
The most important thing is to go out and see the stars, not to see them in books.
In a photo there are always too many things, except when it’s a good photo. To speak specifically of my own work I believe that, from the very beginning, I managed to make photos where there was nothing more than what was needed. Take the little girl draped in dried leaves, where everything else is but a blur. It was just after the war, all it shows is that little girl. Click. Or the man with the baby, by the seaside. Nothing but him. Click.
I have no fear for photography as long as it cannot be used in heaven and in hell.
The passing of every old man or woman means the passing of some tradition, some knowledge of sacred rites possessed by no other… Consequently the information that is to be gathered, for the benefit of future generations, respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once, or the opportunity will be lost for all time.
Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.
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 tthe medium.
Photography is a major force in explaining man to man.
No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.
My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, for the camera’s eye may entirely change my idea.
Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.
I see no reason for recording the obvious.
Consulting the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection.
Photography suits the temper of this age – of active bodies and minds. It is a perfect medium for one whose mind is teeming with ideas, imagery, for a prolific worker who would be slowed down by painting or sculpting, for one who sees quickly and acts decisively, accurately.
Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it my be.
You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.
Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times. I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
After following the crowd for a while, I’d then go 180 degrees in the exact opposite direction. It always worked for me, but then again, I’m very lucky.
Now very often events are set up for photographers… The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the pictures, because if it hasn’t been photographed,
it doesn’t really exist.
You have to devote yourself totally to be successful at it.
In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.
Robert Capa was a good friend and a great and very brave photographer. It is bad luck for everybody that the percentages caught up with him. It is especially bad for Capa. He was so much alive that it is a hard long day to think of him as dead.
A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?
There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.
All I wanted was to connect my moods with those of Paris. Beauty pains and when it pained most, I shot.
The best zoom lens is your legs.
In my films and photos, I like to create a whole environment, to build an atmosphere. With Rain, it really comes together – the film explains something about the photos, the photos explain the film, but what it all actually explains isn’t clear. As a viewer, you start to think that the six photos are somehow connected. Perhaps all the people are part of the same family. The scenario becomes much more open, posing new questions. But this time, with Rain, I honestly don’t have a clue what story I am really telling.
A good photograph is like a good hound dog, dumb, but eloquent.
You can’t make a great musician or a great photographer if the magic isn’t there.
If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.
A studio session provides the greatest chance for control. But even though there is total freedom, I still dislike studio photography and the contrived images that usually stem from this genre.
What my eyes seek in these encounters is not just the beauty traditionally revered by wildlife photographers. The perfection I seek in my photographic composition is a means to show the strength and dignity of animals in nature.
Nothing is as deceptive as a photograph.
I have a burning desire to see what things look like photographed by me.
Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.
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.
There are no photographs while I’m reloading.
(when asked how he felt about missing photographs while he reloaded his camera with film.)
George Bernard Shaw
The camera can represent flesh so superbly that, if I dared, I would never photograph a figure without asking that figure to take its clothes off.
My pictures must first be beautiful, but that beauty is not enough. I strive to convey an underlying edge of anxiety, of isolation, of fear.
What the artist attempts to do is to try and tell a story. Attempting to give physical expression to a story that’s internal.
It is really important to have an obsessive need to construct something, to understand something from your own experience.
I think of photography like therapy. It’s something I need to do. If I don’t take pictures for a month, I really miss it. It’s a relationship to the world I need, a distance: It’s being more present and somehow less present.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Photography is a witness against the wrong opnion that art is an imitation of nature.
In 1936 I arranged to have myself thrown out of school as a hopeless pupil. I wanted to be a paparazzo.
If I have really nothing to do, I start spinning a tale for myself, which is one of the most pleasant ways of spending time. My pictures are like a story that has no beginning,
no middle, and no end.
To have taboos, then to get around them – that’s interesting. Looking back at my old fashion photographs I wonder :how the hell did I have the courage to go through all these
I was a contributor for Playboy for about twenty years. My work was even too risky for Playboy. They asked me – ‘Please do something for us … but nothing as kinky as what you do for French Vogue’.
My advice for the young? There are two dirty words in photography; one is ‘art’, and the other is ‘good taste’. Beauty is intellect and glamour has nothing to do with money.
My job as a photographer is to seduce, amuse and to entertain.
I worry myself sick, I think every photographer must. When I go off a job, when I drive home or take a plane, I go through it all and keep saying to myself : “I should have done it this way and not that way”.
I did find a wonderful girl last year, but the photographs that we did were more about motorcars.
The photographs don’t arouse me. All I can think about is the hard work it took to make them.
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.
Photography is nothing, it’s life that interests me.
To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light either, if only out of respect for the actual light – even when there isn’t any of it.
Only a fraction of the camera’s possibilities interests me – the marvelous mixture of emotion and geometry, together in a single instant.
The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks!
In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.
Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that intersted in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.
I was a sales rep for my father’s furniture company when I literally fell into photography. I had a Miranda camera and started taking pictures of roommates and friends, and the one that put me in a place that got me published was Richard Gere. We had taken some pictures at the beginning of his film career, just prior to the  release of ‘Days of Heaven.’ Richard mentioned to the publicist that I had taken some pictures that he liked and that my work should be considered with all the real photographers that were shooting him. They ended up in Vogue, Esquire and Mademoiselle, all in one month.
It’s important to let your subjects be themselves.
The pictures I took spontaneously—with a bliss-like sensation, as if they had long inhabited my unconscious—were often more powerful than those I had painstakingly composed. I grasped their magic as in passing.
They were constructed with no consideration of so-called beauty and serve their functionality alone. Which means that when they lose their function they are no longer entitled to exist, so they are torn down.
War thinking was still prevalent in those days. Every now and then someone would ring the police on the grounds of suspected espionage. People actually believed that we were researching targets for a military attack. Why else would anybody want to photograph winding towers?
When I photographed Mount Everest, we were flying at 28,800 feet – which I think was a record for non-military photography. At one point, I needed a better angle, and almost instinctively I opened the door and hung out over the void. At that moment I was only thinking of my photo, but later, after we had landed, I shivered in retrospect. At the same time I said to myself that crashing into that glacier would have been a good way to die : my body would be preserved by the ice, long after the rest of humanity was obliterated by nuclear wars. And maybe one day some Martians would find Hamaya and his camera and wonder who that creature was and what it was up to.
Inez van Lamsweerde
My works have nothing to do with reality. I am not interested in a version of daily reality.
The works show a new mental world.
Photographing a cake can be art.
What I really try to do is photograph people at rest, in a state of serenity.
I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel.
A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.
Jacques Henri Lartigue
I have never taken a photograph without one thought in my head to amuse myself.
James Mcneill Whistler
If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer. It is for the artist to do something different.
I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.
For me the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke humanity. If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war.
In a way, if an individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war to communicate to the rest of the world what’s happening, he’s trying to negotiate for peace.
Perhaps that’s the reason for those in charge of perpetuating the war do not like to have photographers around.
You have to use fear in these circumstances to survive. But it should not paralize you.
We must look at it. We’re required to look at it. We’re required to do what we can about it.
If we don’t, who will?
Journalism is political
Do we really need another picture of Paris Hilton or Nayomi Campbell?
What I really do is making portraits of the soul.
I have no way of portraying the lives of others. I portray my own.
I believe all artists, if they are not lying to themselves, must believe that the best part of their work, or even their life, is in front of them. To look only to the past and to say ‘those were the best years, when I was young’ is to say that in the future there is nothing.
Jean Loup Sieff
I love closed images-even though I am claustrophobic. I close off the sky, I close the angles, often I say to my printer, “Be careful, the spectator could escape.” If the white of the sky flows into the white of the paper, your eye escapes from the image. In fact, the viewer has to be given a direction. His gaze has to be led to the horizon, in order to leave the image from there – it shouldn’t be allowed to escape towards the right or the left. It’s like Alice entering the mirror. There should be a way out, but one only.
Out of shyness (when asked why he often photographed women from behind)
Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.
I think that there there’s a lot of big photography. Photography’s gotten a lot bigger in the last ten or twelve years, because it’s become a kind of known thing that a photograph can look great at that scale. So that now it’s become something that everybody can do. The scale of the photograph has been experimented with, for decades, but it’s now become a known and popular artistic phenomenon. I worked on it; lots of people worked on it. But I think it was inherent in the nature of photography for that to happen. It was inherent in the fact that once photography got taken more seriously, and was practiced in a more experimental way, a way that was more like the way people practiced other art forms, that newer elements of its nature would appear.
You’re always dealing with deadlines. Speed is almost more important than the right moment. A good picture that is too late isn’t worth anything.
The contemporary artist…is not bound to a fully conceived, previsioned end. His mind is kept alert to in-process discovery and a working rapport is established between the artist and his creation. While it may be true, as Nathan Lyons stated, ‘The eye and the camera see more than the mind knows,’ is it not also conceivable that the mind knows more than the eye and the camera can see?
The transactions between me and the people that I photograph are very, very collaborative. I know the families that I photograph extremely well, and I’ve known them for a very long time. The kids really enjoy what they do. I check with them constantly to make sure that they’re really happy to be there. I give them lots of outs so that the pressure of my personality, which children find charming as a rule, does not force them into doing things that they don’t want to do.
Joel Peter Witkin
Artists are the people among us who realize creation didn’t stop on the sixth day.
My work is a kind of diary, through which I try to clarify my perception of existence, which is probably darker than most – though mixed with humour, or cynicism, whatever you prefer to call it. It’s not that I consider my work as therapeutic, I don’t claim that it provides any answers, neither for myself nor for others. Maybe it doesn’t even clarify things – but I don’t want it to confuse them either. My purpose is to acknowledge the wonder of being part of Creation. Though I myself don’t create anything, I make from what has been created.
I have been censured by others, whose attitude I may respect – but with whom I don’t necessarily agree. Sometimes their attitudes surprise me. When I showed the work in Spain, people didn’t mind the representations of death and sex, but were shocked by the religious associations, which to them seemed blasphemous. I told them that basically my beliefs were the same as theirs and that I didn’t intend to blaspheme – only to visualise and clarify my beliefs to myself. I never photograph anything I don’t believe in. If I love working with death, it’s because even in death I find this power of reality, that no sculptor or painter could recreate, not even a Michelangelo or a Da Vinci. The Pieta or the Virgin of the Rocks are but inventions of the mind, however wonderful – while in the real human flesh, whether alive or dead, there is a power that is god-given. This is what keeps me in photography.
All creation is in the art of seeing.
All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this – as in other ways – they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.
John Morris (former picture editor of LIFE)
(From: How LIFE covered D-Day) All day Wednesday we waited, until finally about six in the evening I got a call saying that Robert Capa’s film was on the way to London from “a channel port” by courier. Hours later a motorcycle messenger arrived with a small packet of films. A handwritten note from Capa said, “John, all the action is in the four rolls of 35 mm.” I ordered the Life darkroom to “rush, for Godssake.” I had to have contact prints for editing; four prints of each chosen negative had to be made to pass censorship, and we were nearing our deadline for shipment to Life in New York..
A few minutes later a lad from the darkroom rushed, almost hysterical, into my office, screaming “the films are ruined. Ruined!” He explained that he had hung them in the locker which served as a drying cabinet, normal practice, but because of the rush had closed the doors. There was too much heat; the emulsion melted. I ran back to the darkroom with him. I held up the films.. Nothing but gray soup on three of them. But on the fourth there were eleven discernible images.
I have often said that I learned most from Capa in personal ways (he brought me Paris, for example); he was a superb photojournalist; Henri (Cartier-Bresson) taught me to judge photos as art and to think about them. Gene Smith infected me with his passion. I loved them all, and you could add Ernst Haas, a truly great photographer who has been neglected.
I don’t think that commitment is an optional thing for the creative person. I don’t even think that its an optional thing for a productive person. I think its an indispensible thing. In one form or another, only commitment can rescue us from boredom and frustration. I believe that commitment implies content in the work that is produced.
Dedication to the subject, with all of its non-photographic, all of its humanistic implications is a profound advantage.
The basic material of photographs is not intrinsically beautiful. It’s not like ivory or tapestry or bronze or oil on canvas. You’re not supposed to look at the thing, you’re supposed to look through it. It’s a window. And everything behind it has got to be organized as a space full of stuff, even if it’s only air.
New ideas have always been greeted with suspicion.
Become aware not only of how a picture looks, but what it says.
Whenever a picture of a little lamb in a meadow will win the World Press Photo Competition,
it will be the last picture of the last lamb in the last meadow.
(former president of the World Press Photo Foundation)
Everything around us, dead or alive, in the eyes of a crazy photographer mysteriously takes on many variations, so that a seemingly dead object comes to life through light or by its surroundings….To capture some of this – I suppose that’s lyricism.
It never seemed important to me that my photos be published. It’s important that I take them. There were periods where I didn’t have money, and I would imagine that someone would come to me and say: “Here is money, you can go do your photography, but you must not show it.” I would have accepted right away. On the other hand, if someone had come to me saying: “Here is money to do your photography, but after your death it must be destroyed”, I would have refused.
Poetry and photography are both a track of distillation,
a way to bring the complexeties of the wold down to one perfect image.
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 - 1879)
I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied.
When I have such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavoured to do its duty towards them, in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man.
Personal sympathy has helped me on very much. My husband from first to last has watched every picture with delight, and it is my daily habit to run to him with every glass upon which a fresh glory is newly stamped, and to listen to his enthusiastic applause. This habit of running into the dining-room with my wet pictures has stained such an immense quantity of table linen with nitrate of silver, indelible stains, that I should have been banished from any less indulgent household.
When I was making a photograph I was driving like a locomotive, but when the material came out of the lab, there were no rails anymore.
My botanical documents should contribute to restoring the link with nature. They should reawaken a sense of nature, point to its teeming richness of form, and prompt the viewer to observe for himself the surrounding plant world.
Once I was walking from The Mercer Hotel in New York down the street, and this woman paparazzo who was following me fell over a fire hydrant and her whole tooth went through her lip. I leant over her, saying, ‘Are you all right?’ and she was still taking pictures. I was, ‘You know what? You are sick in the head.’ And she was really surprised that I had stopped. Like I was going to leave her bleeding.
I just happened to have my camera and be photographing my friends. It was totally innocent; there was no purpose to the photographs. There was a purity to them that wasn’t planned; it was realism. Over the years, the work has changed for me. I know that I have wanted to repeat myself, but I can’t. I’ve been lost a lot of times, but then I’d just get an idea and photograph it. Once I’d started, I’d know exactly what would go down and how it would end. So I just quit doing it, because it loses all interest for me when you know what’s going to happen.
Conscious use of light-dark relationships: activity of brightness, passivity of darkness.
The use of texture and structure (facture) of various materials.
Photography is my one recreation and I think it should be done well.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.
If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.
There are two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that needed to be corrected. And I wanted to show the things that needed to be appreciated.
While photographs may not lie, liars may photograph.
New images surround us everywhere. They are invisible only because of sterile routine convention and fear. To find these images is to dare to see, to be aware of what there is and how it is. The Photographer not only gets information, he gives information about life.
Speed, the fundamental condition of the activities of our day is the power of photography, indeed the modern art of today, the art of the split second.
It’s no good saying “hold it” to a moment in real life.
To me, the goal is to move people, to make people think, but never, never at the expense of the person you’re photographing. To laugh with, yes – but never to laugh at.
If there is a good thing about photography, it is that it can be easily enjoyed.
A telephoto lens is all right for animals or sport but too intrusive for people who are unaware. If you want a close-up view you should move yourself if it is possible. The trouble is that so many photographers seem afraid to move in.
I’m very much against photographs being framed and treated with reverence and signed and sold as works of art. They aren’t. They should be seen in a magazine or a book and then be used to wrap up the fish and chucked away.
I don’t care about traditional photography. I want more control.
They are imaginary portraits dealing with the idea of Childhood. Childhood has been idealised as a lost garden paradise to which we can never return. We are excluded from this world of carelessness, innocence and unity. But the imaginary kingdom is nothing more than a projection of adult ideas and concerns onto the image, an expression of our own yearnings. By photographing children alone, divorced from any social setting, I allow them to exist on their own…I am exploring the equivocal connection between self and world.
The images are compositions of photos superimposed over painted backgrounds, then finished off with digital alterations.
I did have to repeat the shoot several times, and I retouched it on the computer as well. I need to have control over images, and I take a lot of care with the composition. I takes time organising the forms and colours. I also save versions of an image and compare them and analyse why one is better than the other. I spend a great deal of time doing that.
I trained as a painter, and I still love painting, but eventually I became aware that the physical aspect of painting didn’t really suit me. I didn’t enjoy working in the medium. It’s very messy. I prefer to have it clean, with a nice computer.
I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight.
We regard the photograph, the picture on our wall, as the object itself (the man, landscape, and so on) depicted there. This need not have been so. We could easily imagine people who did not have this relation to such pictures. Who, for example, would be repelled by photographs, because a face without color and even perhaps a face in reduced proportions struck them as inhuman.
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
It is the subject that determines the interest of the photograph.
Thanks to my effort in the last 40 years, there has been more paper and film wasted.
I am not going to be dictated to by the size of the camera. I use everything from an 8 x 10 to a 35-mm. But I don’t use these modern cameras which break down all the time.
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
A photographer’s main instrument is his eyes. Strange as it may seem, many photographers choose to use the eyes of another photographer, past or present, instead of their own. Those photographers are blind.
The target of our line of sight is reality – but our framing can transform it into a dream.
If anyone gets in my way when I am making a picture, I become irrational. I’m never surewhat I am going to do, or sometimes even aware of what I do – only that I want to take that picture.
I’ve given pure sex appeal a very little thought. If I had to think about it, I’m sure it would frighten me.
My camera is a thing I had cobbled up, it holds together with tape and is always losing parts. All I need to set is the distance and that other thing – what do you call that other thing? I’m not a fan of mechanics. I have had this camera, still the same one, since I started taking photos. It has lived with me, shared many moments of my existence, both good and bad. If I ever lost it… well, the very idea of having to live without it pulls at my heart.
I had it made. By dismantling a camera given to me by a friend and removing whatever seemed useless. I only need distance and that other thing – what’s that other thing called again? I don’t know how these machines work, what counts is that light shouldn’t get in. It’s just a box.
I try to photograph thoughts.
I was brought up in South Ameria and a big part of my growing up was about parties, about being beautiful and having fun. Fun was the key thing, and glamour. I think if I’d grown up in
England my inspirations would have been different: more interior, less superficial. But I am what I am.
In the last two weeks I have been in Seville, Rome, Ireland. Now I go to Peru.
From Peru I go to Brazil. From Brazil I go to Rome. From Rome I go to Paris…
Glamour is relative. I don’t think being in an aeroplane is glamorous.
The thing that makes me so fortunate is that I get to see so much.
I think that’s the height of glamour.
You can’t depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.
Martijn de Jonge
Actually I am giving a journalistic impression of nature photography.
I often do think of making black and white photography, in the same way as I also dream of playing tennis, running or riding a bicycle. But it just never happens.
I often think of what I photograph as a soap opera, where I am waiting for the right cast to fall into place.
Photography’s so simple and so complicated, and there are so many things that haven’t been done yet – which will be so simple, and when we see them we’ll wonder why no one else had thought of it. It’s all out there to be had. Of course, you need the inspiration of other photographers to kick-start your own enthusiasm, but then you’ve got to make it into your own.
Mary Ellen Mark
I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject. There’s nothing much interesting about me; what is interesting is the person I’m photographing, and that’s what I try to show.
I never wanted to grow up.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski
I started photographing when I was eight. That’s how I learned at an early age to let creativity flow and to set it in images. This has meant that photography is a deeply rooted and intrinsic part of myself. It is extraordinairy exciting to photograph creatively. Creativity to me is the voice of the subconscious. Just like dreams. I may take a photograph; then when I look at it later I suddenly realize what I may already have known irrationally.,that is which progress of growth has been at work, or which development inside me has led to a result. (From an interview with Theo IJzermans)
No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.
The portrait I do best is of the person I know best.
Yes, photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary, traumatic, I survive by taking pictures.
A lot of people seem to think that art or photography is about the way things look, or the surface of things. That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s really about relationships and feelings…it’s really hard for me to do commercial work because people kind of want me to do a Nan Goldin. They don’t understand that it’s not about a style or a look or a setup. It’s about emotional obsession and empathy.
Giving a camera to Diana Arbus, is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.
A photographer without a magazine behind him is like a farmer without fields.
Photography has developed in a way that it can liberate painting from the literairy, the anecdotical and even from the subject. Why would the painters not use this freedom and do other things.
Paul den Hollander
I try to create an alert emptyness in myself.
Do you know what will soon be the ultimate in truth? – photography, once it begins to reproduce colors, and that won’t be long in coming. And yet you want an intelligent man to sweat for months so as to give the illusion he can do something as well as an ingenious little machine can!
If you wish to become a famous photographer, you have to photograph famous people.
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.
It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.
Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.
To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.
I want to show the world where it is out of balance.
I never thought of becoming a photographer, I only wanted to possess a camera.
I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself,
then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for money.
Marilyn Monroe was history’s most phenomenal love goddess.
Dali likes me taking his picture because he is interested in pictures that do not simply reproduce reality. Even in photos he prefers to appear outside reality .That is surrealistic!
The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.
For the longest time I have known that photography for me is not directly linked to an external event. For example if I say that tomorrow there’s going to be an execution at 12 o’clock. You get there, we can all win a Pulitzer prize. If you get there at 12:01 you miss your shot, as it were. So, what I wanted to do, is be able to make my perception of anything become the subject itself. And for this reason I’ve attempted to take pictures of simple things, you know, like a cardboard box, or a chair, or a spoon. Very humble objects. I’m not terribly drawn towards the epic event. I’d like to make something totally insignificant into an object of importance, by virtue of how photography works.
I’m too impatient to use a tripod.
There are only two things hard in photography;
which way to point the camera and when to release the shutter.
I don’t regret the numerous pictures of Brigitte Bardot, but I’d rather have a good photograph of my father.
One of these days I’am going to publish a book of all the pictures I did not take.
It is going to be a huge hit.
On digital photography: It’s fantastic, but it’s not a freebie for anything. You still have to have this (he points to his eyes), and this (points to his heart), and feet.
Marilyn Monroe gave more to the still camera than any actress, any woman I’ve ever photographed; infinitely more patient, more demanding of herself and more comfortable in front of the camera than away from it.
My portraits are more about me then they are about the people I photograph.
I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller – to find out how they are.
If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglegted something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.
All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.
Photography has always reminded me of the second child, trying to prove itself. The fact that it wasn’t really considered an art…that is was considered a craft…has trapped almost every serious photographer.
I suppose the primary intention of a documentary photographer is to document facts. My work often does this but it is not the primary intention. My intention is to make the best pictorial image I can.
I was nineteen when I first began making photographs and I continued making them for the next five years or so without looking at the work of other photographers. This was because I did not consider photography Fine Art. I was making photographs to inspire my paintings as an Art student. I only seriously studied the works of other painters. So early on I got my composition from painting. I think when you are a teenager and in your early twenties and trying to make original work as an artist, what you see around you, what images you study have a large effect on your development and helps shape your vision for many years later. In my case I think it helped that I did not know about the work of other photographers, as I would have accidentally copied their visual ideas.
I paint a little and keep sketchbooks because it has the effect of preventing me becoming lazy about looking. The subject could be anything.
For me, the importance of photography is that you can point to something, that you can
let other people see things. Ultimately, it is a matter of the specialness of the ordinary.
(in an interview with Jan van Aldrichem, head of Documentation and Research in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, published in the Stedelijk Museum BULLETIN 06.)
Having periods, getting pregnant and the pain of giving birth is simply part of being a woman. Men think about women in terms of sexiness; they don’t make these associations.
They don’t want to see their women feeling pain. It doesn’t work for them.
I do think that my work has gotten calmer, and that the violence of some of the earlier series was necessary to reach the higher degree of concentration in the later ones.
No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.
If your pictures are’nt good enough, you’re not close enough.
For a war correspondent to miss an invasion is like refusing a date with Lana Turner.
This war is like an actress who is getting old. It is less and less photogenic and more and more dangerous.
The truth is the best picture, the best propaganda.
I hope to stay unemployed as a war photographer till the end of my life.
It’s not enough to have talent, you also have to be Hungarian.
I had a few problems with the law. It appears that people have rights about their own image, and this often prevents me from catching their spontaneity. So I must stop them and say, “I noticed you while passing by, would you mind kissing again?” That’s what happened with the “Hôtel de Ville lovers”, they re-enacted their kiss. Those with the grocer were a couple I hired.
In order to show an amiable aspect of Paris, I presented little “Parisian” scenes, like in those cabaret shows called “Paris will forever be Paris”. You may find them a bit soppy, but at the time they sold. The “Hôtel de Ville lovers” were part of a series, on which I had already worked for a week and which I had to complete with two or three photos of that kind. But the fact that they were set up never bothered me. After all, nothing is more subjective than l’objectif
( “lens”), we never show things as they “really”are. The world I was trying to present was one where I would feel good, where people would be friendly, where I could find the tenderness I longed for. My photos were like a proof that such a world could exist.
A memory from my youth comes back to me. You go into the woods on a bike, with a girl. There is the smell of heather, you can hear the wind in the fir trees, you don’t dare tell her about your love, but you feel happy, as if you were floating above the ground. Then you look at the clouds beyond the trees and they are fleeting. And you know that within an hour you’ll have to go home, that tomorrow will be a working day. You wish you could stop that moment for ever, but you can’t, it is bound to end. So you take a photo, as if to challenge time. Maybe the girl will move to another town and you will never see her again, or you will see her changed, tired, humiliated by her everyday life, working as a salesgirl in some shop, with a boss always shouting at her. To me, this desire to preserve the moment seems justified, in spite of that German priest mentioned by Gisèle Freund, who pretends that the photographic image is a sacrilege.
To freeze time, to hold on to youth, this business makes no sense.
It’s always time that wins in the end.
If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time.
The marvels of daily life are exciting. No movie director can arrange the enexpected
that you find in the street. (Robert Doisneau actually arranged quite a lot of his ’spontaneous’ pictures…)
There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.
Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.
I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love.
No frills” photography, with no technical fuss, no special objectives, no extravagant perspectives.
I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.
I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied.
My approach to photographing a flower is not much different than photographing a cock. Basically, it’s the same thing
If I am at a party, I want to be at the party. Too many photographers use the camera to avoid participating in things. They become professional observers.
I never liked photography. Not for the sake of photography. I like the object.
I like the photographs when you hold them in your hand.
I was in Florida with Bert Stern,the photographer who shot Marilyn Monroe on the beach with a sweater, and we smoked a joint. The bathing suit kept coming off in the water, and I just ripped it off.
Light is my inspiration, my paint and brush. It is as vital as the model herself. Profoundly significant, it caresses the essential superlative curves and lines. Light I acknowledge as the energy upon which all life on this planet depends.
My quest, through the magic of light and shadow, is to isolate, to simplify and to give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity. To indicate the ideal proportion, to reveal sculptural mass and the dominating spirit is my goal.
For me, the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny. Whether working with a human figure or a still life, I am deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it. In my life, as in my work, I am motivated by a great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe.
When I started doing the family pictures, there was originally a documentary impulse. It wasn’t even conscious. Something would happen and I would reach for a camera, because of the power of what was taking place. As I continued the project, that impulse expanded-I was interested in a lot more than just the black eye or the stitches in the emergency room. I was after the whole, all-encompassing concept of childhood, including the halcyon moments at the farm, the quotidian aspects of childhood as well as the more dramatic ones.
The camera was ever-present. It was always set up. And the children knew that if there was some drama or if there was something alluring or engaging or interesting about what they were doing, a picture was likely to be made.
We are spinning a story of what it is to grow up. It’s a complicated story and sometimes we try to take on the grand themes: anger, love, death, sensuality and beauty. Without fear and without shame.
Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you’re photographing children there’s often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen-a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.
I’ve always felt that photography provides an opportunity for staging, for telling a story through images. What I aim at, is an image with a minimum of information and markers, that has no reference to a given time or place – but that nevertheless speaks to me, that evokes something which happened just before or may happen just after.
You photograph with all your ideology.
We are all one people–we are probably all one man.
A professional is an amateur who has been working for a long time.
For me, the nude body is like a raw material.. another artist might use oil or clay. I love the fact that, en masse, it can be turned into an infinite number of shapes or abstractions, while the setting I choose.. rural, urban, indoors or out.. is like a canvas.
I’m in between an installation artist, video artist and photographer. And when you work with nude bodies, you’re immediately called a pornographer or a fashion photographer.
What a moment for the Mexican art scene. I think all eyes are looking south from the United Sates to Mexico City to see how a country can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness and caring. (said after a successful event in Mexico that attracted more than 17,000 people to take off their clothes for a Tunick photo)
It never ceases to amaze me when ordinary people get into the spirit of what I’m doing. It’s pivotal to my art.
The essential things in life are seen, not with the eyes but with the heart.
A few months ago, an art critic asked me about my “signature style.” Well, this question startled me. I’ve never thought in those terms. My work from the seventies, which to this critic exemplified my “signature style,” was made by me in response to certain questions and problems I needed to pursue. I never thought in terms of style. The style was a result of my exploration.
The journal was meant as an artwork. The year before I had kept a photographic diary, which became American Surfaces. When I switched to 4×5, my original intention was to continue American Surfaces, but with a larger camera. My first view camera was a crown graphic which is a hand held 4×5. And when I switched over I found that I loved using it on a tripod, which I wasn’t expecting, and I loved using a ground glass, which I also wasn’t expecting. I gave up the idea of continuing American Surfaces. The whole nature of my exploration changed.When it became clearer that I wasn’t going to be doing a visual diary, I wanted to have some other kind of journal. As I drove around I gathered postcards and I gathered all these other pieces of paper. Even prior to that, in New York, I was a collector of printed matter. Every piece of printed matter that would come to me–every form letter, I would save and then send out to people. I would send out collections. I wasn’t interested in preserving them forever, but I was interested in preserving them as cultural artifacts.
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.
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.
The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.
A family’s photograph album is generally about the extended family and, often, is all that remains of it.
Sophia Loren stood in the doorway spreading her dress so that the baby wouldn’t get the draft. It was so staggeringly beautiful, and I was so taken aback by the sight of it that I completely forgot that I had a camera in my hand.
You are lucky if you take one, maybe two good pictures in a year.
I am not an artist. I am an image maker.
I think the success of the Dusseldorf photographers in the art world has to do with the precision with which we use our medium. Since World War II, photography has been taught in many places in Germany, but there are only a few schools where it was taught in a noncommercial, artistic way. Essen was such a place for a few years, but it never became as influential as the Becher class, in which the German tradition of 1920s Neue Sachlichkeit was taken seriously. We worked with large-format cameras and sharp images. There were a few specific subjects that seemed destined to play a central role in this kind of photography, primarily architecture. The Bechers’ first students worked this out very rigorously: Thomas Struth, with his views of streets from all over the world; Axel Hutte, also with architectural images; and of course Candida Hofer, with her interiors.
I was completely shocked when I saw Bernd and Hilla’s photographs the first time. I thought they were boring industrial photographs, the complete opposite of my visual world. I was so shocked that I couldn’t work.
Why should my portraits be communicative at a time when you could be prosecuted for your sympathies.
I wanted to give the viewer a change to recognize that he’s standing in front of a manipulated image. I never made a secret out of my technical status. An Anderes Portat is a new face, believable, but if you see the manipulation, you realize it’s an artificial face. I believe in my photographs.
With digitalization you can change parts of the picture very easily. It’s not serious if you do it for yourself, or within the arts, but in my eyes it’s a crime if you do it for the news.
I think the Bechers really moved me when I met them as a student. Here are people interested in confronting Fascism and history as it was and is and we don’t close our eyes, we open our eyes. When we do, we build something. They did something. To speak in a very wide-angle sense, they made an archive about visibility. Some people said they photographed the monuments of manual labor, but didn’t photograph the workers and their dirty hands, but I find that to be a very shortsighted argument.
For a long time I was very interested in city planning and development. I noticed these apartments – they’re all over the world, more or less, but they don’t appear as subject matter anywhere in art, and if they do appear anywhere, it’s in leftist newspapers or as part of a complaint about social circumstances. In these cases, they’re photographed very badly, as if to stress the ugliness. I thought it would be more interesting to photograph them very handsomely and precisely as a means of mental defense, to give these objects and the people who live in them more of a voice, but not in such an easy way.
Ideally, my photography is a political appeal. I take photos mainly as a way of speaking in public about what intrests me. The camera is like a Geiger counter, it indicates the prosence or absence of radiation. It scans and registers what someone pointing the camera sees in front of it and has selected. To that extend it appears rather harmless.
Tim Hetherington (Winner 2007 World Press Photo Award)
At the time I took the picture, I remember seeing the image on the back of the digital camera back showing it to Sebastian. I knew it was good. I couldn’t scroll through the pictures because of the light emitted from the camera could be seen at night and therefore could put us in danger.
Winning the top prize in the World Press Photo Contest garners attention like no other photo award. I’ve won prizes in the Contest before, but not the main one. You can’t put yourself in a position to win the top prize; it’s such a chance thing.
In the end, Vanity Fair didn’t use this picture in their publication. We tried to use it as the opening spread, but it didn’t work as well as the edit we finally chose.
I’m committed to this project. I wouldn’t characterise myself as a press photographer, more a documentary one, working on long-term projects.
The beauty of this assignment is that in January Vanity fair ran 10-12 uninterrupted pages of our work from Afghanistan – it’s not often you can get that kind of exposure.
I dressed all in black and went to see all the top photographers.
The newspaper is not an art magazine, but just a thing that you throw away the next day.
Vincent van Gogh
I painted two pictures of myself lately, one of which has rather the true character … I always think photographs abominable, and I don’t like to have them around, particularly not those of persons I know and love…. photographic portraits wither much sooner than we ourselves do, whereas the painted portrait is a thing which is felt, done with love or respect for the human being that is portrayed.
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes-just sometimes-one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses to awareness. Much depends on the viewer; in some, photographs can summon enough emotion to be a catalyst to thought. Someone-or perhaps many-among us may be influenced to heed reason, to find a way to right that which is wrong, and may even search for a cure to an illness. The rest of us may perhaps feel a greater sense of understanding and compassion for those whose lives are alien to our own. Photography is a small voice. I believe in it. If it is well conceived, it sometimes works.
Available light is any damn light that is available.
The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.
Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors.
I’ve never made any picture, good or bad, without paying for it in emotional turmoil.
Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.
What America needs is a political revolution.
For me a photograph is a page of life and that being the case, it must be real.
Forget if it has been done before. Be yourself.
If I had a picture of two handcuffed criminals being booked, I would cut the picture in half
and get five bucks for each.
William Albert Allard
You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
William Henry Fox Talbot
I then thought of trying again a method which I had tried many years before.
This method was to take a camera obscura and to throw the image of the objects on a piece of paper in its focus – fairy pictures, creations of a moment, and destined as rapidly to fade away. It was during these thoughts that the idea occurred to me – how charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remained
fixed upon the paper.
One advantage of the discovery of the Photographic Art will be, that it will enable us to introduce into our pictures a multitude of minute details which add to the truth and reality of the representation, but which no artist would take the trouble to faithfully copy from nature.
‘I was a make believe ethnographer: treating New Yorkers like an explorer would treat Zulus – searching for the rawest snapshot, the zero degree of photography.
My Weimaraners are perfect fashion models. Their elegant, slinky forms are covered in gray-
and gray, everyone knows, goes with anything.
You know, dogs don’t really say that much. They have this internal quality that’s quite fantastic. It’s very beautiful, rewarding, almost this sensual, spiritual inspiration of connecting to them.
Wubbo de Jong
I rather make no beautiful pictures ‘in my style’, when they would overshadow the journalistic news item.
Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.
The urge to create, the urge to photograph, comes in part from the deep desire to live with more integrity, to live more in peace with the world, and possibly to help others to do the same.
The trouble with photographing beautiful women is that you never get into the dark room until they’ve gone.
There is a brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind, soul and spirit is reflected through his eyes, his hands and his attitude. This is the moment to record.
Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.