Quotes On Photography, Creativity + Art

Here Are Some of My Favorite Quotes On Photography, Creativity + Art

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

“We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see.” – Michelangelo Antonioni

“I feel all things as dynamic events, being, changing, and interacting with each other in space and time even as I photograph them.” – Wynn Bullock

“As sounds in a musical composition can be used not to express physical objects but ideas, emotions, harmonies, rhythmic orders and most any expression of the human mind and spirit, so light can be used visually to express the mind and spirit.” – Wynn Bullock

“The camera is not only an extension of the eye, but of the brain. It can see sharper, farther, nearer, slower, faster than the eye…Instead of using the camera only to reproduce objects, I want to use it to make what is invisible to the eye, visible.” – Wynn Bullock

“It’s seldom you make a great picture. You have to milk the cow quite a lot to get plenty of milk to make a little cheese.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“At the root of creativity is an impulse to understand, to make sense of random and often unrelated details. For me, photography provides an intersection of time, space, light, and emotional stance. One needs to be still enough, observant enough, and aware enough to recognize the life of the materials, to be able to ‘hear through the eyes’.” – Paul Caponigro

“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

“For an Impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations.” – Paul Cézanne

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” – Chuck Close

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take
tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” –  Salvador Dalí

“I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.” – Marcel Duchamp

“Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.” – Brian Eno

“The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” –  Albert Einstein

“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.”- Elliott Erwitt

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about
finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it
has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the
way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I was attracted to photography because it was technical, full of gadgets, and I was obsessed with science. But at some point around fifteen or sixteen, I had a sense that photography could provide a bridge from the world of science to the world of art, or image. Photography was a means of crossing into a new place I didn’t know.” – Adam Fuss

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” – Alberto Giacometti

“To be able to see in concrete terms what was created in a fraction of a second is a rare luxury. Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected” – Ralph Gibson

“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” – Keith Haring

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

“The observer must learn to look at the picture as a graphic representation of a mood and not as a representation of objects.” – Wassily Kandinsky

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” – Abraham Lincoln

“A dynamic struggle goes on within a person between what he or she consciously thinks on the one hand and, on the other, some insight, some perspective that is struggling to be born. The insight is then born with anxiety, guilt, and the joy and gratification that is inseparable from the actualizing of a new idea or vision.” – Rollo May

“Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.” – Duane Michals

“Think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce  somebody’s face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.” – Duane Michals

“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” – Arnold Newman

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” – Pablo Picasso

“You don’t make art, you find it” – Pablo Picasso

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“Meaningful art, in any medium, is mind changing, challenging the prejudices of conventional thought. In this role, art lives between the known and the unknown, communicating what it discovers in this ambiguous territory.” – Duane Preble

“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” – Man Ray

“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” – Mark Rothko

“There’s something arbitrary about taking a picture. So I can stand at the edge of a highway and take one step forward and it can be a natural landscape untouched by man and I can take one step back and include a guardrail and change the meaning of the picture radically… I can take a picture of a person at one moment and make them look contemplative and photograph them two seconds later and make them look frivolous.” – Stephen Shore

“Photography is inherently an analytic discipline. Where a painter starts with a blank canvas and builds a picture, a photographer starts with the messiness of the world and selects a picture. A photographer standing before houses and streets and people and trees and artifacts of a culture imposes an order on the scene – simplifies the jumble by giving it structure. He or she imposes this order by choosing a vantage point, choosing a frame, choosing a moment of exposure, and by selecting a plane of focus.” – Stephen Shore

“In any art, you don’t know in advance what you want to say – it’s revealed to you as you say it. That’s the difference between art and illustration.” – Aaron Siskind

“We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect…. but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs.” – Aaron Siskind

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” – Susan Sontag

“My cloud photographs are equivalents of my most profound life experiences, my basic philosophy of life. All art is an equivalent of the artist’s most profound life experiences.” – Alfred Stieglitz

“The great geniuses are those who have kept their childlike spirit and have added to it breadth of vision and experience.” – Alfred Stieglitz

”In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgy

“Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere…” – John Szarkowski

“He’s fond of saying although photography always lies about what’s in front of the camera, it never lies about what’s behind it, and he adds that photography is ‘an incredibly true medium in regards to the intentions that are behind the camera.”

“You could say these are just pictures of clubs, but you know thousands of people take pictures of clubs and none of them look just exactly like mine,” he say. “That’s a proof. I don’t mean it as a proof of how brilliant I am, it’s a proof of how specific photography is, how truly psychological.” – Diane Smith on Wolfgang Tillmans

“Science strives for answers, but art is happy with a good question.” – James Turrell

“The prejudice many photographers have against colour photography comes from not thinking of colour as form. You can say things with colour that can’t be said in black and white… Those who say that colour will eventually replace black and white are talking nonsense. The two do not compete with each other. They are different means to different ends.” – Edward Weston

“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.” – Garry Winogrand

“If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I
would do something to shake it up.” – Garry Winogrand

“A photograph is the illusion of a literal description of how the camera saw a piece of time and space. ” – Garry Winogrand

“The reason why we want to remember an image varies: because we simply ‘love it,’ or dislike it so intensely that it becomes compulsive, or because it has made us realize something about ourselves, or has brought about some slight change in us. Perhaps the reader can recall some image, after the seeing of which he has never been quite the same.” – Minor White

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