Photography is the art, science, and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film, or electronically by means of an image sensor
- There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
- Ansel Adams as cited in: Elizabeth T. Schoch (2002) The everything digital photography book. p. 105
- Pictures produced by camera can resemble paintings or drawings in presenting recognizable images of physical objects. But they have also characteristics of their own, of which the following two are relevant here: first the photograph acquires some of its unique visual properties through the technique of mechanical recording; and second, it supplies the viewer with a specific kind of experience, which depends on his being aware of the picture's mechanical origin. To put it more simply: (1) the picture is coproduced by nature and man and in some ways looks strikingly like nature, and (2) the picture is viewed as something being by nature.
- Rudolf Arnheim (1974). "On the nature of Photography", Critical Inquiry, Vol.1, n.1, p. 156; As cited in: A. Bianchin (2007), "Theoretical Cartography Issues in the face of New Representation"
- In photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.
- David Bailey in interview in The Face December 1984
- Photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson as cited in: Bruce Elder (1989) Image and identity: reflections on Canadian film and culture. p. 114
- You put your camera around your neck in the morning, along with putting on your shoes, and there it is, an appendage of the body that shares your life with you. The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
- Dorothea Lange (1978) Dorothea Lange: A Photographer's Life. p. vii
- Photography is a strong tool, a propaganda device, and a weapon for the defense of the environment... Photographs are believed more than words; thus they can be used persuasively to show people who have never taken the trouble to look what is there. They can point out beauties and relationships not previously believed or suspect to exist.
- Eliot Porter as cited in: Rebecca Solnit (2007) Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics. p. 235
- Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze
- Alfred Stieglitz (1887) in the American Annual of Photography 1897.
- There is a reality — so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. That's what I'm trying to get down in photography.
- Alfred Stieglitz as cited in: M. Orvell (1989) The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940. p. 220
- Photography, if practiced with high seriousness, is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere...
- John Szarkowski (1973) Looking at photographs: 100 pictures from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). p. 192
- My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, or the camera's eye may entirely change my idea.
- Edward Weston as cited in: Harold Evans, Edwin Taylor (1978) Pictures on a page: photojournalism and picture editing. p. 75
- "Godnificent...something magnificent that was influenced by God" -- Eva perfectheart Hartell
- "the art of frozen time... the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame" -- Meshack Otieno
- "an austere and blazing poetry of the real" -- Ansel Adams
- "the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision" -- Sebastian Smee
- "the dominant and fascinating and only folk art of the twentieth century" -- Sir John Rothenstein
- "my meditation" -- Czar Anthony Lopez
- [A camera] "has interesting ideas of its own" -- John Szarkowski.
- "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." -- John Szarkowski.
- “Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.” -- Minor White
- “Which of the photographs is my favorite? The one I'm going to take tomorrow.” -- Imogen Cunningham
- “I do not object to retouching, dodging or accentuation as long as they do not interfere with the natural qualities of photographic technique.” -- Alfred Stieglitz
- “Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.” -- Garry Winogrand
- “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” -- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- “There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.” -- Robert Heinecken
- “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera.” -- Lewis Hine
- “Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.” -- Yousuf Karsh
- “Photography is truth.” -- Jean-Luc Godard
- “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” -- Ernst Haas
- “When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” -- Alfred Eisenstaedt
- “It is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.” -- Robert Frank
- “The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer” --- Gordon Parks
- “Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.” --- Walker Evans
- “At 42, I decided to become a photographer because it offered a means of creative thought and action. I didn't rationalize this, I just felt it intuitively and followed my intuition, which I have never regretted.” -- Wynne Bullock
- “I've never made any picture, good or bad, without paying for it in emotional turmoil.” -- W. Eugene Smith
- “Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.” -- Berenice Abbott
- “It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.” -- Paul Strand
- “Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” -- Sally Mann
From the history of photography
- "No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen." Minor White
- "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