Photography

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There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~ Ansel Adams

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


CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

Quotes[edit]

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

Great photography comes about at the right time but it also needs the right cut that enhances that precise moment…Photography must feed on both contents and form, if it gives up the one for the other it is not going to last. ~ Augusto De Luca
One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it. ~ Dorothea Lange
A photograph is a biography of a moment. ~ Art Shay
  • 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
  • A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.
    • Ansel Adams "A Personal Credo" (1943), published in American Annual of Photography (1944), reprinted in Nathan Lyons, editor, Photographers on Photography (1966), reprinted in Vicki Goldberg, editor, Photography in Print: Writings from 1816 to the Present (1988)
  • 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 "A Personal Credo" (1943), published in American Annual of Photography (1944), reprinted in Nathan Lyons, editor, Photographers on Photography (1966), reprinted in Vicki Goldberg, editor, Photography in Print: Writings from 1816 to the Present (1988)
  • It shows an image that could only have been produced photographically.
    • Nicholas Allen, as quoted in Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory by Barrie M. Schwortz
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected. Most of my photographs are of people; they are seen simply, as through the eyes of the man in the street. There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism.
    • Robert Frank, in: Nathan Lyons, Photographers on photography: a critical anthology, (1966), p. 66
  • Life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference and it is important to see what is invisible to others.

G - L[edit]

  • 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, as quoted in Dorothea Lange : A Photographer's Life (1978), p. vii
  • One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.
    • Dorothea Lange, as quoted in Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life (1994) by Elizabeth Partridge

M - R[edit]

  • The photograph extends and multiplies the human image to the proportions of mass-produced merchandise. The movie stars and matinee idols are put in the public domain by photography. They become dreams that money can buy.
  • The step from the age of Typographic Man to the age of Graphic Man was taken with the invention of photography.
  • The photograph has reversed the purpose of travel, which until now had been to encounter the strange and unfamiliar. ... The world itself becomes a sort of museum of objects that have been encountered before in some other medium.
    • Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), pp. 267-268
  • The image (shadow) being inverted depends on there being an aperture at the cross-over and the image (shadow) being distant. The explanation lies in the aperture.
    The image (shadow): The light reaches the person shining like an arrow. The lowest [light] that reaches the person is the highest [in the image] and the highest [light] that reaches the person is the lowest [in the image]. The feet conceal the lowest light and therefore become the image (shadow) at the top. The head conceals the highest light and therefore becomes the image (shadow) at the bottom.
    • MOzi Book 10: Exposition of Canon II; this is the earliest known description of the inverted image produced by a camera obscura,; as translated in by Ian Jonston in The Mozi (2010), p. 489
  • 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

S - Z[edit]

  • A photograph is a biography of a moment.
    • Art Shay as cited in interview: Dean Reynalds (2014 February 13) Photographs tell story of decades-long romance. CBS News.
  • Photography is more than a means of recording the obvious. It is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever, whether it be a face or a flower, a place or a thing, a day or a moment. The camera is a perfect companion. It makes no demands, imposes no obligations. It becomes your notebook and your reference library, your microscope and your telescope. It sees what you are too lazy or too careless to notice, and it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
    • Aaron Siskind, cited in: The Amateur Photographer's Handbook, (1973), p. vi
  • Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze.
  • 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
  • The weakness of the attack lies in its lack of discrimination. It is possible that psychic surgery is a hoax, that plants cannot really read our minds, that Kirlian photography (photographing the "life-aura" of living creatures) may depend on some simple electrical phenomenon. But to lump all of these together as if they were all on the same level of improbability shows a certain lack of discernment. The same applies to the list of "hoaxes." Rhine's careful research into extrasensory perception at Duke University is generally conceded to be serious and sincere, even by people who think his test conditions were too loose. The famous fairy photographs are quite probably a hoax, but no one has ever produced an atom of proof either way, and until someone does, no one can be quite as confident as the editors of Time seem to be. And Ted Serios has never at any time been exposed as a fraud — although obviously he might be. We see here a phenomena that we shall encounter again in relation to Geller: that when a scientist or a "rationalist" sets himself up as the defender of reason, he often treats logic with a disrespect that makes one wonder what side he is on.

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