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  Photographic Quotes



Adams, Ansel
You don't take a photograph, you make it.

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.

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

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

Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have somone click the shutter.

A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.

A photograph is usually looked at- seldom looked into.

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.

Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions. Ask yourself: "Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print - my own personal statement of what I feel and want to convey - from the subject before me?

In some photographs the essence of light and space dominate; in others, the substance of rock and wood, and the luminous insistence of growing things... It is my intention to present-through the medium of photography - intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to spectators.

A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.

When I'm ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I'm interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.

A good photograph is knowing where to stand.

The term accessories has come to include a host of photographic gadgets of questionable value.

A photograph is not an accident – it is a concept.

Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.


Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.

I can look at a fine art photograph and sometimes I can hear music.

Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.

My last word is that it all depends on what you visualize.

Adams, Peter

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.

Allard, William Albert
What's really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.

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.

Allen, Timothy
It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.

Arbus, Diane
For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.

Bailey, David
Wear comfortable shoes.

Beaton, Cecil
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.

Berra, Yogi
You can observe a lot by just watching.

Brandt, Bill
Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried.

A poor photographer meets chance one out of a hundred times and a good photographer meets chance all the time.

Burri, René
One of these days, I’m going to publish a book of all the pictures I did not take. It is going to be a huge hit.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri
Of course it's all luck.

To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Cauldwel, Andri
To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.


Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

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

Doisneau, Robert
If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.

Duchamp, Marcel
Unless a picture shocks, it is nothing.

Eastman, George
You push the button, we do the rest.

Erwitt, Elliott
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.

Ferreira, Allex
The picture must be in you mind before you take the shot.

Frank, Robert
Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference

When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.

Gandhi, Mahatma
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.

Gorman, Greg
For me a photograph is most successful when it doesn’t answer all the questions and it leaves something to be desired.

Grant, Ted
When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!

Hardy, Matt
Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.

Harris, Percy W.
Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.

Harvey, David Alan
Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.

Harvey, Paul
If you found yourself in a situation where you could either save a drowning man, or you could take a Pulitzer prize winning photograph of him drowning, what shutter speed and setting would you use?

Haskins, Sam
A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said "I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera." He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: "That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."

Hine, Lewis
If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.

Hurn, David
These are the two basic controls at the photographer's command - position and timing - all others are extensions, peripheral ones, compared to them

Jensen, Brooks
Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own.

Karsh, Yousuf
Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.

Lagerfeld, Karl
What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.

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

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.

Leifer, Neil
You have to be ready for luck.

McCullin, Don

Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.

McNally, Joe
John Loengard, the picture editor at Life, always used to tell me, ”If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.

Miró, Joan
You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.

Murphy's Laws of Photography:
1. The best shots happen immediately after the last frame is exposed.
2. The other best shots are generally attempted through the lens cap.
3. Any surviving best shots are ruined when someone inadvertently opens the darkroom door and all the dark leaks out.

Nash, Ogden
Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon
I hate having my picture taken.
How can your family claim to love you
And then demand a picture of you?

Ouzman, Lee

Some photographic truths I've found useful:

- It's all about imagination, location and timing.

- Take lots of photographs. Delete most.

- Make each photo a little different, interesting or unusual.

- The one-third rule is important. Use it.

- Quality equipment helps; get know how to use it and make good use of it.

- Without trying to get the picture, you'll never get the picture.

- The best light is within an hour of sunrise and sunset. Get up early.

- Experiment. Often.

- Patience, stubbornness, persistence.

- Subtly editing or enhancing an image after you take it is not cheating, because the camera is no match for the human eye.

- It helps to know your subject.

- Total honesty. Always.

Picasso, Pablo
I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.

Riboud, Marc
Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.

Rushdie, Salman
A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.

Shaw, George Bernard
A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.

Sickert, Walter
Photography, like alcohol, should only be allowed to those who can do without it.

Steichen, Edward
A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.

Stieglitz, Alfred
Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.

Strasser, Joel
A good photographer must love life more than he does photography.

Szarkowski, John
A camera has interesting ideas of its own.

Turner, Pete
I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don’t find it, invent it!

Twain, Mark

You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.

Warhol, Andy
My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person.


Photographers feel guilty that all they do for a living is press a button.

Waterhouse, Keith
Aperture: A little hole in the camera through which a wife, child, dog, cat pawing a ball of wool, wedding swan, Norman church, interesting old alley, sailor sticking his head out of a porthole, or Midlands couple who were the life and soul of the party that last night in Ibiza, may be observed by the photographer.

Welty, Eudora
A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.

Weston, Edward
If I have any 'message' worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.

Wilde, Oscar

To look at a thing is very different from seeing it.

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

Yamashita, Michael
I’m paid to be lucky and that means making your own luck – getting yourself in the right position, in front of the right subject at the right time, and in the right light.

Zola, Emile
In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.

Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner.


Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about time, masters worry about light.

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.


When people ask what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.


The quickest way to make money in photography is to sell your camera.

Once photography enters your bloodstream, it's like a disease.















This web page was last updated on: 03 February, 2014