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
Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have somone click the
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best
pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the
Wear comfortable shoes.
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
You can observe a lot by just
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.
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.
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
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
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.
Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take
If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.
Unless a picture shocks, it is nothing.
You push the button, we do the rest.
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.
The picture must be in you mind before you take the shot.
Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of
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.
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and
For me a photograph is most successful when it doesn’t answer all
the questions and it leaves something to be desired.
When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes.
But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph
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.
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?
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."
If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a
These are the two basic controls at the photographer's command -
position and timing - all others are extensions, peripheral ones,
compared to them
Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made
with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own.
Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s
gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a
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.
You have to be ready for luck.
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.
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.
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
Murphy's Laws of Photography:
1. The best shots happen immediately after the last frame is
2. The other best shots are generally attempted through the lens
3. Any surviving best shots are ruined when someone inadvertently
opens the darkroom door and all the dark leaks out.
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?
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 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.
I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing
else to learn.
Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a
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.
Photography, like alcohol, should only be allowed to those who can
do without it.
A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.
Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than
A good photographer must love life more than he does photography.
A camera has interesting ideas of its own.
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!
You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is
out of focus.
My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous
Photographers feel guilty that all they do for a
living is press a button.
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.
A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
If I have any 'message' worth giving to a beginner it is that there
are no short cuts in photography.
To look at a thing is very different from seeing it.
If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I
would do something to shake it up.
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.
In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have
Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon
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
The quickest way to make money in photography is to
sell your camera.
Once photography enters your bloodstream, it's like a disease.