Quotes are intended to inspire us. They are short and to the point. They make us think and they make us draw parallels with our own lives, thoughts, beliefs and experiences. They can be very powerful. I have collected my own small list of quotes that reflect my approach to photography and I often revisit them to remind me what I am doing and why I am doing it.
With color, the subject was not necessarily important: only the color itself was of interest – Brassai.
I take black and white photographs and my black and white photography has been heavily influenced by the work of Brassai. Despite the fact that he lived in a very different era and in a very different place (1930s Paris) and that his work is mainly street photography I draw inspiration from his simple compositions and effective use of contrast and tonal range that bring his subjects to life. Since we see the world around us in its myriad of colors, black and white photography is a departure from reality and therefore the challenge in black and white photography is to make the unseen seen and emphasize the feeling of the moment.
Imagination is more important than knowledge – Albert Einstein
At some point in our photographic life we reach a major fork in the road. The easy path is to become proficient in the use of our camera equipment or the tools we use to create our images, be it the darkroom or digital post processing. The difficult path is to accept what we already know and expend our energy tapping into our self to connect with our imagination and our creativity. While it is true that proficiency will likely result in technically perfect images I am more drawn to images that make me think, wonder and feel.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are – Anais Nin
I have said in earlier posts that a photographic image says as much about the maker as it does the subject. I am a firm believer that the camera points in both directions each time a photograph is taken. The final image is coded with our own thoughts, feelings and experiences and somehow expresses them in a manner that will allow the viewer to either connect with the photographer or will rouse their own sensitivities and feelings.
The moment of exposure is the culmination of the rejection of all other possibilities – Ruth Bernardt
When we take photographs we are making conscious decisions that will help emphasize the subject such as composure, framing, what to include or exclude from the frame, time of day (or night, year etc.), use of lighting, etc. etc. However, our subconscious is also at play, sometimes influencing the technical decisions and sometimes simply telling us that now is the time to trip the shutter. Since our subconscious holds our thoughts, feelings and life experiences it is important to emotionally connect with it when creating our images, which starts right at the moment the exposure is made.
I am sure there are many more quotes out there from which we can draw inspiration, but since I like to keep my photography simple I also like to keep my sources of inspiration simple and therefore, for now these quotes continue to guide me as I grow.