Quotes About Photography


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

-Ansel Adams


My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, for the camera's eye may entirely change my idea.

-Edward Weston


You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.

-Eliot Porter


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.

-William Albert Allard


One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind.

-Dorothea Lange


A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?

-Ernst Haas


Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.

-Gary Winogrand


A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.

-Sir Joshua Reynolds


I almost never set out to photograph a landscape, nor do I think of my camera as a means of recording a mountain or an animal unless I absolutely need a 'record shot'. My first thought is always of light.

-Galen Rowell


[Photography] is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever . . . it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

-Aaron Siskind


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

-Ansel Adams


I think you have to have a real point of view that's your own. You have to tell it your way. And, I think that it's a mistake to shoot for a specific magazine's point of view because it's never going to be as good. You have to shoot for yourself and photograph     [the way] you believe it.

-Mary Ellen Mark


Above all, it's hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images
that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made.

-Sam Abell


...words and pictures can work together to communicate more powerfully than either alone.

-William Albert Allard


Keep it simple.

-Alfred Eienstaedt


"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?"

-Ansel Adams


Now to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection . . .

-Edward Weston


Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject.

-Eliot Porter


It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to. . . . The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.

-Vincent Van Gogh


Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make.  That's life!

-John Sexton


A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.

-Vincent Van Gogh


The virtue of the camera is not the power it has to transform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives him to keep on looking.

-Brooks Anderson


You can find pictures anywhere. It's simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what's around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.

-Elliott Erwitt


Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven't left any holes, that you've captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.

-Henri Cartier Bresson


The difficulty with color is to go beyond the fact that it's color – to have it be not just a colorful picture but really be a picture about something. It's difficult. So often color gets caught up in color, and it becomes merly decorative. Some photographers use [ it ] brilliantly to make visual statements combining color and content; otherwise it is empty.

-Mary Ellen Mark


No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.

-Robert Adams


It is light that reveals, light that obscures, light that communicates. It is light I "listen"
to. The light late in the day has a distinct quality, as it fades toward the darkness of
evening. After sunset there is a gentle leaving of the light, the air begins to still, and a
quiet descends. I see magic in the quiet light of dusk. I feel quiet, yet intense energy in
the natural elements of our habitat.  A sense of magic prevails.  A sense of mystery. It is
a time for contemplation, for listening - a time for making photographs.

-John Sexton


A mad, keen photographer needs to get out into the world and work and make mistakes.

-Sam Abell


I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don't find photo- graphing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges.

-William Albert Allard


Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.

-Dorothea Lange


Photography is my passion.

-Alfred Stieglitz


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



Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.

-Ansel Adams


Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.

-Berenice Abbott


People are under the illusion that it's easy...Technically, it is complex. You have a million options with equipment to distract you. I tell me students to simplify their equipment.

-Brett Weston


Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion...the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.

-Dorothea Lange


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.

-Don McCullin


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

-Dorothea Lange


Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.

-Edward J. Steichen


Very often people looking at my pictures say, 'You must have had to wait a long time to get that cloud just right (or that shadow, or the light).' As a matter of fact, I almost never wait, that is, unless I can see that the thing will be right in a few minutes. But if I must wait an hour for the shadow to move, or the light to change, or the cow to graze in the other direction, then I put up my camera and go on, knowing that I am likely to find three subjects just as good in the same hour.

-Edward Weston


Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes.

-Henri Cartier Bresson



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Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyrighted by G. Arnell Williams.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my brother:   Roderic Terrance Williams(1953 - 2000).