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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Photography (40 Quotations)

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It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.
~ David Bailey

 

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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

 

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A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.
~ Diane Arbus

 

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If I were just curious, it would be very hard to say to someone, ''I want to come to your house and have you talk to me and tell me the story of your life.'' I mean people are going to say, ''You're crazy.'' Plus they're going to keep mighty guarded. But the camera is a kind of license. A lot of people, they want to be paid that much attention and that's a reasonable kind of attention to be paid.
~ Diane Arbus

 

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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 Atkinson

 

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The photographic image... is a message without a code.
~ Roland Barthes

 

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If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
~ Charles Baudelaire

 

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Too many photographers try too hard. They try to lift photography into the realm of Art, because they have an inferiority complex about their Craft. You and I would see more interesting photography if they would stop worrying, and instead, apply horse-sense to the problem of recording the look and feel of their own era.
~ Jessie Tarbox Beals

 

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The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.
~ Walter Benjamin

 

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Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.
~ Tony Benn

 

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All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this -- as in other ways -- they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.
~ John Berger

 

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The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget.
~ John Berger

 

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Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.
~ John Berger

 

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The camera can photograph thought. It's better than a paragraph of sweet polemic.
~ Dirk Bogarde

 

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The most refined skills of color printing, the intricate techniques of wide-angle photography, provide us pictures of trivia bigger and more real than life. We forget that we see trivia and notice only that the reproduction is so good. Man fulfils his dream and by photographic magic produces a precise image of the Grand Canyon. The result is not that he adores nature or beauty the more. Instead he adores his camera -- and himself.
~ Daniel J. Boorstin

 

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At least the box is full of something useful. [On his photo gracing a box of Raisin Bran]
~ Avery Brooks

 

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It is not merely the likeness which is precious... but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing... the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think -- and it is not at all monstrous in me to say that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest Artist's work ever produced.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

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Blessed be the inventor of photography! I set him above even the inventor of chloroform! It has given more positive pleasure to poor suffering humanity than anything else that has ''cast up'' in my time or is like to -- this art by which even the ''poor'' can possess themselves of tolerable likenesses of their absent dear ones. And mustn't it be acting favorably on the morality of the country?
~ Jane Welsh Carlyle

 

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The camera is a killing chamber, which speeds up the time it claims to be conserving. Like coffins exhumed and priced open, the photographs put on show what we were and what we will be again.
~ Peter Conrad

 

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A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there -- even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
~ Robert Doisneau

 

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