Some thoughts from the great and the good that, for me, capture the essence of what photography is all about:
Still we know how Day the Dyer works, in dims and deeps and dusks and darks
The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it
Photography helps people to see.
The eye should learn to listen before it looks.
There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.
A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.
To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
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.
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.
A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.
Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.
The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Once you open the shutter of a camera you have made the first manipulative step away from the real. Any step you take beyond that is really only a relative position on a sequential continuum of possible alteration.
Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.
There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.
What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.
Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.
When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence
A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second
(Photography) has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them
Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships
It is better to be a plumber in the daytime so you can be a photographer at night time
All photographs are self-portraits