Images at their passionate and truthful best are as powerful as words can ever be. If they alone cannot bring change, they can at least provide and understanding mirror of man’s actions, thereby sharpening human awareness and awakening conscience.
Every part of the photographic image carries some information that contributes to its total statement; the viewer’s responsibility is to see, in the most literal way, everything that is there and respond to it. To put it another way, the statement the image makes – not just what it show you, but the mood, moral evaluation and casual connections it suggest – is built up from those details. A proper “reading” of a photograph sees and responds to them consciously.
Some pictures are tentative forays without your even knowing it. They become methods. It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.
Photographs are of course about their makers, and are to be read for what they disclose in that regard no less than for what they reveal of the world as their makers comprehend, invent, and describe it.
What lives in pictures is very difficult to define…it finally becomes a thing beyond the thing portrayed…some sort of section of the soul of the artist that gets detached and comes out to one from the picture…I do think that the idea of “that living thing” must be in the heart before it can be brought to life by an artist.
Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of the human spirit.
Photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure. If man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life.
I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us.
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things. Impression is not enough. Design, style, technique—these, too, are not enough. Art must reach further than impression or self-revelation. Art, said Alfred Stieglitz, is the affirmation of life. And life, or its eternal evidence, is everywhere.
As communicators, artists should not just portray a subject. Their work should be a window to the thoughts and inner workings of their artist lives and minds.
Photography as I conceive it, well, it’s a drawing. Immediate sketch, done with intuition and you can correct it. If you have to correct it, it’s with the next picture. But life is very fluid; sometimes the pictures disappear, and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t tell the person, ‘Oh, please smile again. Do that gesture again.’ Life is once, forever and new all the time.
In photography, we flow in the moment and our perceptions traverse us in the opposite direction. Photography is temporal in nature, in that things present themselves to us and our interpretations of them vary continuously…a photographer is given only one chance in that moment…photography is a live conversation with a moment.
Think…of the world you carry within you…be attentive to that which rises up in you and set it above everything that you observe about you. What goes on in your innermost being is worthy of your whole love; you must somehow keep working at it…
As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It is a way of life.