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.
Sympathetic interpretation seldom evolves from a predatory attitude: the common term “taking a picture” is more than just an idiom: it is a symbol of exploitation. “Making a picture” implies a creative resonance which is essential to profound expression.
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.
Photography is the ideal medium in which to challenge assumptions, because of all art forms, it is one people most expect to represent reality…The creative photographer grapples with these expectations, shaping or altering reality by the way he or she approaches a subject.
I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends. If you’re headed for a life that’s only involved with making money and that you hope for satisfaction somewhere else, you’re headed for a lot of trouble. And whatever replaces vodka when you’re 45 is what you’re going to be doing.
It can happen anytime, anywhere. I mean, you don’t have to be in front of stuff that’s going to make a good photograph. It’s possible anywhere.
I’m not responsible for my photographs. Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It’s drowning yourself, dissolving yourself, and then sniff, sniff, sniff – being sensitive to coincidence. You can’t go looking for it; you can’t want it, or you won’t get it. First you must lose yourself. Then it happens.
Photography is an instantaneous operation, both sensory and intellectual – an expression of the world in visual terms, and also a perpetual quest and interrogation.
The photographer’s task is to describe the existing light…Chances are, if you believe the light, you’re going to believe that the things photographed existed in the world.