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.
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.
Photographs are moments eternally flabbergasted.
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.
There is no closed figure in nature. Every shape participates with another. No one thing is independent of another, and one thing rhymes with another, and light gives them shape.
Photography’s potential as a great image-maker and communicator is really no different from the same potential in the best poetry where familiar, everyday words, placed within a special context, can soar above the intellect and touch subtle reality in a unique way.
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.
We are faced with two moments of selection and thus of possible regret: the first and more serious when actuality is there, staring us in the viewfinder; and the second when all the shots have been developed and printed and we have to reject the less effective ones. It is then – too late – that we see exactly where we have failed. When we are at work, a moment’s hesitation or physical separation from the event robs us of some detail; all too often we have let our eye wander, we have lost our concentration; that is enough.
The Photograph is violent: not because it shows violent things, but because on each occasion it fills the sight by force, and because in it nothing can be refused or transformed (that we can sometimes call it mild does not contradict its violence: many say that sugar is mild, but to me sugar is violent, and I call it so).
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…
Without the participation of intuition, sensibility, and understanding, photography is nothing. All these faculties must be closely harnessed, and it is then that the capture of a rare picture becomes a real physical delight.
There is nothing mysterious about space-time. Every speck of matter, every idea, is a space-time event. We cannot experience anything or conceive of anything that exists outside of space-time. Just as experience precedes all awareness and creative expression, the visual language of our photographs should ever more strongly express the fourth dimensional structure of the real world.