Very often I try to find something that matches a feeling I have. On the other hand, a lot of times I photograph with nothing specific in mind. I just play it as it comes. If it's good, fine. I find 'letting it happen' relaxing, a playful vacation. Stimulating pictures almost always result.
There's no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I'm always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don't give a damn how it got made.
Sometimes we work so fast that we don't really understand what's going on in front of the camera. We just kind of sense that, 'Oh my God, it's significant!' and photograph impulsively while trying to get the exposure right. Exposure occupies my mind while intuition frames the images.
In putting images together I become active, and excitement is of another order – synthesis overshadows analysis.
Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.
So help me find opportunities which offer friends unclosed photographs which will present them a chance to close circles out of their roundness.
This unexpected image was the record of an inner state that I did not remember seeing and he did not remember experiencing at the moment of exposure.
A sequence of photographs is like a cinema of stills. The time and space between photographs is filled by the beholder, first of all from himself, then from what he can read in the implications of design, the suggestions springing from treatment, and any symbolism that might grow from within the subject itself.
Sequences originate for me from some hidden place. Though I habitually play photographs against each other, or words against images in pairs, triplets, or rows of four with expectations of magic, sequences originate from within. And I prefer to let them. In fact I cannot seriously do otherwise than photograph on impulse and let whatever words will, flow spontaneously.
...a very receptive state of mind...not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it.
...innocence of eye has a quality of its own. It means to see as a child sees, with freshness and acknowledgment of the wonder; it also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child - with freshness and an even deeper sense of wonder.
Different levels of photography require different levels of understanding and skill. A “press the button, let George do the rest” photographer needs little or no technical knowledge of photography. A zone system photographer takes more responsibility. He visualizes before he presses the button, and afterwards calibrates for predictable print values.
We emphasized the creativeness that happens at the moment of seeing over the kind that takes place in the dark room.
We could teach photography as a way to make a living, and best of all, somehow to get students to experience for themselves photography as a way of life.
The photographer is probably more akin to the sculptor in wood or stone than to painters as far as his mental creative state goes. The whole visual world, the whole world of events are wraps and coverings he feels and believes to be underneath. Often he passes a corner, saying to himself "There is a picture here"; and if he cannot find it, considers himself the insensitive one. He can look day after day—and one day the picture is visible! Nothing has changed except himself; although, to be fair, sometimes he had to wait till the light performed the magic.
Because a man trains himself to see like a camera, it is only more appropriate that he uses a camera to record his seeing.
Dreams and photographs have something in common; those photographs that yield to contemplation at least have a quality about them that tempt one to set associations going.
I strive to undo my reactions to civilization’s syncopated demands and hope that inner peace, quiet, and lack of concern for specific results may enable a stance of gratitude and balance—a receptiveness that will allow the participation of grace.
The spring-tight line between reality and photography has been stretched relentlessly, but it has not been broken. These abstractions... have not left the world of appearances; for to do so is to break the camera’s strongest point—its authenticity.
full tide with barely a moment of lyricism, none of beauty, and tragedy only a match struck on the seat of the pants…. Actually Klein did not photograph a city; he matched with cheap sensational photography the vulgarity of life in all its ugliness.
Self-discovery through a camera? I am scared to look for fear of discovering how shallow my Self is!
Postpone judgment! When starting to read, experience or take part in a photograph (or picture of any kind) first put aside both like and dislike. Leave criticism to the last, or better still forget to criticize.
I seek out places where it can happen more readily, such as deserts or mountains or solitary areas, or by myself with a seashell, and while I'm there get into states of mind where I'm more open than usual. I'm waiting, I'm listening. I go to those places and get myself ready through meditation. Through being quiet and willing to wait, I can begin to see the inner man and the essence of the subject in front of me... Watching the way the current moves a blade of grass - sometimes I've seen that happen and it has just turned me inside out.
Photographers who come up with power never get accused of imitating anyone else even though they photograph the same broom, same street, same portraits.
I have often photographed when I am not in tune with nature but the photographs look as if I had been. So I conclude that something in nature says, 'Come and take my photograph.' So I do, regardless of how I feel.
Camera and eye are together a time machine with which the mind and human being can do the same kind of violence to time and space as dreams.
The state of mind of a photographer while creating is a blank...For those who would equate "blank" with a kind of static emptiness, I must explain that this is a special kind of blank. It is a very active state of mind really, a very receptive state of mind, ready at an instant to grasp an image, yet with no image pre-formed in it at any time. We should note that the lack of a pre-formed pattern or preconceived idea of how anything ought to look is essential to this blank condition. Such a state of mind is not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it. (Not just life, but "a" life).
As I become more in harmony with the world around, through, and in me, the varieties of time weave together.
When I looked at things for what they are I was fool enough to persist in my folly and found that each photograph was a mirror of my Self.
Creativity with portraits involves the invocation of a state of rapport when only a camera stands between two people...mutual vulnerability and mutual trust.
Before he has seen the whole, how unusually perceptive and imaginative the person must be to evolve the entire sequence by meditating on its single, pair, or triplet of essential images.
It is curious that I always want to group things, a series of sonnets, a series of photographs; whatever rationalizations appear, they orginate in urges that are rarely satisfied with single images.
No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.
The photographer projects himself into everything he sees, identifying himself with everything in order to know it and to feel it better.
While we cannot describe its appearance (the equivalent), we can define its function. When a photograph functions as an Equivalent we can say that at that moment, and for that person the photograph acts as a symbol or plays the role of a metaphor for something that is beyond the subject photographed.
Some of the young photographers today enter photography where I leave off. My “grandchildren” astound me. What I worked for they seem to be born with. So I wonder where Their affirmations of Spirit will lead. My wish for them is that their unfolding proceeds to fullness of Spirit, however astonishing or anguished their lives.
When I look at pictures I have made, I have forgotten what I saw in front of the camera and respond only to what I am seeing in the photographs.
Reaching a 'creative' state of mind thru positive action is considered preferable to waiting for 'inspiration'.
How astounding is camera! With its unique ability to register continuous value or tone, camera can sanctify even the ugly and the dead, clarify the ordinary, and, in a moment, turn a hundred-and-eighty degrees to play iconoclast.
The photographer has the power and the talent to make his model come to life. In his creative state he works with, not from the model. In his creativity he is, and when he is, his model can be.
It is no longer news that a cameraman is faced with a very different situation from that of a painter starting a new canvas. The latter has a bare surface to support an invented image, or a blank space in which to spin invented volumes… The photographer starts from an image already whole.
I asked if I could be a photographer, and [Alfred] Stieglitz said: ”Well, have you ever been in love?” and I said: “Yes,” and he said: “Then you can be a photographer.”
When the photograph is the mirror of the man, and the man is the mirror of the world, then the Spirit might take over.
To see through, not merely with, the eye, to perceive with the inner eye, and by an act of choice to capture the essence of that perception. This is the very core of the creative process.
The camera is first a means of self-discovery and a means of self-growth. The artist has one thing to say—himself.
The secret, the catch, and power lies in being able to use the forms and shapes of objects in front of the camera for their expressive-evocative qualities... the ability to see the visual world as the plastic material for the photographer’s expressive purposes.