Photography Quotes

Photography is…

  • “an austere and blazing poetry of the real” — Ansel Adams
  • “the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision” — Sebastian Smee
  • “the preservation of the world” — Eliot Porter
  • “a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality” — Alfred Stieglitz
  • “the dominant and fascinating and only folk art of the twentieth century” — Sir John Rotherstein
  • “(a means by which we)…learn to see the ordinary” — David Bailey
  • “a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere …” — John Szarkowski
  • “my meditation” — Czar Anthony Lopez

    A camera…

  • “is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera” — Dorothea Lange
  • “has interesting ideas of its own” — John Szarkowski.

    A photograph is…

  • “The basic material of photographs is not intrinsically beautiful. It’s not like ivory or tapestry or bronze or oil on canvas. You’re not supposed to look at the thing, you’re supposed to look through it. It’s a window.” — John Szarkowski.

    From the history of photography

    “Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze” — Alfred Stieglitz, in the American Annual of Photography 1897.

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