I think about photographers that have had a very discernable look – you know I think about Avedon a lot and the idea of him making those portraits, for example, In the American West. The rebate was a big part of those images and it really allowed those images to have a really graphic nature to them that … ultimately that showing that film edge told you that that was all there was … and, on the planet, that was the thing I chose to show you that day.
Dan Winters interviewed by Ibarionex Perello for the Candid Frame podcast #85.
… photography has become a household word and a household want; is used alike by art and science, by love, business, and justice; is found in the most sumptuous saloon, and in the dingiest attic—in the solitude of the Highland cottage, and in the glare of the London gin-palace—in the pocket of the detective, in the cell of the convict, in the folio of the painter and architect, among the papers and patterns of the millowner and manufacturer, and on the cold brave breast on the battle-field.
Lady Elizabeth Eastlake, from her 1857 essay on photography.
“We come and we leave. We take our pictures and go. I feel we’re deserting him. I wish I’d never stopped photographing the people we met. I wish I could have stayed with the project my whole life.”
Richard Avedon after a 2003 reunion meeting with Richard Wheatcroft, a subject Avedon first photographed in 1983 for In the American West.
Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that has excited the most astute minds—and one that can be practiced by any imbecile … Photographic theory can be taught in an hour, the basic technique in a day. But what cannot be taught is a feeling for light … It is how light lies on the face that you as artist must capture. Nor can one be taught how to grasp the personality of the sitter. To produce an intimate likeness rather than a banal portrait, the result of mere chance, you must put yourself at once in communication with the sitter, size up his thoughts and his very character.
Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon)
Quoted in the biography Nadar by Jean Prinet and Antoinette Dilasser
It really does allow my work to stay in … I would say, semi-anonymity. When I started, it was because graffiti is illegal – you get arrested. And then suddenly when I started pasting other people’s portraits on the street it was as if I was writting their name – so why would I put my name up? And then I guess I realized it became easier to stay in the shadow of the work.
JR interview with Kristie Lu Stout.
And at the same time, when something happens, you have to be extremely swift. Like an animal and a prey — vroom! You grasp it and people don’t notice that you have taken it. Very often in a different situation, you can take one picture. You cannot take two. Take a picture and look like a fool, look like a tourist. But if you take two, three pictures, you got trouble. It’s good training to know how far you can go. When the fruit is ripe, you have to pluck it. Quick! With no indulgence over yourself, but daring. I enjoy very much seeing a good photographer working. There’s an elegance, just like in a bullfight.
Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking
from a recently discovered 1971 interview by Sheila Turner-Seed
Following the blurring of his first photographs Brodovitch might have turned to any vaiety of flash techniques, including Dr. Harold Edgerton’s recently introduced electronic flash, as did Barbara Morgan and Gjon Mili in their own dance photographs at this same time. But Brodovitch has no interest in arresting motion; he knew that the animal vitality and the suggestive power of the dancers’ movements were at the very heart of ballet’s unique stage atmosphere. In a leap of imagination, he suddenly saw the “mistakes” of his first photographs not as irredeemable defects, but as intriguing new possibilities. instead of eliminating them, he determined to push them even further.
“Brodovitch on Ballet” American Photographer (December 1981).
By the 1950s, Jones and his wife were still living in Lincolnshire with no electricity or running water. He was a Victorian outcast who could not reconcile himself to the realities of living in the modern age. His children were shocked to find that for many years he did not claim his rightful old age pension. Always a proud man, he considered it charity. He died at age 92 on November 15, 1959. These would be the salient events of a seemingly solid, unassuming, yet useful life except for a discovery made twenty-two years later.
Robert Flynn Johnson
Introduction to Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones
You are never welcome. You have to spend time. You have to be patient. I’m never in a hurry. I have to connect with 100 people to convince one. I live with people. I try to transmit why I am so fascinated with them. And finally they say, ‘Pierre, let’s try.’
interview with Andrew Alexander in Arts Atl.
The Portrait is finished when I am able to leave my model to himself, to his thoughts, to his own mind, as if he were at home without any witness.
Text panel at the Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibition, 2013
In the 19th century, the portrait resembled a small, private stage play. The subject of the portrait got ready, dressed appropriately, and set off the photographer’s. Once there, he entered the studio — which, with its plethora of props and necessary items such as chairs, armchairs, drapes, pictures and statuettes was reminiscent of a small stage — and was fitted into this grid of accessories. The background and furnishings were chosen, the pose and attitude rehearsed — “Wouldn’t you like to be holding a book in your hands?” — and finally the lighting was set up.
Afterwards: “After the climax” as a focal element in Rineke Dijkstra’a portrait photography
Richard Throssel was not only a contemporary of Curtis he was also a native: Cree to be exact, adopted by the Crow. His photograph of Bull Over the Hill’s home, titled “The Old and the New” which shows a log house with a tipi in the background, and his 1910 photograph “Interior of the best Indian Kitchen on the Crow Reservation” which shows an Indian family dressed in traditional clothing, sitting at an elegantly set table, in their very contemporary house, having tea, suggests that native people could negotiate the past and the present with relative ease. His untitled camp scene that juxtaposes traditional tipis with contemporary buggies and a family of pigs – rather than the unshod ponies and prerequisite herd of buffalo, suggests, at least to my contemporary sensibilities, that Throssel has a penchant for satiric play. But I’m probably imagining the humour, Throssel was, after all, a serious photographer trying to capture a moment, perhaps not realizing that tripping the shutter captures nothing; that everything on the ground glass changes before the light hits the film plane. What the camera allows you to do – is invent. To create. That’s really what photographs are: not records of moments, but rather, imaginative acts.
The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative (the 2003 Massey Lectures)
From its beginnings, photography has lived in persistent conflict with the nature of its being and those elements which can define it. This conflict arises over whether it is the representation of truth or a mechanism for metaphors. Photography is the most painful reiteration of what we are and what we don’t want to be. It is the truth constructed with pieces of truth and pieces of lies. It is what anyone wants it to be … With photography, there is always a mystery, a veil which does not allow us to have the clarity we desire.
Jorge Gutiérrez. Director 1990 to 1994 Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero, Cararas.
Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America.
If the history of creative photography is considered as a whole, the publishing and dissemination of photographer’s work in book form has been more crucial and far-reaching than the showing of photographs in galleries.
The Photobook: A History, Volume I,
Martin Parr and Gerry Badger