photography

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Photography quotes
Photography
1.

The magic of photography is metaphysical. What you see in the photograph isn't what you saw at the time. The real skill of photography is organized visual lying.

- Donovan, Terence
2.

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.

- Tallulah Bankhead
3.

The camera has an interest in turning history into spectacle, but none in reversing the process. At best, the picture leaves a vague blur in the observer's mind; strong enough to send him into battle perhaps, but not to have him understand why he is going.

- Donoghue, Denis
4.

Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.

- Mailer, Norman
5.

NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity, totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before. To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain; and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination, imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace to its ashes -- some of which have a large sale.

- Ambrose Bierce
6.

The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.

- Sontag, Susan
7.

If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.

- Baudelaire, Charles
8.

The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget.

- Berger, John
9.

That the outer man is a picture of the inner, and the face an expression and revelation of the whole character, is a presumption likely enough in itself, and therefore a safe one to go on; borne out as it is by the fact that people are always anxious to see anyone who has made himself famous. Photography offers the most complete satisfaction of our curiosity.

- Schopenhauer, Arthur
10.

The camera is a killing chamber, which speeds up the time it claims to be conserving. Like coffins exhumed and priced open, the photographs put on show what we were and what we will be again.

- Conrad, Peter
11.

Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.

- Berger, John
12.

Photography suits the temper of this age -- of active bodies and minds. It is a perfect medium for one whose mind is teeming with ideas, imagery, for a prolific worker who would be slowed down by painting or sculpting, for one who sees quickly and acts decisively, accurately.

- Weston, Edward
13.

It is not merely the likeness which is precious... but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing... the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think -- and it is not at all monstrous in me to say that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest Artist's work ever produced.

- Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
14.

All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this -- as in other ways -- they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.

- Berger, John
15.

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

- Oscar Wilde
16.

The camera can represent flesh so superbly that, if I dared, I would never photograph a figure without asking that figure to take its clothes off.

- Shaw, George Bernard
17.

Photographers never have much incentive to show the world as it is.

- Leith, William
18.

We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don't know these lost people but if you look around, you'll find someone just like them.

- Gene McSweeney
19.

Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.

- Benn, Tony
20.

No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want.

- Ken Rockwell


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