Photo Quotes Archive

Quotes by John Szarkowski (12 quotes)

(1925-2007)
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"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."
Source: Wikiquote
Photography > General
Quote #121
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"A camera has interesting ideas of its own."
Source: Wikiquote
Photography > Equipment
Quote #122
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"Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere..."
Source: Wikiquote
Photography > General
Quote #123
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"In the past decade a new generation of photographers has directed the documentary approach toward more personal ends. Their aim has been not to reform life, but to know it."
Photography > History
Quote #201
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"One might compare the art of photography to the act of pointing. It must be true that some of us point to more interesting facts, events, circumstances, and configurations than others. [...] The talented practitioner of the new discipline would perform with a special grace, sense of timing, narrative sweep, and wit, thus endowing the act not merely with intelligence, but with that quality of formal rigor that identifies a work of art, so that we would be uncertain, when remembering the adventure of the tour, how much our pleasure and sense of enlargement had come from the things pointed to and how much from a pattern created by the pointer."
Source: "Disappearing Witness: Change in Twentieth-Century American Photography" by Gretchen Garner, ISBN: 0801871670
Photography > General
Quote #202
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"Luck is the attentive photographer's best teacher."
Source: "On Photography by Susan Sontag, ISBN: 0385267061, page: 192"
Photography > General
Quote #203
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"In practice a photographer does not concern himself with philosophical issues while working; he makes photographs, working with subject matter that he thinks will make the pictures."
Source: "Looking at Photographs : 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art" by John Szarkowski , page: 182
Photography > General
Quote #204
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"Photography is a system of visual editing. At bottom, it is a matter of surrounding with a frame a portion of one's cone of vision, while standing in the right place at the right time. Like chess, or writing, it is a matter of choosing from among given possibilities, but in the case of photography the number of possibilities is not finite but infinite."
Source: Szarkowski, John. "The Work of Atget"
Photography > General
Quote #205
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"They were ... pure and unadulterated photographs, and sometimes they hinted at the existence of visual truths that had escaped all other systems of detection."
"To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer's craft."
Photography > Photographer
Quote #330
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"The central act of photography, the act of choosing and eliminating, forces a concentration on the picture edge - the line that separates in from out - and on the shapes that are created by it."
Source: Szarkowski, John. "The Photographer's Eye".
Photography > General
Quote #464
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"Photography is the easiest thing in the world if one is willing to accept pictures that are flaccid, limp, bland, banal, indiscriminately informative, and pointless. But if one insists in a photograph that is both complex and vigorous it is almost impossible"
Photography > Technique
Quote #612
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