Category Archives: quote

To really see

“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.”

-Paul Strand

snagged from the One Life competition website


Digitalness and writing

Stories are a metaphor for life, and as a result, you’re really saddled with life. And so you can’t get all digital about life. You still have to have characters, even if they’re cartoons, they still have to have interactions with each other in their world, they still have to have desires they’re pursuing, there’s still the question of value: survival or death, love/hate, truth/lie, courage/cowardice, I mean, these values are eternal.

Robert McKee


“I see no reason for recording the obvious.”

-Edward Weston

from Photography Now online portfolio

Don’t think

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

Ray Bradbury


There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

Anthem, Leonard Cohen

A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action

Lately, I have found myself with a lot of ideas. For poems, scenes, inventions, images, songs, websites, etc. And I get very excited about them.

But I have also found that there is no one holding me to following through on these ideas but myself.  This, and the fear that I may become one of those people who’s all talk and no action, has led to my interest in the two following quotes:

You’ve got to have something to say. It could be conceptual, or you can try to save the world as a photojournalist. But you can’t just be a technician. Everybody’s a technician. You’ve got to have an idea.”

David Allen Harvey, from a PDN article on his Burn Magazine


“Some photographers think the idea is enough. I told a good story in my Getty talk, a beautiful story, to the point: Ducasse says to his friend Mallarmé — I think this is a true story — he says, ‘You know, I’ve got a lot of good ideas for poems, but the poems are never very good.” Mallarmé says, “Of course, you don’t make poems out of ideas, you make poems out of words.’ ”

Bradley Peters, from a conversation on Conscientious

Both were originally brought to my attention via the always-thoughtful blog A Photo Editor

An Exposure

I attended an event last night that should have been awesome. It should have been inspiring and enlightening and enjoyable. It was not.

The headline was a conversation between photographer Sam Haskins and Features Director the New York Times Style Magazine Horatio Silva. The venue was Milk Gallery.


I have nothing against Milk, but I feel like they dropped the ball on this one. The gallery was set up as a lecture space, with directors chairs for Haskins and Silva at the front. Each had hand-held microphones and unfortunately, Haskins often forgot to hold his close enough to his mouth for anyone reliant on the speakers to hear him. This could likely have been avoided with a little forethought and a revised plan to mike them instead.

Furthermore, they opened up the drink stations before the talk even started, so the standing room in the back grew from quiet to a slight murmur to distracting loud conversation. It was rude and it didn’t give due respect to the two gentlemen most of us were there to listen to. I would love to know why they didn’t just wait until the conversation was over to crack open the booze. Surely folks could have waited until the end of the event they presumably came to experience.

photoIt’s a shame that people couldn’t sit still, and a shame that most didn’t have a chance to hear much of anything, because both men were interesting, funny and engaging. Silva asked some great questions and it was plain old fun listening to Haskins reminisce and comment on photography then and now. I left deflated and annoyed, but at least I also came away with a few good one-liners from Haskins:

“I’m a visual man, not a verbal man”

“Commercial work is the work of a committee”

“This thing about homage…it’s rubbish”

“It wasn’t easy, but it was fun”

“A special something happens on a very long exposure”

Sensitivity and Courage

“I think that art has its greatest effect when it makes people sensitive to life. And that’s more important than how well or badly images can stir people to immediate political action. That belief gives me the courage to do the kind of things I do.”

-John Wood, text from the statement at his ICP show

You can’t say more than you see

“You see, the extraordinary thing about photography is that it’s a truly popular medium . . . But this has nothing to do with the art of photography even though the same materials and the same mechanical devices are used. Thoreau said years ago, ‘You can’t say more than you see.’ No matter what lens you use, no matter what the speed of the film is, no matter how you develop it, no matter how you print it, you cannot say more than you see. That’s what that means, and that’s the truth.” – Paul Strand, Aperture vol. 19 no. 1, 1974