Photography Quotes


Hey All,

The Philosophy of Photography forum seems like it ought to have a topic dedicated to photography quotes.

My all-time favorite photographer is Dorothea Lange - her photography and what she says about the subject totally hits home with me. So I'll start it with five of her especially relevant quotes.

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

"I would like to see photographers become responsible and photography realize its potential."

"As photographers, we turn our attention to the familiarities of which we are a part. So turning, we in our work can speak more than of our subject – we can speak with them; we can more than speak about our subjects – we can speak for them. They, given tongue, will be able to speak with and for us. And in this language will be proposed to the lens that with which, in the end, photography must be concerned – time, and place, and the works of man."

"I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch."

"The good photograph is not the object, the consequences of the photograph are the objects..."

These quotes really speak to me and give reason to go out the door with camera in hand.

What about you?



Super Moderator Emeritus
Washington, DC
Good topic Ed.

Photography is "the most accessible, democratic medium available in the world. This has to be celebrated, and we must continually remind photographers of this." Martin Parr


betwixt and between
"Stare. It's the way to educate your eyes. Pry, Listen, Eavesdrop.
Die knowing something. You are not here long."
~ Walker Evans

I've always liked Walker Evans and thanks to a link that olli posted today or last night about the X100 on Luminous Landscapes, I read these words again this morning. I know another photographer who is among us who has said something along these lines. I'll see if I can get my hands on that quotation.