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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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on photography

With the arrival of our new son Max and continued frustration at the lack of focusing power and poor depth of field displayed by our current, non D-SLR camera (a Fuji S5200), I've been thinking a lot more seriously about buying ourselves a proper D-SLR rig, most likely either a Nikon D50 or a digital Canon EOS Rebel. Some of the following quotations from Gloria Lee's Issue #2647 of the Nondual Highlights gave me pause for thought, though. Made me think that maybe I just need to start taking better pictures, instead of getting a better camera.

I'll probably still get us a better camera, though. :) God knows, we take enough pictures to justify it.
Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it.
- Confucius

What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.
- John Berger

A photograph is usually looked at, but seldom looked into.
- Ansel Adams

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.
- David Bailey

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
- Aaron Rose

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.
- Diane Arbus

I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term -- meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching -- there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.
- Ansel Adams

Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn't make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.
- Peter Adams, Sydney 1978

The virtue of the camera is not the power it has to transform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives him to keep on looking.
- Brooks Atkinson

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
- Dorothea Lange

You know you are seeing such a photograph if you say to yourself, "I could have taken that picture. I've seen such a scene before, but never like that." It is the kind of photography that relies for its strengths not on special equipment or effects but on the intensity of the photographer's seeing. It is the kind of photography in which the raw materials--light, space, and shape--are arranged in a meaningful and even universal way that gives grace to ordinary objects.
-Sam Abell, "Seeing and Shooting Straight"

I'm not responsible for my photographs. Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It's drowning yourself, dissolving yourself, and then sniff, sniff, sniff – being sensitive to coincidence. You can't go looking for it; you can't want it, or you won't get it. First you must lose your self. Then it happens.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

When I'm ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I'm interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.
- Ansel Adams

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
- Ansel Adams