“Fortune favors the prepared mind and all that. I might take minutes in a location or [I might take] days. It depends on what I find and connect with. In my humble opinion, there’s no one right way to photograph anything.” — Michael Kenna, Digital PhotoPro, March 17, 2020
“I generally prefer suggestion over description, black and white over color and winter over summer.” — Michael Kenna
“For me, the most important thing about a photographic project is creating links between the photographs without forcing their connection. I want to suggest a whole but leave room for the viewer to create their own meaning.” — Alec Soth
“What ultimately made The Americans a document with real staying power? ‘Frank revealed a people who were plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and also rendered increasingly numb by the rising culture of consumerism,’ Greenough noted. ‘But it’s also important to point out that he found new areas of beauty in those simple, overlooked corners of American life—in diners, or on the street. He pioneered a whole new subject matter that we [now] define as icons: cars, jukeboxes, even the road itself. All of these things, coupled with his style—which is seemingly intuitive, immediate, and off-kilter—were radically new at the time.‘” — From the article on “The Americans” by Scott Indrisek noted below.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. … If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Goethe
“I don’t figure out my vision and my direction so I can make photographs, I make photographs so I can figure out my vision and direction.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61
A view of God’s earth from the Baltimore Basilica. Ocean from the Ovens in Nova Scotia, path from Cabot Beach Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island, Boardwalk from Green Swamp Preserve in NC and night sky from Wisconsin.
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” — Ansel Adams
“Don’t ask “‘Should I …?’. Instead, ‘Ask what happens if I …?’” -– John Paul Caponigro
Dianthus. It has really been a pleasure to head out to my little garden first thing in the morning to capture the early light on flowers. Normally I don’t care about metadata, but it can be helpful for macro work: 200 macro lens, f/10, 1/160, ISO 400, tripod.
Coneflowers. 105 mm macro lens. f/16; 1/80; ISO 400; tripod.
Coneflower. 105 macro lens. 1/100; f/16; ISO 400; tripod.
The Trap of Listening to Feedback You’re devoting your life to making something important. … Something that matters. Mostly, something that hasn’t been done before, that’s going to bend the curve and make an impact.
If you begin and end with surveys and focus groups, all you’re going to do is what’s been done before.
We’re counting on you to trust yourself enough to speak your own version of our future. Yes, you’ll need the empathy to put yourself in our shoes, and the generosity to care enough to make it worth our time and trust. But no, don’t outsource the hard work of insight and creation to the rest of us. That’s on you. — Posted by Seth Godin on April 26, 2018
“To me, it is better to ‘guess’ at how something works, experiment, fail, guess again, fail, and keep repeating that process over and over again until you either figure it out or you discover a multiplicity of other cool tricks along the way.” -– Trey Ratcliff
“Creativity needs to extend beyond the lens. Find creative ways to showcase your work and get it seen. Straight up tenacity, hard work and determination will always be part of the equation, so get to it.” -– Jimmy Chin
“…creative living is a path for the brave. … And we all know that when courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to dessicate in the hot sun.” – Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic
“You yourself are unique–you have ways of seeing your world that are unlike those of anyone else–so find ways to more faithfully express that, and your style will emerge.” – David DuChemin
“Criticism’s job is to clarify art’s mystery without destroying it.” — Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography
“An expanding mindfulness of visual language gives me new ways to express myself, even if I am never understood.” — David duChemin, in The Soul of the Camera
“Photography, like writing, is about storytelling. Pens and cameras are merely the tools we use to bring self-expression to life. If you have nothing to say, you images will reflect that. It’s important to build your own narrative through exploration, learning and diverse experiences that enrich your storytelling.” — Claire Rosen, Imaginarium
“. . . what we hope for from the artist is help in discovering the significance of a place.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography
“. . . there is an incredible hunger to make and share images. . . . knowing how to use a complicated camera no longer serves as a barrier to creating those images.” — David duChemin in The Soul of the Camera
“I impose the way that I see, the way that I feel, the way that I connect on the landscape.” — Michael Kenna
“Art is, or ought to be, a reliable refuge for idiosyncrasy in a society that increasingly views the idiosyncratic with suspicion.” — Colin Dabkowski, Buffalo.com, Jan. 18, 2015
“…the sublime is often hidden in plain sight.– Joel Meyerowitz, Once More Around the Sun blog, 3/6/15
“A good photographer records; a great photographer reveals.” – Skyler Reid
Notes from Michael Kenna’s Presentation at B & H Optic
I thought that Kenna’s presentation was really excellent. These notes don’t do it justice, but you might glean something useful if you weren’t able to see the presentation.
– Interpretation rather than documentation.
– Simplicity – Fundamental shapes.
– Learn from the Masters to find your own vision.
– Interest in what is NOT shown.
– Find the essence.
– Relationship, juxtaposition and confrontation in the landscape.
– The “power of shadow”.
– He photographs better alone to hear what the scene is saying.
– Light, atmosphere, movement.
– Unpredictability and unexpected results are often a happy surprise and a positive part of photography.
– Photographers are treasure hunters.
– Its not just the finished work, it is the whole process that is both important and pleasurable.
– He has a conversation with what he is photographing.
– In response to a comment that he never includes people, he said that he creates empty stages that invites the viewer to participate.