“If all your life means to you is water running over rocks, then photograph it, but I want to create something that would not have existed without me.”     ~Minor White

That quote keeps coming back to me ever since I read it a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve not created anything that meets those requirements. Do you think it’s necessary? I enjoy looking at attractive photos of other photographers and they don’t have to be really “meaningful,” but I guess that would be nice to achieve now and then. What do you think?

“From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardor, and it has become to be as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigor…I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied.”    ~Julia Margaret Cameron

Is arresting beauty enough? Or is even that too much to expect from all of one’s photos?

“A photo becomes not only an interpretation of a given place, not only an image to be appreciated for its own challenging beauty, not only a journalistic report of a given moment in time, but also an evocative release, a symbol–even at times a trigger to a stream of consciousness.”    ~John Ruskin

That still seems pretty lofty but more do-able because who can say what is an evocative release or symbol to another? But don’t you sometimes just click the shutter because you want a pleasing photo and you think you might have captured it?


7 thoughts on “Thoughts?

  1. You have broached an interesting subject. I think each of us has his own unique reason for his photography, and each reason is certainly quite valid.

    Personally I take an opposite attitude to that of White. Everything in my photographs clearly exists without me: I’m aware that I actually create nothing at all. The value in what I do, if there is a value, is to capture unique moments in time and light and display them so that someone of a like mind might enjoy seeing an image of them. I interpret nothing either, merely catalog fleeting glimpses of images that for some reason captured my attention or interest or triggered my own sense of beauty, and I’m grateful for the technologies of cameras and lenses that let me do it.


  2. I read quotes like the first two and all I can think is this: the person uses “I” and “me” and is talking about his/her own experience. It might but almost certainly does not and cannot apply to other people. We all perceive as ourselves, not as other people.

    As for the latter – it depends on the photo!!

    Continue to do your own thing – what you do is beautiful and more importantly it is YOUR thing.


  3. A provocative post today…and worth some thought. I guess I’d like to think the “goal” is creation of an image that is unique in interpreting something appealing to me. But, I also recognize that I frankly like pretty pictures that seem appealing for their form, shapes, color…all at some immediate, enjoyable level. The originality in every photograph meets Minor White’s definition in some limited way. Minor White’s work is superb in every way.


  4. candace..such thinking quotes here ..I am a novice photographer with a point and shoot…so you get what you see…I take photos and try to weave a story around them with a few words…talented artists behind the camera abound out there…


  5. as a creative artist, but using words, all our creations are personal first. we share so that those who may be affected, have a chance to be.

    again, glad my path has crossed yours…


  6. I take photos because I believe that many people don’t stop to see the little things, the beauty in a wildflower they might know as a weed, the look on the face of another… I try to process in a way that tells them the way I saw a moment… Then perhaps their life is a little better for it. Mine always is.


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