Monthly Archives: October 2016

Insight, Inspiration & The Ingenuity of Photography

As modern day photographers, we are informed and inspired by so many that have come before us in history.  It is always amazing to me to see how the philosophy of an artist’s experience in the past can shape the zeitgeist of art in the present and bring about a new dawn of artistic experimentation in the future.  For me, an artist’s psychology and the history of  art and photography are forever infused and intimately intertwined with one another.  Although these quotes and books are probably known to most photographers and artists, I thought I would add them to my website to highlight, acknowledge and pay homage to some of the exceptional artists and thinkers that have personally inspired me on my journies in the behaviour sciences and the photographic arts.  It has helped me understand “the why. the why not and the wow” of photography.


“Learn a new language and get a new soul.” – Czech proverb

“It is said that Daguerre has found the means to collect, on a plate prepared by him, the image produced by the camera obscura, in such a way that a portrait, a landscape, or any view, projected upon this plate by the ordinary camera obscura, leaves an imprint in light and shade there, and thus presents the most perfect of all drawings … a preparation put over this image preserves it for an indefinite time … the physical sciences have perhaps never presented a marvel comparable to this one.”  – Journal des Artistes, 1835

“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson (Click here for more quotes)

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”  – Ansel Adams (Click here for more quotes)

“The aesthetic is the sine qua non for art: if a work is not aesthetic, it is not art by definition…We feel through the senses, and everyone knows that the content of art is feeling; it is the creation of an object for sensing that is the artist’s task; and it is the qualities of this object that constitute its felt content.”  Beyond the Aesthetics – Mark Rothko (1946)

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”– Susan Sontag

“What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.” ― Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

“While we cannot describe its appearance (the equivalent), we can define its function. When a photograph functions as an Equivalent we can say that at that moment, and for that person the photograph acts as a symbol or plays the role of a metaphor for something that is beyond the subject photographed.” – Minor White

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ― Robert Frank

“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.” – David Alan Harvey

“This machine can negate ninety-nine percent of what was called and still is called painting. Through it a man who knows how to really photograph is able to channel the impulses of human beings and to register the objective world directly, through the science of optics and the chemistry of silver and platinum, translated into tonalities subtle beyond the reach of any human hand.” “Is Photography A Failure?” Essay – Alfred Steiglitz (1922)

“Great art picks up where nature ends.”  Marc Chagall

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”  Francis Bacon

“The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” – Lucian Freud

“The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.” – Banksy

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free” – Michelangelo

“Photography is a kind of virtual reality, and it helps if you can create the illusion of being in an interesting world.” – Steven Pinker

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

“Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.” – Chuck Close

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“I realized that I had things in my head not like what I had been taught – not like what I had seen – shapes and ideas so familiar to me that it hadn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to stop painting, to put away everything I had done, and to start to say the things that were my own.”  Georgia O’Keefe

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”–Mohandas K. Gandhi

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”–Socrates

“Psychological flexibility is the ability to adapt to a situation with awareness, openness, and focus and to take effective action, guided by your values.”― Russ Harris

“No artist tolerates reality” – Nietzsche

“I want to put a ding in the universe” – Steve Jobs

“Get out of your mind and into your life.” – Steven Hayes

“I didn’t choose photography. Photography chose me.” – Gerardo Suter

“I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.” – Picasso

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B.F. Skinner

“Beauty is merciless. You do not look at it, it looks at you and does not forgive.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis

“Photography is not something you retire from.”  ― Annie Leibovitz


Links to More Inspirational Quotes:

Petapixel – 50 Quotes on Photography & 70 Inspirational Quotes

Multiple Sources – AZ Quotes



These photography books were chosen based on my own readings and interests and encompass both reflections on photography and photographic essays.  Here is but a short list for those interested:

Photography: The Definitive Visual History – Tom Ang

The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression – Bruce Barnbaum

On Photography – Susan Sontag

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer – Vivian Maier

“Writings on Art” & “The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art” – Mark Rothko

Magnum Contact Sheets – Edited by Kristen Lubben (Thames & Hudson)

Julius Shulman: Architecture and its Photography – Julius Shulman

Camera Lucida – Roland Barthes

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment –  Published by Steidl

The Photographer’s Eye – John Szarkowski

10 Perceptual Principles of Art (Neuroaesthetics Perspective) -V. S. Ramachandran

What Art Can Tells Us About The Brain – Margaret Livingstone

Inherit The Dust – Nick Brandt

Edward Burtynsky – Essential Elements

Hengki Koentjoro – The Refined Eye

Michael Kenna – Hokkaido

Zebrato – Michael Levin

Ansel Adams – The Print: Book 3 – Ansel Adams

I will keep adding to this list as time permits but in the meantime, please enjoy these sources of inspiration.

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B&W Minimalism Magazine – Issue 01 (Cover, Feature & Interview)

I don’t have much time for interviews these days, but I was quite honoured to be asked to inaugurate the first issue of what will be a popular and inspiring magazine for those who love and practice this genre of photography. The magazine includes photos from my “Prelude to Silence” snowscape series and my “Simplexity” series of architectural portraits. Thank you Milad and Marchevca of B&W Minimalism Magazine and a big congratulations to the featured and published artists who have offered so much to this eye-catching and breathtaking issue! Cheers!

You can view the issue here or you may click on the my image to access the magazine:



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