Zitate und Aphorismen
«A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels in the deepest sense about what is beeing photographed,
and is, thereby, a true manifestation about what one feels about life in it´s intirety. This visual expresion should be set forth in terms of a simple devotion to the medium. It should be a statement of the greatest clarity and perfection
possible under the conditions of it´s creation and production.
My approach to photography is based on my belief in the vigor and values of the world of nature,in aspects of grandeur and minutiae all about us. I belief in people,in the simpler aspects of human life, in the relation of man to nature. I belief man must be free,both in spirit and society, that he must build strengh into himself,affirming the enormous beauty of the world and aquiring the confidence to see and to express his vision. And I belief in photography as one means of expressing this affirmation and of achieving an ultimate happiness and faith.»
«Eine großartige Photografie drückt aus,wie der photografierende über das Motiv fühlt und ist somit eine wahre Manifestation dessen, was er über das Leben im ganzen denkt. Dieser visuelle Ausdruck sollte in einfacher Hingabe an das Motiv fortgesetzt werden. Die Aussage soll so klar und perfekt sein,wie die Umstände Ihres Entstehens es zulassen.
Mein photographischer Ansatz basiert auf meinem Glauben an die Vitalität und die Werte der natürlichen Welt. Ich glaube an Menschen, an die einfachen Aspekte des menschlichen Lebens,an die Verbindung von Mensch und Natur. Ich glaube der Mensch muß frei sein,geistig und sozial gleichermaßen, daß er die Stärke in sich aufbauen muß die ernorme Schönheit der Welt um ihn zu bekräftigt,und das er das Selbstvertrauen gewinnen muß seine Vision nicht nur zu sehen,sondern auch auszudrücken. Und ich glaube an die Photographie als ein Mittel diese Bestätigung auszudrücken und ultimative Freude und Vertrauen zu erreichen.»
Ansel Adams about his personal photographic credo in the 1982 catalog for the exhibition „The Unknown Ansel Adams":
«This was one of the not too frequent occasions where a transient image makes an impression on the mind,though the photographer is not aware of it at the time. It seems to digest; the subconscious mind develops the impression into a quasi-visualization, then the conscious moves in and, with insistent pressure,makes the photographer feel quite troubled unless he returns to the source. On every occasion that this has happened to me,the subject was worthy of renewed attention. When I have not returned I am gently haunted with a sense of loss.»
«Dies war eines der nicht sehr häufigen Ereignisse,wenn ein kurzlebiges Bild einen Eindruck in den Gedanken hinterläßt,obwohl der Photograph sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht darüber bewußt ist. - Es ist noch unverdaut ; das Unterbewußtsein entwickelt den Eindruck in eine Visualisation,dann greift das Bewußtsein ein und beunruhigt den Photographen so lange,bis er zu der Quelle der Unruhe zurückkehrt. Bei jeder dieser Gelegenheiten war das Motiv die Mühe der wiederholten Aufmerksamkeit wert. Kehrte ich nicht zurück,so quälte mich ein leichtes Gefühl des Verlustes»
An Autobiography, S. 240
«We have been given the earth to live upon and enjoy. We have come up from the caves,
predatory and primitive ages drift behind us. With almost the suddenness of a nova´s burst to glory we have entered a new dimension of thought and awareness in nature. The earth promises to be more than a battlefield or hunting ground; we dream of the time when it shall house one family of cooperative beings. At least we have the promise of such a world even if the events of our immediate time suggest a return to tooth and claw. We hold the future in a delicate and precarious grasp,as one might draw a shimmering ephemerid from the clutches of a web. The heritage of the earth, direct or synthetic, provides us with physical life. ...
The pressures of of a growing population, selfinterest,and shortness of vision are now the greatest enemies of the National Park idea. The perspektives of history are discounted and the wilderness coveted and invaded to provide more water, more grazing land,more minerals and more inappropriate recreation. The invasions are rationalized on the basis of „necessity“. And this necessity may appear quite plausibel on casual examination. People must have land,and land must have water. Cattle and sheep must have forage. With the establisment of reservoirs - great man- made lakes often reaching far into the wilderness domain - come diverse human enterprises,roads, resorts,settlements. The wilderness is pushed back ; man is everywhere. Solitude,so vital to the individual man,is almost nowhere. Certain values are realized,others (are) destroyed. The dawn wind in the High Sierra is not just a passage of cool air through forest conifers,but within the labyrinth of human consciousness becomes a stirring of some world - magic of most delicate persuasion. The grand lift of the Tetons is more than a mechanistic fold and faulting of the earth´s crust; it becomes a primal gesture of the earth beneath a greater sky. And on the ancient Acadian coast an even more ancient Atlantic surge disputes the granite headlandswith more than the slow, crumbling erosion of the sea. Here are forces familiar with the eons of creation, and with the eons of the ending of the world.»
An Autobiography , S. 289 / 290
«His (Edwin Lands) retinax theory had always been of immense importance to me. In this theory he states that the level of the environmental light modifies the apperance of anything seen under it.
B&W photographic prints average 20% reflectance; that is they reflect 20%, plus or minus, of the light falling upon them. Placing such prints on light walls merely serves to lower them in value.
Land sugests that we reduce the reflectance of the walls to approximately 20% in any of a wide range of colors to maintain the proper print values. With theese deeper hues the photographs come alive on the wall, and with the addition of light the print´s values are emotionally enhanced. It is an interesting fact that color images, both paintings and photographs, are not so obviously affected by environmental reflective conditions.»
An Autobiography , S. 302
«We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through the fabric of illusion. Many refuse to admit it; some make mystical stews about it; I feel a mystery exists. There are certain times when, as on the whisper of wind, there comes the clear and quite realization that there is indeed a presence in the world, a honhuman entity that is not necessarily inhuman. I believe we are born with an incredible program for our life to be, tucked away in a small cranium (Schädel) and pressing to grow and function. I have often had a retrospect vision where everything in my past life seems to fall with significance into logical sequence. Intuition, suspicion, or confidence in new ventures: there is a strange strain within me when advantage is not taken of some situation, the immediacy of recognition of the rightness or wrongness of a mood, a response, a decision – they are often so valid that I am increasingly confident that we have yet to grasp the reality of existence.»
An Autobiography, S. 382
«One thing is certain, unless the machine is turned into a public utility for universal benefit, it will devour all of us – capital and labour alike.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 210
«To realley blossom, one must feel wanted, loved: must feel a place is open for one´ s special capacity – not just any job. One´s work must have social significance, be needed, – to be vital. Art for arts sake is a failure: the musician cannot play forever to an empty house. There must be balance – giving and receiving – of equal import wheather in sex or in art. The creative mind demands an audience, must have one for fulfillment, to give reason for existence. I am not trying to turn the artist into a propagandist, a social reformer, but I say that art must have a living quality which relates it to present needs, or to future hopes, opens new roads for those ready to travel, those who were ripe but needed an awakening shock – impregnation. Nor am I in any way suggesting that the artist consciously tries to put a message into his work – he may, as Orozco does – who, whipped into a flame by injustice, releases himself with scathing satire: but his work will live, one might say, despite the social theme, as done by a creative mind, a visionary functioning positively, giving direction and meaning to life wich had been suffocating in sunless middle-class parlors, or falsified in „Bohemian“ attics.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 210
«My work has vitality because I have helped, done my part, in revealing to others the living world about them, showing to them what their own unseeing eyes had missed: I have thus cleared away the haze of a futile romanticism, allowing identification with the things by those who had been drifting apart.
Most certainly I have not done this conscioulsy, – tried to put a message into my work. But my own desire for identification and its realization has placed me in the van as a pioneer, focussing a universal need.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 211
«My work is always a few jumps ahead of what I say about it! I am simply a means to an end: I cannot, at the time, say why I record a thing in a certain way, nor why I record it at all! … An audience is needed, if only a handfull, or maybee one person. The artist must function, must fulfill his place as a giver … .»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 221
«„Art“ is considered as a „self-expression“. I am no longer trying to „express myself“, to impose my own personality in nature, but without prejudice without falsification, to become itentified with nature, to see or know things as they are, their very essence, so that what I record is not an interpretation – my idea of what nature should be – but a revelation, a piercing of the smoke screen artificially cast over life by neurosis, into absolute, impersonal recognition.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 221
«But in Carmel, we find him moving beyond the artist. It is here that he has transcended art and become the seer. Seen through his eyes, the concealed flight in the wings of a bird, the sculpture of a bud, are transformed from things seen to things known.»
(Dora Hagemeyer über Weston)
«A „seer“ is one who sees with the inner eye and is able to give concrete expression to his knowledge of facts, things, – conveying this intelligent perception, without personal bias, in a direct, clarified form, so that the spectator can participate in the revelation.
The form, – composition, construction – must not be considered as a formula to be learned by rule. It is far more important. It is the most clarified, forceful way the seer (see-er) can command for the presentation and communication of the experience. It will vary according to the social qualities, the significance of the thing to be presented.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 222
«Diego once wrote, „Each artist carries the seed of another.“ No one man invents something, say the airplane. But the efforts of many come to the sharpest focus in one man.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 235
«Photography is not for the escapist, the „mooning poet“, the revivalist crying for dead cultures, nor the cynic, – a sophisticated weakling: it is for the man of action, who as a coignizant part of contemporary life, uses the means most suitable for a clear statement of his recognition. This recognition is not limited to the physical means or manifestations of our day, – such as machinery, skyscrapers, street scenes, but anything – flowers, cloud or engines – is subject matter, if seen with an understanding of the rationale of a new medium, which has its own technique and approach, and has no concern with outworn forms of expression, – means nor ends.
Fortunately it is difficult to be dishonest, to become too personal with the very impersonal lens-eye. So the photographer is forced to approach nature in a spirit of inquiry, of communion, with desire to learn. Any expression is weakened in degree, by injection of personality: – the warping of knowledge by petty inhibitions, life‘ s exigencies. I do not wish to impose my personality upon nature, (any of life‘ s manifestations) but without prejudice or falsification to become indentified with nature, to know things in their very essence, so that what I record is not an interpretation – my idea of what nature should be – but a revelation, – a piercing of the smoke screen artificially cast over life by irrelevant, humanly limited exigencies, into an absolute, impersonal recognition.
Self expression, so called, is usually biased opinion, willful distortion, understatement. Discounting statistical recording, any divergence from nature must be toward a clearer understanding, an intentional emphasis of the essential qualities in things.
Through photography I would present the significance of facts, so they are transformed from things seen to things known. Wisdom controlling the means – the camera – makes manifest this knowledge, this revelation, in form communicable to the spectator.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 241
«I am old-fashioned enough to believe that beauty – wheather in art or nature, exists as an end in itself: at least it does for me. This in no way interferes with Sullivan´s „Form follows Function“, for form that is beautiful is so because its function is the ultimate expression of potentiality, – and so is beauty in nature which cannot always be explained by logic, by ascribing it to efficiency, – to practical or remunerative values.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 242
«I sent the following statement to Houston, Texas, where I am showing forty prints during May.
Clouds, torsos, shells, peppers, trees, rocks, smokestacks are but interdependent, interrelated parts of a whole, which is life.
Life rhythms felt in no matter what, become symbols of the whole.
The creative force in man recognizes and records these rhythms with the medium most suitable to him, to the object, to the moment, feeling the cause, the life within the outer form. Recording unfelt facts by acquired rule, results in sterile inventory.
To see the Thing itself is essential: the Quintessence revealed direct without the fog of impressionism – the casual noting of a superficial phase, or transitory mood.
This then: to photograph a rock, have it look like a rock, but be more than a rock. – Significant presentation – not interpretation.»
Edward Weston, Daybook 2, S. 154
«Some picture elements attract the eye more than others. For example, red is more eciting than blue, jagged lines are more striking than curved ones, diagonal lines are more attractive than vertical ones, rough textures are more exciting than smooth ones. And most important to photographers, light is more attractive than dark.»
Tim Fitzharris, Sierra Club Guide to 35 mm Landscape Photography, S.58
«Color is the most important visual element. It`s presence, or absence, is the most significant factor of any design. ... The most eye-catching color is red... .Generally, red should be part of the design only if it supports, or is integral to the center of interest. Warm colors - red, orange, yellow - have more visual strength than cool ones - blues and greens.
A color gains strength when ist is juxtaposed with an opposite hue - red with green, orange with blue, yellow with purple. The colors in a photograph should support the central theme.
A combination of vibrant, contrasting colors causes the eye to bounce back and forth between opposing hues and creates visual excitement. ... Contrasting color shemes are volatile and can be confusing. They work best when incorporated into somple designs.br /> Hatmonious color is composed of one or two related hues; blue and tourquoise, pink and violet, orange and rust. Such combinations are suited for passive, introspective thmes witch incorporate smooth shapes and horizontal lines. Compositions based on harmonious color schemes automatically result in a coherent visial effect.»
Tim Fitzharris, Sierra Club Guide to 35 mm Landscape Photography, S.64
«The center of interest orchestrates the design, determining the nature and arrangement of the other elements of the composition. The process is mainly one of elimination. You frame and focus on the center of interest and than examine the rest of the scene for distracting elements. This includes anything that is brighter, more interesting in shape, or attractive in color. These elements must be eliminated or subdued. ...
The position of the main subject within the frame is dependent on other elements of the composition. The prime real estate of any picture is the center. This is where the eye starts the composition and begins ist exploration. If you place the main subject here, the eye locates it quickly, scrutinizes it, then scans the remainder of the frame of the frame for anything else of interest. As it has already found the most compelling element, it soon returns for another, likely final look. The design is static.
But suppose you place the main subject somewhere other than the center. The eye starts in the center, finds nothing of interest, and begins to search the picture field. Eventually it finds the main subject, but on the way it has come across other interesting elements which you may have included to support the main subject. Now the eye is having fun. When all is seen, it gravitates back to the center but again it finds nothing and begins the search anew, this time likely taking a different path to the main subject. The dynamic of this process excites our visual sense and sustains interest in the photo.»
Tim Fitzharris, Sierra Club Guide to 35 mm Landscape Photography, S.68
«Composition may be based on a concept, idea, or relationship, rather than one visual element in the scene. ...
Some picture themes are purely visual and have no literal interpretation. They find expression as provocative pattern, beautiful color, or dramatic perspektive. ...
Such themes achieve validity through their simple expression of beauty.
Rhythm is one of the more familiar visual themes of landscape photography - the geometric swirl of a mountain stream, a lineup of cottonwoods along a river, or an array of seashells washed onto a beach all ahve potential for expressing rhythm.»
Tim Fitzharris, Sierra Club Guide to 35 mm Landscape Photography, S.73