Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be. 
 I say that chance enters into all branches of art: a chance word or phrase starts a trend of thought in a writer, a chance sound may bring new melody to a musician, a chance combination of lines, new composition to a painter. I take advantage of chance—which in reality is not chance—but being ready, attuned to one’s surroundings—and grasp my opportunity in a way which no other medium can equal in spontaneity, while the impulse is fresh, the excitement strong. The nearest to photography is a quick line sketch, done usually as a note for further elaboration. And how much finer, stronger, more vivid these sketches usually are than the finished painting. 
 Those who feel nothing, or not completely at the time of exposure, relying upon subsequent manipulation to reach an unpremeditated end, are predestined to failure. 
 Photography is not at all seeing in the sense that the eyes see. Our vision is binocular, it is in a continuous state of flux, while the camera captures but a single isolated condition of the moment. Besides, we use lenses of various focal lengths to purposely exaggerate actual seeing, we “overcome” color for the same reason. In printing we carry on our willful distortion of fact. This is all legitimate procedure: but it is not seeing literally, it is seeing with intention, with reason. 
 Very often people looking at my pictures say, “You must have had to wait a long time to get that cloud just right (or that shadow, or the light).” As a matter of fact, I almost never wait, that is, unless I can see that the thing will be right in a few minutes. But if I must wait an hour for the shadow to move, or the light to change, or the cow to graze in the other direction, then I put up my camera and go on, knowing that I am likely to find three subjects just as good in the same hour. 
 ...through this photographic eye you will be able to look out on a new light-world, a world for the most part uncharted and unexplored, a world that lies waiting to be discovered and revealed. 
quotes 41-46 of 46
first page previous page page 6 of 6
display quotes