The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget.
- John Berger
The real difference between God and human beings is that God cannot stand continence. No sooner has he created a season of a year, or a time of day, than he wishes for something quite different and sweeps it all away. And human beings cleave to the existing state of things. All their lives they are striving to hold the moment fast, and are up against a force majeure. Their art itself is nothing but the attempt to catch by all means the one particular moment, one mood, one light, the momentary beauty of one woman or one flower, and make it everlasting.
- Isak Dinesen
No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.
- Edward Steichen
I wanted my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing
a person sees or remembers before death.
- Joel Peter Witkin
It rubs me the wrong way, a camera... It’s a frightening thing.
Cameras make ghosts out of people.
- Bob Dylan
“To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.”
The best photos, the ones that are remembered, are the ones that have first passed through the person’s mind before being restored by the camera.
- Robert Doisneau
It was the era of photography. This may have influenced us, and played a part in our reaction against anything resembling a snapshot of life. (On the year 1905)
- Andre Derain
Photography works hand in glove with image and memory and therefore possesses their notable epidemic power.
- George Didi-Huberman
"Magical thought is not to be regarded as a beginning, a rudiment, a sketch, a part of a whole which has not yet materialized. It forms a well-articulated system, and is in this respect independent of that other system which constitutes science, except for the purely formal analogy which brings them together and makes the former a sort of metaphorical expression of the latter. It is therefore better, instead of contrasting magic and science, to compare them as two parallel modes of acquiring knowledge. Their theoretical and practical results differ in value, for it is true that science is more successful than magic from this point of view, although magic foreshadows science in that it is sometimes also successful. Both science and magic however require the same sort of mental operations and they differ not so much in kind as in the different types of phenomena to which they are applied."
- Claude Levi-Strauss
It takes a certain suspension of squeamishness to see a Polaroid that Mapplethorpe devoted to his own engorged penis, held erect like a blunt club by means of a leather loop around his testicles, in the same aesthetic terms as the Photo-Secessionist masterpieces ... But that was the paradox of Mapplethorpe’s achievement—to show what one can barely stand to look at in photographs so beautiful one can hardly takes one’s eye off them.
- Arthur Danto
What might be taken for a precocious genius is the genius of childhood. When the child grows up, it disappears without a trace. It may happen that this boy will become a real painter some day, or even a great painter. But then he will have to begin everything again, from zero.
- Pablo Picasso
I'm not a religious person. The language of photography is symbolic.
- Sebastiao Salgado
“Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, 'The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet.”
― Joseph Campbell
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
― Susan Sontag
“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”
― Diane Arbus
"For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.”
- Roland Barthes
“When do I see a photograph, when a reflection?”
- Philip K. Dick
“Ultimately — or at the limit — in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. 'The necessary condition for an image is sight,'Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: 'We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.”
― Roland Barthes,
Many of the quotations are from http://photoquotations.com/