[Graphic designer and art director, b. 1898, Ogolitchi, Russia, d. 1971, Le Thor, France.]
When you look into your camera, if you see an image you have ever seen before, don’t click the shutter.
What is a good photograph? I cannot say. A photograph is tied to the time, what is good today may be a cliché tomorrow.
The photograph is not only a pictorial report; it is also a psychological report. It represents the feelings and point of view of the intelligence behind the camera.
It is the unexpected and the surprise quality of a personal vision, rather than the emotion, which make people respond to a photograph.
The public is being spoiled by good technical quality photographs in magazines, on television, in the movies, and they have become bored. The disease of our age is this boredom and a good photographer must successfully combat it. The only way to do this is by invention—by surprise.
When I say that a good picture has surprise quality or shock appeal, I do not mean that it is a loud or vulgar picture but, instead, that it stimulates my thinking and intrigues me.
When the novice photographer starts taking pictures, he carries his camera about and shoots everything that interests him. There comes a time when he must crystallize his ideas and set off in a particular direction. He must learn that shooting for the sake of shooting is dull and unprofitable.
Astonish me! (Instruction to photographers)