Harry Callahan
[Photographer, b. 1912, Detroit, Michigan, d. 1999, Atlanta, Georgia.]

 I think what photography can do really well is allow you to make a life’s work… So theoretically—the series is first, then the group is next, and the whole life’s work is the grand finale. (1979) 
 I sort of believe that a picture is like a prayer; you’re offering a prayer to get something, and in a sense it’s like a gift of God because you have practically no control—at least I don’t. 
 The difference between the casual impression and the intensified image is about as great as that separating the average business letter from a poem. 
 If you choose your subject selectively—intuitively—the camera can write poetry. 
 To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there is no guarantee that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters. 
 I really didn’t have much to teach. I didn’t even believe in it. I felt so strongly that everybody had to find their own way... In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen. 
 It takes me a long time to change. I don’t think you can just go out and figure out a bunch of visual ideas and photograph. The change happens in living and not through thinking. 
 When I’m working well, I can make a lot of pictures at one time—three or four, each one as good as the next. Then I can go for a year without making one good exposure. 
quotes 1-8 of 23
page 1 of 3 next page last page
display quotes