Julia Margaret Cameron
[Photographer, b. 1815, Calcutta, India, d. 1879, Kalutara, Ceylon.]
What is focus and who has the right to say what focus is the legitimate focus? (1864)
I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied.
When I have had such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavored to do its duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man. The photograph thus taken has been almost the embodiment of a prayer.
From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour, and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.
I turned my coal-house into my dark room, and a glazed fowl house I had given to my children became my glass house! The hens were liberated, I hope and believe not eaten... all hands and hearts sympathised in my new labour, since the society of hens and chickens was soon changed for that of poets, prophets, painters and lovely maidens, who all in turn have immortalized the humble little farm erection. (1874)
My aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the Real and Ideal and sacrificing nothing of the Truth by all possible devotion to Poetry and Beauty. (1864)
I believe that... my first successes in my out-of-focus pictures were a fluke. That is to say, that when focusing and coming to something which, to my eye, was very beautiful, I stopped there instead of screwing on the lens to the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon... (1874)