Henry Holmes Smith
[Artist and teacher, b. 1909, Bloomington, Illinois, d. 1986, San Rafael, California.]
I think control is the wrong word. I would put it this way. You see a lovely girl across a crowded room and you walk toward her with hope in your mind. That’s the way [my] pictures are made.
In a world of disturbing images, the general body of photography is bland, dealing complacently with nature and treating our preconceptions as insights. Strange, private worlds rarely slip past our guard...
People are competing to win at a game that is a loser’s game. The game is to have better routine images than someone else’s routine images. If you want a prescription for routine images, you just have to go through any student’s portfolio.
Somebody said recently that the best thing a student could do was to get in some shows and publish a book; but nothing about becoming a human being, nothing about having important feelings or concepts of humanity. That’s the sort of thing that is bad education. I’d say be a human being first and if you happen to wind up using photography, that’s good for photography.
The intensely felt subjective image is always the reason for making a first rate picture.