Helen Levitt quotes

  • Photographs are of course about their makers, and are to be read for what they disclose in that regard no less than for what they reveal of the world as their makers comprehend, invent, and describe it.

  • The traditional difficulty of balancing the mechanical with the imaginative schools of photography still operates. In schools of photography meaningful art education is often lacking and on the strength of their technical ability alone students, deprived of a richer artistic training, are sent forth inculcated with the belief that they are creative photographers and artists. It is yet a fact that today, as in the past, the most inspiring and provocative works in photography come as much (and probably more) from those who are in the first place artists.

  • We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect... but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs.

  • Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.

  • To me documentary photography means making a picture so that the viewer doesn’t think about the man who made the picture. At its esthetic core is very old tradition in art: naturalism. And its purpose is to document all facets of social relationships.

  • In any art, you don't know in advance what you want to say - it's revealed to you as you say it. That's the difference between art and illustration.

  • The business of making a photograph may be said in simple terms to consist of three elements: the objective world (whose permanent condition is change and disorder), the sheet of paper on which the picture will be realized, and the experience which brings them together.

  • Thousands of women are crushed and made inarticulate by that system and never develop as their natures would force them to develop were they in a decent environment.

  • Since I'm inarticulate, I express myself with images.

  • Every meaning is a projection of the viewer's inarticulate moods.

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