the photoshooter's journey from taking to making


Capturing Lightning In A Box.

Words to grow by, from those who taught us how to capture lightning in a box.


ALONG WITH DARK MEAT, CRANBERRY SAUCE, AND THE PERFECT YAM, I find unending Thanksgiving nourishment from the words of every photographer who has gone before me. And if this week marks our annual listing of gifts and gratitude, I would offer, as no less important than family and friends, the collected Wisdom Of Shooters Past as a hearty, ten-course meal for amateurs and professionals alike to feast on. It’s nice to remember that we are all trying to learn to see, and see well, and is an encouraging reminder that, behind all great lenses, there are great minds. The thought precedes the image, and, indeed, without that spark, we are all just mechanics.

Therefore, without further ado, ten noble sentiments on the fine art of harnessing light, for this day of thanks:


It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.—-Alfred Eisenstaedt

Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.–David Duchemin

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.—-Diane Arbus

One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.–Dorothea Lange

A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.–Edward Steichen

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.—Elliot Erwitt

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.–Henri Cartier-Bresson

The eye should learn to listen before it looks.—Robert Frank

If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, that’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.—Eve Arnold

Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.–Joe McNally


Happy Thanksgiving.

Stay hungry.

Always be seeing.

Always be shooting.



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