Photographic Aphorisms
collected by Jeffrey Sward
 
Selected from Photographic Truths - Ted Orland
 
  • The best scenic views are clearly designated by highway signs reading NO STOPPING ANYTIME. The Post Office folds all parcels containing photographs.
  • Camera straps never fail above soft surfaces. Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will.
  • Financial success in photography is directly related to proper choice of subject matter. Falling airplanes, exploding volcanoes, and certain Presidential motorcades work best.
  • No two light meters agree.
  • The word "Daguerreotype" cannot be spelled correctly.
  • 1/60 at f/8 is the correct exposure for all photographs.
  • When your friends finally realize that you are a true artist, committed to making sensitive and meaningful images, they will ask you to photograph their wedding.
  • On any tripod, only two legs work properly.
  • Owning more than one lens assures that you will always have the wrong lens on the camera for any given picture.
  • A camera store will charge $75 to repair a camera that has been adjusted with a butter knife.
  • Falling lenses are attracted to rocks.
  • The lens is pointed inward
  • Many people take only one photograph repeatedly
  • Even Ansel has to earn a living
 
Selected from 100 Things I Have Learned About Photography - Eric Kim
 
  • Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn't mean that they're a good photographer.
  • Always shoot in RAW. Always.
  • Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
  • UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
  • Go outside and shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
  • Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
  • Film isn't better than digital.
  • Digital isn't better than film.
  • There is no "magic" camera or lens.
  • Better lenses don't give you better photos.
  • Spend less time looking at other people's work and more time shooting your own.
  • Making your photos b/w doesn't automatically make them "artsy"
  • You don't need to take a photo of everything.
  • Have at least 2 backups of all your images. Like they say in war, two is one, one is none.
  • Get closer when taking your photos, they often turn out better.
  • Worry less about technical aspects and focus more on compositional aspects of photography.
  • Don't be afraid to take several photos of the same scene at different exposures, angles, or apertures.
  • A point-and-shoot is still a camera.
  • Join an online photography forum.
  • Critique the works of others.
  • Think before you shoot.
  • A good photo shouldn't require explanation (although background information often adds to an image).
  • Alcohol and photography do not mix well.
  • Draw inspiration from other photographers but never worship them.
  • Ditch the photo backpack and get a messenger bag. It makes getting your lenses and camera a whole lot easier.
  • Simplicity is key.
  • Find your style of photography and stick with it.
  • Having a second monitor is the best thing ever for photo processing.
  • Never let photography get in the way of enjoying life.
  • Take straight photos.
  • Shoot with confidence.
  • Photography and juxtaposition are best friends.
  • Natural light is the best light.
  • Shooting photos of homeless people in an attempt to be "artsy" is exploitation.
  • You will find the best photo opportunities in the least likely situations.
  • You can't "Photoshop" bad images into good ones.
  • Nowadays everybody is a photographer.
  • You don't need to fly to Paris to get good photos; the best photo opportunities are in your backyard.
  • Cameras as tools, not toys.
  • In terms of composition, photography and painting aren't much different.
  • Make photos, not excuses.
  • Be original in your photography. Don't try to copy the style of others.
  • Any cameras but black ones draw too much attention.
  • The more gear you carry around with you the less you will enjoy photography.
  • Have fun while taking photos.
  • Never delete any of your photos.
  • Be respectful when taking photos of people or places.
  • Learn how to read a histogram.
  • Don't be afraid to take photos in the rain.
  • You will discover a lot about yourself through your photography.
  • Never hoard your photographic insight- share it with the world.
  • Never stop taking photos
  • Write your own list.
 
Jeffrey Sward
 
  • People often confuse art and commerce
  • Make the materials work.
  • The best photographs on display at county fairs are inevitably taken by sixth graders. This is because sixth graders have not yet had their aesthetics corrupted by The Gospel According to Eastman Kodak or other similar expressions of vapid sentimentality.
  • Theory follows practice
  • Photographs are not real.  Photographs are merely abstractions of what might have once existed.
  • A photograph is a good photograph when it succeeds under its own premises
  • In photography, everything has been done before.  A photographer succeeds when he creates his own style and approach.
  • The premise of the questions "Is Photography Art?" and "What is Art?" is meaningless, the circumstantiation is pretentious, and the answers are irrelevant.
  • Follow your passions
 

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