Photo Quotes Archive

Quotes by Bill Jay (30 quotes)

(1940-2009)
Bill Jay was born in Maidenhead, England. Early in his career, Jay worked for serveral photographic periodicals, was the first editor/director of "Creative Camera" magazine and then founded "Album" magazine. Jay's career includes being the first Director of Photography at the Institue of Contemporary Arts, London; gaving over 400 lectures on photography; writting hundreds of articles for his own and other photographic journals; instigating the history of photography program at Arizone State University.
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"If there is a single factor which separates the best photographers from the wannabes it is the quantity of images which they produce. They seem to be forever shooting. I have watched many of them as they take picture after picture even when they are not photographing. [...] Often these intimate images do not look as though they were taken by the same photographer. And that is their fascination and charm."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 53, Page 84
Photography > Photographer
Quote #127
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"If it is not an interesting picture when in focus, it is not going to be a better picture out of focus."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 53, Page 84
Photography > Technique
Quote #130
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"If you are intent on drawing or painting on your prints, you must first learn to draw and paint at least as well as you photograph."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 53, Page 84
Photography > Technique
Quote #131
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"If you cannot think of anything to say that is useful or enlightening about your images, then don't say anything. There are plenty of other people who would love to put words in your mouth."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 53, Page 84
Photography > Technique
Quote #132
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"If you are bored with your own photography you are really bored with what you are photographing, so pick a new subject about which you are knowledgeable and enthusiastic."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 60, Page 88
Photography > General
Quote #133
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"If you take pictures does that make you an art thief?"
Source: "LensWork", Issue 61, Page 87
Photography > Humor
Quote #152
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"I seem to walk in the world as two people. The normal everyday-me is as preoccupied, unobservant and oblivious to visual clues as I ever was. Then there is the photographer-me, the one who has a camera in hand and a specific project in mind, and then the world suddenly jumps to life with potential pictures, as if a switch had been thrown in my brain and a different person is looking out of the same eyes."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 62, Page 90
Photography > Photographer
Quote #153
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"Photography opens your eyes a little wider to the world around you."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 66, Page 92
Photography > General
Quote #154
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"But there are times when thinking is misplaced, like when taking photographs. You cannot think your way to making photographs; you can photograph your way to clearer thinking."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 66, Page 93
Photography > General
Quote #155
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"My point is that meaning is always personal, changeable and subjective. There is no 'correct' interpretation of a photograph."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 62, Page 90
Photography > General
Quote #175
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"This is life. It is everywhere, and it is here for the taking. I am alive and I know this, now, in a more profound way than when I am doing anything else. These sights are ephemeral, fleeting treasures that have been offered to me and to me alone. No other person in the history of the world, anywhere in all of time and space, has been granted this gift to be here in my place. And I am privileged, through the camera, to take this moment away with me. That is why I photograph."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 62, Page 90
Photography > Photographer
Quote #199
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"Words of wisdom for every photographer: 'Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking'. So said Goethe."
Source: "LensWork", Issue 62, Page 91
Photography > General
Quote #200
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"'Ornithologists concluded that migratory birds take hundreds of naps as they fly; they also practice unilateral eye closure, in which one eye closes, thereby permitting half the brain to sleep.' Is this what happens when photographers close one eye to look through a viewfinder? If so, they might be operating with only half a brain. Perhaps that explains..."
"Concentrate on how the digital image is emaxed conceptually. Fortunately, this is easy to grasp: The camera's chip (invented by Fr. Fry) comprises a new element, Creatium (C), not to be confused with the speed of light (C). When these collide, they excite multitudes of particles known as morons (m). At critical mess, the nuclear bisons -- agitated beyond control -- stampede into isodopes, providing stuff-stash outsource integration with plug-and-play, point-and-shoot, drag-and-drop convenience. In short, picture emergence (as we experts say) is a result of morons excited by light/creatium, or e=mc(squared)."
"...photographers who carry 60 pounds of equipment up a hill to photograph a view are not suffering enough, although their whining causes enough suffering among their listeners. No, if they really expect us to respect their search for enlightenment and artistic expression, in [the] future they will drag the equipment up the hill by their genitals and take the view with a tripod leg stuck through their foot."
"Photography is inextricably linked with life; the photographer is not invisibly behind the camera but projecting a life-attitude through the lens to create an interference pattern with the image. Who he is, what he believes, not only becomes important to know intellectually, but also becomes revealed emotionally and visibly through a body of work."
"Think clearly, act sensibly, commit yourself to caring and work hard in order to discover joy. Then give the images back to the world from which they were taken."
"...the subject, the thing itself, is the genesis of all types of photography."
"Be gentle and tolerant. Intimacy will grow, but will take time and cannot be rushed. If all goes well, soon you will become more familiar with each other, and handling will forge awkward fumbling and fondling into more satisfying and productive caresses and eventually into a comfortable working partnership. At this stage you will be ready to accompany your new camera into the world."
Source: LensWork, Issue 76, Page 94
Photography > Equipment
Quote #636
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"There are many reasons why photography does not attract the social and cultural attention it deserves. I would add one more which has received scant attention: it does not make a lot of noise. ... Perhaps photography would be more appreciated if camera shutters fired with the sound of a .357 Magnum."
"Discussions allow photographers to shuffle their prejudices"
"Photographers have already photographed everything too many times, except cheese."
"True, there are photographers who are failed artists, but so are most artists."
"Exhibiting your own art-photographs is a form of psychic incest."
"Evolution in action: First, God said "Let there be light." Then he created two nude models. Now we have photographers."
"I have trouble imagining Attila the Hun as a landscape photographer."
"The role of the critic is to wait until the battle is over, then wander around the field putting the wounded out of their misery."
"I appreciate photographs which celebrate harmony. I don't particularly want to look at chaos. I see enough of that at home."
"Museum collections have given photography rigor, and mortis."
"I talk a lot about photography. It's cheap becuase my supply always exceeds demand."