Photo Quotes Archive

Quotes by Henry Wessel (11 quotes)

(1942- )
An American photographer noted for his descriptive, yet poetic photographs of the human environment. Wessel has been living and photographing California and the west since 1970.
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"In a still photograph you basically have two variables, where you stand and when you press the shutter. That’s all you have."
Source: KQED "Spark" segment on Henry Wessel
Photography > General
Quote #224
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"[The photographer's task] is to describe the existing light… Chances are, if you believe the light, you’re going to believe that the things photographed existed in the world."
Source: Museum of Contemporary Photography
Photography > General
Quote #225
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"It can happen anytime, anywhere. I mean, you don't have to be in front of stuff that's going to make a good photograph. It's possible anywhere."
Source: KQED "Spark" segment on Henry Wessel
Photography > General
Quote #226
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"You're suddenly seeing the coherence and the interconnectedness of everything, left to right, top to bottom, front to back. It's all connected, and, somehow, it's all in balance. And that's, of course, when you go, 'Yes!'."
Source: KQED "Spark" segment on Henry Wessel
Photography > Technique
Quote #227
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"Some of my best work is done when I'm half asleep."
"I don't go out looking for pictures. I go out, and if something catches my eye, that's reason enough to photograph it."
"I could feel myself changing physically. It was like something dropped out of the sky. Seeing her on the fire escape had given me a certain feeling, and then when I saw the photograph of her, it gave me a similar feeling. And I thought that was an incredibly powerful thing -- that a photograph could give you a feeling that was similar to a feeling you had in the physical world. Nobody could've told me that. I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life."
"Most musicians I know don't just play music on Saturday night. They play music every day. They are always fiddling around, letting the notes lead them from one place to another. Taking still photographs is like that. It is a generative process. It pulls you along."
"Part of it has to do with the discipline of being actively receptive. At the core of this receptivity is a process that might be called soft eyes. It is a physical sensation. You are not looking for something. You are open, receptive. At some point you are in front of something that you cannot ignore."
"If you let some time go by before considering work that you have done, you move toward a more objective position in judging it. The pleasure of the subjective, physical experience in the world is a more distant memory and less influential."
"The process of photographing is a pleasure: eyes open, receptive, sensing, and at some point, connecting. It's thrilling to be outside your mind, your eyes far ahead of your thoughts."