Friday, 28 August 2009

why people photograph

well, if you could see my sofa. most of the time, i'm sitting on the right side of it and on the left, well, i pile up magazines, books, diaries, postcards, things that inspire me. they stay there until guests come round, when i clear it all up and it all begins all over again... in the mornings, i try to sit down with my coffee and read a little bit before i start work, sometimes i have books that keep me company for a good while. one of my inspiring reads recently is why people photograph by robert adams. it's a loose collection of essays written by adams for various publications on various topics. some of them gripped me more than others, but i love the way he speaks very plainly about being a photographer, there's no pretension or self-importance, it's all very honest and down-to-earth, sometimes suprisingly so. i really recommend it.

in his essay on teaching, adams refers to harry callahan, who not only left an amazing body of work as a photographer but also taught photography for many decades. i'll just have to share that quote with you:

"i really didn't have that much to teach. i didn't even believe in it. i felt so strongly that everybody had to find their own way. and nobody can teach you your own way . . . in terms of art, the only real answer that i know of is to do it. if you don't do it, you don't know what might happen."

p.s.: obviously, i don't want to put down teaching, i think it's one of the greatest things ever. but you know what i mean, right? 


Amanda said...

ok, I LOVE that quote. As a matter of fact, I am going to put it up on my blog if you don't mind. The part about no one being able to teach you your own way...pure brilliance! I needed that today!

isabelle said...

hey Kristina, I was wondering if you could explain me how to go for your format of blog with very large photos, do you know a link where I can get the explanation ? Thanks in advance for your help, my email id is touyarou@yahoo.co.in

Polly said...

I totally agree, however many books about photography I read I have to go out and start taking photos to discover and really learn

and I love the photo in your post!

I need to check out that book you're talking about, sounds very interesting...

oh, and one more thing, could you post an explanation on how to stretch the blog across the whole page? or perhaps forward that email to me too? pollyabroad@gmail.com



Kaylovesvintage said...

that sounds like a book , I would love to read( thanks for the summer- book-list)

your sofa sounds just like my table,lol

april said...

liebe kristina, so ein schönes buch, und so ein schönes zitat. wie wahr. danke fürs teilen. und deine morgenzeit auf dem sofa ist was wunderschönes. ich muss auch immer aufräumen wenn besuch kommt ;-) und jetzt habe ich auch noch einen wunsch: die sommerbuch liste. oh, ich bin so neugierig. liest du eigentlich auf deutsch und englisch? einen leichten kaffeesamstag wünsche ich dir. liebe grüsse*

kristina k said...

amanda: glad you like the quote - i found it very inspiring too!

isabelle & polly: i'll try to explain it as soon as i get the chance - i may just do it here on the blog since there are more people asking. i hope i'll manage to do a decent job... :)

kay: oh, you are welcome - and sorry i was so late with the list! hope you had a great holiday though.

april: hallo! ich versuche mal, die liste wiederzufinden - falls das glückt, schicke ich sie dir ... ;)

happy weekend everybody!

denise said...

Great Callahan quote! When teaching photography, I believe guiding is much better than dictating...

asphaltandair said...

such a great photo.
and a good topic to tangle my thoughts around.
wonderful quote! it's a keeper!