When I write about my experiences as a photographer, I often wonder whether I'm alone in having these thoughts and experiences. My thoughts about catching fleeting moments, and how photography helps me to look and not just see the world around me sometimes makes me wonder if I'm just over thinking photography and in some way kidding myself. Yesterday though I read two quotes from famous photographers, offered by a colleague on Twitter, that gave me a sense that these experiences are common to photographers.
Dorothea Lange, who photographed the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera."
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of photo journalism, said, "Photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again."
Both quotes are far better said and concise than anything thing I could ever say or write. The lesson for me from these quotes is that these experiences, and other like them, are common to many if not most serious photographers. Considering the authors of these quotes and the quality of their photographs, maybe if we recognize and embrace these experiences it will help us to be better photographic artists. I hope that will prove the case for me.