What We Put Into Our Pictures Is Our Whole Life

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You know, what we put into our pictures is not a smart idea. What we put into our pictures is our whole life and our whole intellectual discourse. Everything we know and everything we have done and everything that’s in our history goes into every single picture we take.

— Fred Herzog

via Street Reverb Magazine thx, Howard

There Are 10 Comments On This Article.

  1. Herzog’s photography is beautiful, insightful and clearly transcends simple recording. But, judging by the majority of what is in print, most other photographers have had pretty uninspiring lives. or haven’t thought too deeply about much of anything (except for maybe gear), or simply can’t translate thoughts and feelings to a still image. So… I disagree with the above statement and would suggest that the vast majority of photography is trivial and little more than a record of what was in front of the photographer. There are a lot of photographers who attempt to verbally elevate this visual record-keeping to art, and themselves to artists, but it it just doesn’t fly for most. It is the standout photographer that pours heart, soul and a good deal of skill into his or her images, standouts like Herzog. The rest of us? Well, we try…

    • I think we should remember that in this age of such a huge number of images, we usually gloss over most of the trivial and mundane photographs and tend only to focus on the outstanding and the unbelievably poor examples. The poor ones because we, as professional image creators are often surprised at some people’s choices, and the great images because our souls are fed buy them. In the end it’s what feeds our emotive soul that stands out and survives the test of time, so I think what Herzog is referring to is what makes the cut, not all the other stuff. He is leaving the other stuff out of the equation because it doesn’t really matter in the long run.

  2. My initial reaction was the same as John W’s. Thinking about it, though, here’s another perspective: if our photographs are superficial or unspired, perhaps it’s because our lives are superficial or uninspired. In that sense, our pictures really do express our inner selves. What Leonard Cohen said about poetry applies equally to photography (or any other creative endeavor):

    “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. “

  3. Matthew L Kees

    Also read A Lesser Photographer by C J Chilvers. It expresses a similar sentiment.

    Note, most of those who have high online KLOUT aren’t teaching good photography. They are just people with lots of gear, who are good at marketing. They create a lot of Flickr fodder.

    Few who are truly dedicated to our art get noticed.

    Matthew L Kees
    MLKstudios