elliott erwitt quotes

Making books is a very specific kind of activity. It's not really a collection of your best pictures - although it is - but it's also a way of presenting your work so that it's not repetitive, so that it flows, and so that it makes sense in a book.

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

The ratio of successful shots is one in God-knows-how-many. Sometimes you'll get several in one contact sheet, and sometimes it's none for days. But as long as you go on taking pictures, you're likely to get a good one at some point.

Everybody's got to do something... I'd been on my own since an early age and I thought I better find something to do to buy biscuits and stuff. From high school onwards I was earning my way with photography, one way or another, working in darkrooms and taking pictures of weddings, neighbors' children and so on.

You can find pictures anywhere. It's simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what's around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.

The thing is that when you don't carry a camera, that's when you see pictures in particular, or at least that's when you think you see pictures in particular. When you do carry it, if you do see one on the occasion that you do, you can take it.

The most awful museums are in China. They have magnificent stuff on display and just the worst way of displaying it. They just don't spend money on lighting and installation.

Professionally I've evolved with what's required, but the pictures I do for pleasure haven't changed, except for the cars in the background, the clothing. I haven't changed at all.

Now very often events are set up for photographers... The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn't been photographed it doesn't really exist.

Covering a historic event is perfectly legitimate. It's not sneaking into somebody's boudoir... These people belong to history, and not to record that if you have the opportunity would be wrong.

In those simpler days, you could just take pictures of movie stars and show them the way they were, as normal human beings. And if I felt part of any movement at the time, it was just to do that - to be journalistic and photograph what is, rather than what is made up.

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