Quotations  |  Minor White

 

Minor Martin White (July 9, 1908 – June 24, 1976) was an American photographer, theoretician, critic and educator. He combined an intense interest in how people viewed and understood photographs with a personal vision that was guided by a variety of spiritual and intellectual philosophies. Starting in Oregon in 1937 and continuing until he died in 1976, White made thousands of black-and-white and color photographs of landscapes, people and abstract subject matter, created with both technical mastery and a strong visual sense of light and shadow. He taught many classes, workshops and retreats on photography at the California School of Fine Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, other schools, and in his own home. He helped start and for many years was editor of the photography magazine Aperture. After his death in 1976, White was hailed as one of America's greatest photographers.

 
 
Very often I try to find something that matches a feeling I have. On the other hand, a lot of times I photograph with nothing specific in mind. I just play it as it comes. If it’s good, fine. I find ‘letting it happen’ relaxing, a playful vacation. Stimulating pictures almost always result.
There’s no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I’m always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don’t give a damn how it got made.
Photographers who come up with power never get accused of imitating anyone else even though they photograph the same broom, same street, same portraits
Sometimes we work so fast that we don’t really understand what’s going on in front of the camera. We just kind of sense that, ‘Oh my God, it’s significant!’ and photograph impulsively while trying to get the exposure right. Exposure occupies my mind while intuition frames the images.
In putting images together I become active, and excitement is of another order – synthesis overshadows analysis.
Camera and eye are together a time machine with which the mind and human being can do the same kind of violence to time and space as dreams.
Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts
Vision without association - pristine vision.
As I become more in harmony with the world around, through, and in me, the varieties of time weave together.
Creativity with portraits involves the invocation of a state of rapport when only a camera stands between two people...mutual vulnerability and mutual trust.
...a very receptive state of mind...not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second’s exposure conceives a life in it.
No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.