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ALFRED EISENSTAEDT
[1898 - 1995] American photographer
Keep it simple. - Alfred Eisenstaedt
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Never boss people around. It's more important to click with people than to click the shutter. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Collector's edition of Life, the Eisie Issue , Page: 18

Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur. - Alfred Eisenstaedt

[All photographers has to do, is] find and catch the story-telling moment. - Alfred Eisenstaedt

When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear. - Alfred Eisenstaedt

In 1927 he [ Alfred Eisenstaedt ] sold his first picture, of a tennis player. "This started me to look at the world in a different way. Ever since, sometimes I look with telephoto eyes, sometimes with wide-angle eyes." - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Collector's edition of Life, the Eisie Issue , Page: 16

We are only beginning to learn what to say in a photograph. The world we live in is a succession of fleeting moments, any one of which might say something significant. When such an instant arrives, I react intuitively. There is, I think, an electronic impulse between my eye and my finger. But even this is not enough. I dream that someday the step between my mind and my finger will no longer be needed. And that simply by blinking my eyes, I shall make pictures. Then, I think, I shall really have become a photographer. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - said in 1966, Collector's edition of Life, the Eisie Issue , Page: 18

Today photographers are much more interested in setting up strobe lights and doing technical things. To me, both then and now, technique is not that important. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Professional photographer's survival guide by Charles E. Rotkin , ISBN: 0817454098 , Page: 29
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He (newer photographer) should never become conceited just because he has something published. It can go away tomorrow and then he has to try again and again. Whatever I have accomplished over the years, whatever I am, I am not egotistical, and a big ego in a young photographer will only hold him back. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - advise he had to offer to newer photographer., Professional photographer's survival guide by Charles E. Rotkin , ISBN: 0817454098 , Page: 29
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I don't like to work with assistants. I'm already one too many; the camera alone would be enough. - Alfred Eisenstaedt

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter. - Alfred Eisenstaedt

After on of his [ Eienstaedt ] many European photographic assaignments he was asked what he did at night in Paris. Eisie deadpanned, “I expose longer.” - Alfred Eisenstaedt

I always prefer photographing in availible light – or Rembrandt-light I like to call it – so you get the natural modulations of the face. It makes a more alive, real, and flattering portrait. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVII
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I seldom think when I take a picture. My eyes and fingers react – click. But first, it’s most important to decide on the angle at which your photograph is to be taken. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVI
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I was all set to to photograph the Prime Minister [Winston Churchill] from the best side and at the best angle, as he sat in an armchair in his library. But Churchill shook his head. ‘Young man,’ he called me ( I was fifty-two at the time). ‘I know how to take pictures. You have to do it from there.’ In order to please the great man I photographed him ‘from there’, and then discreedtly skipped back to the opposide side and got the picture I wanted. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVI
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In a photograph a person’s eyes tell much, sometimes they tell all. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVI
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Making friends is second nature to me. I like photographing people at their best. This means making them feel relaxed and completely at home with you from beginning. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVI
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I once asked Eisie if he had ever felt awed by any of the hundreds of famous people he had photgraphed. “Never when I had a camera in my hand” he said. “I always remembered what Wilson Hicks, the picture editor of LIFE, said to me when I was on assignment photographing the most glamorous stars in Hollywood: “They may be queens in their profession” he said ‘but you are a king in yours.” This has helped me with anyone and everyone.” - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt : Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O'Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows , ISBN: 0821225979 , Page: XVII
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Yes, I sold buttons to earn living. But I took pictures to keep on living. Pictures are my life – as necessary as eating or breathing. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , ISBN: 0871650371 , Page: 27
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...I don’t use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it.
That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter.
- Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , ISBN: 0871650371 , Page: 28
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The way I would describe a pictorial is that it is a picture that makes everybody say ‘Aaaaah,’ with five vowels when they see it. It is something you would like to hang on the wall. The french word ‘photogenique’ defines it better than anything in English. It is a picture which must have quality, drama, and it must, in addition, be as good technically as you can possible make it. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , ISBN: 0871650371 , Page: 28
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I have to be as much diplomat as a photographer. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Great Images of the 20th Century : The Photographs That Define Our Times by Kelly Knauer (Editor), Inc Time , ISBN: 1883013755 , Page: 134
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Retire? Retire from What? Life? I will only retire when I am dead and people will say 'that's the man who shot that picture of the sailor and the nurse on VJ Day'! - Alfred Eisenstaedt - Aged 93

I'm often asked how I go about an assignment - well, I was always good with people. I'm no dumbbell; I read a great deal and treat people the same way I wish to be treated myself. When I enter a room, I can talk to almost anybody - no matter if they are an astronomer, a physicist, a philosopher, an astrologer, anything adn everything. It's important for a photographer to remember they may want to return later on, as a friend. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 80

With photography, everything is in the eye and these days I feel young photographers are missing the point a bit. People always ask about cameras but it doesn't matter what camera you have. You can have the most modern camera in the world but if you don't have an eye, the camera is worthless. Young people know more about modern cameras and lighting than I do. When I started out in photography I didn't own an exposure meter - I couldn't , they didn't exist! I had to guess. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 80

Photographers don't need to be aggressive. Some are. Henry Benson is aggressive - but then he's from Fleet Street. If you can talk to people, you don't need to push people around. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 80

...but when a photographer wants to do really good work, he must work alone. He shouldn't be surrounded by anyone - art directors, girlfriends, or anyone. Think in terms of Cartier-Bresson. Can you imagine Cartier-Bresson working with someone leaning over his shoulder? Would it be possible? - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 80

People will never understand the patience a photographer requires to make a great photograph, all they see is the end result. I can stand in front of a leaf with a dew drop, or a rain drop, and stay there for ages just waiting for the right moment. Sure, people think I'm cracy, but who cares? I see more than they do! - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 80

It's important to understand it's OK to control the subject. If most editorial stories were photographed just as they are, editors would end up throwing most in the waste basket. You have to work hard at making an editorial picture. You need to re-stage things, rearrange things so that they work for the story, with truth and without lying. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 82
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For instance you might ask a subject to sit this way and then look at the camera. You might ask them to move their face this way or stand over there. Sure, I rearrange things - but the person hasn't changed, the room is still the same, it's the same light. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 82

Today's photographers think differently. Many can't see real light anymore. They think only in terms of strobe - sure, it all looks beautiful but it's not really seeing. If you have the eyes to see it, the nuances of light are already there on the subject's face. If your thinking is confined to strobe light sources, your palette becomes very mean - which is the reason I photograph only in available light. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - LensWork Feb-Mar 2002 page 82

I waited, focused, waited again for several minutes, then - remember, I always behaved like an amateur with a little equipment - click, it was done. - Alfred Eisenstaedt, Disappearing Witness: Change in Twentieth-Century American Photography by Gretchen Garner , ISBN: 0801871670
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I enjoy traveling and recording far-away places and people with my camera. But I also find it wonderfully rewarding to see what I can discover outside my own window. You only need to study the scene with the eyes of a photographer. - Alfred Eisenstaedt - [cited in: Creative Camera April 1970, p. 104]

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