To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again. - Ralph Waldo Emerson , Ralph Waldo Emerson : Essays and Lectures (Library of America) by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joel Porte (Editor) , ISBN: 0940450151
Every artist was first an amateur. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
And why not draw for these times a portrait gallery? . . . A camera! A camera! Cries the century, that is the only toy. Come let us paint the agitator and the dilettante and the member of Congress and the college professor, the Unitarian minister, the editor of the newspaper, the fair contemplative girl, the aspirant for fashion & opportunities, the woman of the world who has tried & knows better . . . Good fun it would be for a master who with a delicate finger . . . should indicate all the lions by traits not to be mistaken yet that none should dare wag his finger whilst the shadow of each well known form flitted for a moment across the wall. So should we have at last if it were done well a series of sketches which would report to the next ages the color & quality of ours. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
October 21, 1841
Adopt the pace of Nature; her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many photographers think they are photographing nature when they are only caricaturing her. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Art is not to be found by touring to Egypt, China, or Peru; if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Continual failure is a road to success - if you have the strength to go on. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not be caught by the sensational in nature, as a coarse red-faced sunset, a garrulous waterfall, or a fifteen thousand foot mountain... avoid prettiness - the word looks much like pettiness - and there is but little difference between them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though many painters and sculptors talk glibly of "going in for photography," you will find that very few of them can ever make a picture by photography; they lack the science, technical knowledge, and above all the practice. Most people think they can play tennis, shoot, write novels, and photograph as well as any other person -- until they try. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pay no heed to the average photographer's remarks upon "flat" and "weak" negatives. Probably he is flat, weak, stale, and unprofitable; your negative may be first-rate, and probably is if he does not approve of it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not call yourself an "artist-photographer" and make "artist-painters" and "artist-sculptors" laugh; call yourself a photographer and wait for artists to call you brother. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Remember, that the original state of the minds of uneducated men is vulgar, you now know why vulgar and commonplace works please the majority. Therefore, educate your mind, and fight the hydra-headed monster-- vulgarity... Vulgarity astonishes, produces a sensation; refinement atracts by delicacy and charm and must be sought out. Vulgarity obtrudes itself, refinement is unobtrusive and requires the introduction of education. - Ralph Waldo Emerson