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PAUL CAPONIGRO
[b. 1932] American photographer
Photography's potential as a great imagemaker and communicator is really no different from the same potential in the best poetry where familiar, everyday words, placed within a special context, can soar above the intellect and touch subtle reality in a unique way. Who has the time today, really the time, to grow, to unfold, and develop in an activity or even to contemplate properly what others are doing? Life ought to be lived more like harmonious music. The pressure of hastening things, of skimming superficially, only destroys that sense of music in life.
Work incessantly, cultivate discrimination, gather freedom from your own hard-earned results. Disregard successes but go back to them for help in an immediate problem. The possibility of discovery is everywhere. Freedom from your own work allows for intuition that draws from all your experience and perception but goes beyond it.
- Paul Caponigro - Paul Caponigro writing in his monograph published by Aperture. 1972.

We always point the lens both outward and inward. - Paul Caponigro

Work incessantly, cultivate discrimination, gather freedom from your own hard-earned results. Disregard successes but go back for help in an immediate problem. The possibility of discovery is everywhere. Freedom from your own work allows for intuition that draws from all your experience and perception but goes beyond it. - Paul Caponigro

Photography’s potential as a great image-maker and communicator is really no different from the same potential in the best poetry where familiar, everyday words, placed within a special context, can soar above the intellect and touch subtle reality in a unique way. - Paul Caponigro

Who can guarantee us anything for all the thinking and feeling? Who is such a total master that he’s going to get precisely what he expected? - Paul Caponigro

I don’t trust any camera you can’t make out of wood. - Paul Caponigro

Photography is a medium, a language through which I might come to experience directly the interaction between myself and nature. - Paul Caponigro

I often see the materials of photography as being a type of terrain. Emulsions, liquid developers, silver salts, and fixers interact, and I construct a landscape that I need to first explore in my mind’s eye if I am to make it manifest as an artful image in silver. - Paul Caponigro

In my years of photography I have learned that many things can be sensed, seen, shaped, or resolved in a realm of quiet, well in advance of, or between, the actual clicking of shutters and the sloshing of films and papers in chemical solutions. I work to attain a “state of heart,” a gentle space offering inspirational substance that could purify one’s vision. Photography, like music, must be born in the unmanifest world of the spirit. - Paul Caponigro

Photography's potential as a great image-maker and communicator is really no different from the same potential in the best poetry where familiar, everyday words, placed within a special context, soar above the intellect and touch subtle reality in a unique way. - Paul Caponigro - Paul Caponigro, Aperture vol. 13, no. 1, 1961

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