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EMMET GOWIN
[b. 1941] American photographer
Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn't attending to. My photographs are intended to represent something you don't see. - Emmet Gowin, On Photography by Susan Sontag , ISBN: 0385267061 , Page: 200
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..The challenge of photography is to show the thing photographed so that our feelings are awakened and hidden aspects are revealed to us. - Emmet Gowin

I feel that whatever picture an artist makes it is in part a picture of himself—a matter of identity. - Emmet Gowin

All important pictures embody something that we do not yet understand. - Emmet Gowin

The picture is like a prayer, an offering, and hopefully an opening through which to seek what we don’t know, or already know and should take seriously. - Emmet Gowin

This is the gift of the landscape photograph, that the heart finds a place to stand. - Emmet Gowin

If you set out to make pictures about love, it can’t be done. But you can make pictures, and you can be in love. In that way, people sense the authenticity of what you do. - Emmet Gowin

I was going round the world searching for an interesting place, when I realized that the place that I was in was already interesting. - Emmet Gowin

Photography is such an important instrument in the education of our feelings and perception because of its duality. Photography represents the world we know, and suggests a world beyond what we can see. Creativity is the gap between perception and knowledge. - Emmet Gowin

Twentieth-century art has allowed me to see things in a cryptic way. I love the butterfly’s wings, which disappear when folded and when open leave this brilliant, intense pronouncement of nature, “Here I am.” - Emmet Gowin

[In nature] we may even glimpse the means with which to accept ourselves. Before nature, what I see does not truly belong to anyone; I know that I cannot have it, in fact, I’m not sure what I’m seeing. - Emmet Gowin

We tremble at the feelings we experience as our sense of wholeness is reorganized by what we see. - Emmet Gowin

[From 1966 to 1970] I was becoming alive to certain essential qualities in family photographs. Above all I admired what the camera made. The whole person was presented to the camera. There was no interference, or so it seemed. And sometimes the frame cut through the world with a surprise. There could be no doubt that the picture belonged more to the world of things and facts than to the photographer. - Emmet Gowin

I am pessimistic about a picture’s power to be the emissary of just one thing. What I hope is that the picture says, “Here I am, this is what I am like,” and the person seeing the picture says in return, “You know a lot but you don’t know half of what I know.” - Emmet Gowin

I think our fascination for what is terrible is great. Our need for beauty is great... And oddly, instead of wanting to run away from what is granted a terrible thing to know, I wanted to know more and to hold it as an image. - Emmet Gowin

When you’re flying over something, you must be open, receptive, you’re not making anything. You can look at it or choose not to look at it, but it’s not anything you can arrange or change. You can only consent or abstain. You don’t have that feeling on the ground. On the ground, you struggle. - Emmet Gowin

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