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BROOKS JENSEN
Fine-art photographer, publisher, workshop teacher, and writer.
Our personal growth can fuel our photography and our photography can fuel our personal growth. - Brooks Jensen

Writing is not about words. Painting is not about pigment. Music is not about tones. As long as photographers insist that photography is about photographs, the art is limited and self-containing! - Brooks Jensen - LWQ, no.18, p.56

When I wait and look and listen I make different photographs than when I scurry around looking and searching with a proactive approach. - Brooks Jensen

The market is the solution to being able to afford your next project. ... Today's commercial success fuels tomorrows creative ideas and creative projects. - Brooks Jensen

Thirty-five years ago I became interested in photography because of the magic I saw in images. I underestimated, however, the power of photography to connect me to people. - Brooks Jensen

I learned that the most meaningful work is found in those projects that are produced purposefully, in order to complete a specific artistic vision or statement. - Brooks Jensen

I’ve felt, for some time, that the next new hard in photography is the true potential of photography. That is exploring the human soul. Creating in photographs great passion. - Brooks Jensen

What is the single most important factor of making a connection with a viewer? ... It is, quote honestly, not your photograph. It is the state of mind of the viewer. ... One of the greatest challenges we have as photographers is putting our work in front of people at at time when their mind is receptive to photographic artwork. When their mind is receptive to seeing what it is that we are presenting. - Brooks Jensen

Learning something about the history of photography and finding somebody that spoke to me esthetically was a very important part of my discovering this passion in my life. - Brooks Jensen

I think that's part of the confusion of photography too. Is the fact that the role of photographer can be both objective observer and creator of something. - Brooks Jensen

We should never forget as creative photographers that our creative vision may survive us by tens or maybe even hundreds of years. And that what we are creating is not just a photography, but a legacy of our minds and our creativity. - Brooks Jensen

So, it is necessary to understand this image in it's time, or it gets completely mis-understood in our time. So maybe, we photographers need to think about this and know that our images are going to have to be explained 50, 100, 200, or 500 years from now. Just like Shakespeare or Renaissance paintings need to be explained to us today. - Brooks Jensen

The more time I spend making picture, the more time I spend printing picture, the more time I spend working with pictures the greater the chances are that I'll be witj the camera or in the dark room when the creative muse strikes. Then the challenge is to simple be receptive to it. - Brooks Jensen

All of these images, all these computer files, all these negatives that I keep all these years are a sort of cholesterol that clog up the arteries and get in the way of being to focusing on the really good images and really good negatives that I made. So I'm starting to throw out more and more. And as I do so, it's starting to feel really terrific. - Brooks Jensen

There is a lesson here for young photographers; you may not realize how important keeping that work is going to be, because 25 to 30 years later you might discover images that you want to print. Don't throw away your negatives! - Brooks Jensen

The creative photographer is a seer, in both senses of that word. In short, the art of seeing is what defines the creative photographer as compared to the merely competent one. - Brooks Jensen

We are simply fellow travelers with these people. Who share the passion for photograph. And who each do our own par to carry photograph forward through the ages with our passion and with our work. And it is in the context of that much larger view of something like photograph that helps us, inspires us, to do our very best. ...that is the very best way that we can say 'thank you' to those that have gone before us. - Brooks Jensen

Realize that creativity does not work on a clock. ...Do photography (or at least think photography) every day. - Brooks Jensen

You don't know if you've gone far enough until you go too far and then you work back a couple of steps. - Brooks Jensen

Not that it difficult to photograph mundane things, but it's difficult to see them as significant. ... The hard thing to do of course is to find a way to photograph a mundane subject or a mundane event in a way that makes it exciting. - Brooks Jensen

Look at the photographs, look at them carefully. Let the composition and the subject matter determine the aspect ratio. That's the ultimate authority. Not the camera manufacturer. Not the film manufacturer. - Brooks Jensen

There is no doubt in my mind that living with a photograph for a while, before you make the final print, will always change the image. Most often, for the better. - Brooks Jensen

Sometimes the best way to get rid of something that is plaguing your mind is just to photograph it, so that your free to move on. - Brooks Jensen

If you want to make a photograph special and precious, make a better photograph. The white gloves don't add anything to a bad photograph. - Brooks Jensen

When we're looking at an image - particular one in a publication or one from history - how we would choose to print it is non-sequitur precisely because, in fact, we aren't going to print it. What we have in front of us is the finished piece of work. Therefore, the only important comments that we can make, the only useful comments that we can make, are about the work as it exists now. There is a great deal we can bring to the discussion - our reactions to it, our interpretation of it, the context, the background - all of this is fair game. But, how we would change it in order to improve it seems to me to be fundamentally unimportant, at best, and a silly distraction, at worst. - Brooks Jensen

Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own. - Brooks Jensen

The camera is, at it's root, a complex recording device. It is a mirror to the world - and a reasonably efficient machine for making images copies of the world it reflects. The camera is not a creative being, but the human who wields it is. - Brooks Jensen

Photograph and engage life as though it is very short. It is--as you will learn when you see how quickly the next ten years go by. - Brooks Jensen

A good fine art photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the emotional content that the viewer is unaware of the print. - Brooks Jensen

If photography is truly an art, then what it expresses is human emotion. Not what the world looks like. … It’s not about what's in front of you, it's about what's inside of you. ... Expression, that's what its all about. Artistic expression, not objective duplication. - Brooks Jensen

Photography is this incredible niche thing. You are either sort of into photography or you’re not. - Brooks Jensen

When you see it, photograph it. Don't wait. It may not be there when you find you're ready to make the picture. - Brooks Jensen

We never see a photograph all at once. Our vision doesn't work that way. ... We have to look at all the parts of the photograph and then assemble it in our minds eye. This is the one of the fascinating things about good art work. It always brings forth that element of imagination and requires you to use your mind to really see it, because your eye can't possible see it all. - Brooks Jensen

All the great fine art photograph in the world share this common theme of being an intersection between an image and an idea. ... It's ideas that are the source of great photographs, not merely time and place. - Brooks Jensen

When somehow the atmosphere becomes alive with fog, or clouds, or rain, or lightening, or dust blown in the air, or high puffy clouds in the sky...that's the time that great photographs can be made outdoors. Isn't it interesting what an important component of photographs is the simple atmosphere in which we live. That's supposedly transparent but becomes alive in a photograph in when it's not. - Brooks Jensen

So why are Picture square? ... An example of a simple question, with a complicated answer. And maybe, just maybe, an opportunity for creativity. - Brooks Jensen

..the best photographs you make will be the things you are most passionate about. Go photograph those things that you really care about deeply. And they will probably be much better photographs than the photographs you make about things that you are not truly, deeply passionate. - Brooks Jensen

Too much of photography is about photographers. That is to say, the creative act in photography is supposedly the photographer's skill in seeing what others do not, but this is simply not sufficient - and can lead to a lot of trite photography. - Brooks Jensen

Photography is not about what we see; photography is about [what] we make. A person who sees, but can't paint, is not a painter; a painter is someone who creates a painting. A person who hears, but can't write music, is not a composer; a composer is one who creates music. Even so, painting is not about the manipulation of paint; composing is not about the manipulation of notes. In all arts - including photography - what counts is what a person makes, and - most importantly - what a person expresses. It's not seeing, it's expressing that makes photography art. - Brooks Jensen

I had learned a valuable lesson: Show your work to a hundred different people and you will get a hundred different opinions, none of them correct and all of them valid. All their opinions are valid because when someone tells you whether or not they like your work, there is no way to argue with that - to do so would only question their taste, not tell you about your work. - Brooks Jensen

That's one of the problems of photography, it tends to be a surface sort of thing if we are not careful. Because it's just snap a picture and move on; take a picture and move on. Make a picture of what something looks like, but that's not at all what photography is. We have to learn to photograph not what it is but what else it is. - Brooks Jensen

The essence of creative photography is in us - not in the camera, not in the subject, not in the technology, not in the photographic artifact. And, by extension, because each one of us is a different and unique person, our response to a place - i.e., a photographic subject - is (or can be) unique, too. - Brooks Jensen

I've always felt there are a large reservoir of people who have wonderful artistic vision but who lack the technical skills to manifest their vision in a recalcitrant and stubborn medium where molecules and the rules of physics and chemistry conspire to make things difficult. - Brooks Jensen

A face is not a portrait. My feeling is that a portrait of someone is not just what they look like, but include who they are. - Brooks Jensen

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