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Famous Quotes from Photographer Elliott Erwitt

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Elliott Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928.  He is best known as a documentary photographer who specialized in capturing absurd and unique moments.  When Erwitt turned ten his family moved to the United States.  Erwitt took advantage of the move an went to Los Angeles City College and the New School to study photography and filmmaking.  When he completed his studies in 1950 Erwitt started working as a photographer’s assistant.  A stint in the US Army allowed him the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most famous photographers including Steichen, Capa and Stryker.  Being hired by Stryker lead him to a career as a freelance photographer working for many well respected magazines such as Look, Life and Holiday.  He joined Magnum Photo agency and he traveled the world as a photographer.  Below are some quotes made famous by Erwitt.

Quality doesn't mean deep blacks and whatever tonal range. That's not quality, that's a kind of quality. The pictures of Robert Frank might strike someone as being sloppy--the tone range isn't right and things like that--but they're far superior to the pictures of Ansel Adams with regard to quality, because the quality of Ansel Adams, if I may say so, is essentially the quality of a postcard. But the quality of Robert Frank is a quality that has something to do with what he's doing, what his mind is. It's not balancing out the sky to the sand and so forth. It's got to do with intention.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

Do what the client wants, not what you want.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

After following the crowd for a while, I'd then go 180 degrees in the exact opposite direction. It always worked for me, but then again, I'm very lucky.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

Working myself into a position of total versatility, so that I can do anything I want to do at the time I want to do it. Whether I do it or not is another question.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

Balance of light is the problem, not the amount. Balance between shadows and highlights determines where the emphasis goes in the picture...make sure the major light in a picture falls at right angles to the camera.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

If you keep your cool, you'll get everything.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

Elliott Erwitt   

 

All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.

Elliott Erwitt  

 

The work I care about is terribly simple. I observe, I try to entertain, but above all, I want pictures that are emotional.

Elliott Erwitt  

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