The grand sweep of a lifetime is made up of countless vague impressions, forgotten moments, and unnoticed instances of beauty. Think about all the glances you make away from a single conversation. Consider all the tiny dust particles you’ve seen dancing in sunbeams, or raindrops gathering at the swooping tip of a flower petal, or the shower of gold and crimson leaves that fall from the trees every autumn.
The miracle of photography is that it can preserve a fraction of a second forever. The job of the artist is to recognize which fractions of time and slices of emotion should be preserved. While many photographers shoot images that are grand, vivid with color, exciting, bold or even frightening, my photographs are quiet, meditative, subtle. While some photographers shoot with an exclamation mark (!), my work is more like an ellipsis ( . . . ), the little spaces in between the big moments.
It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country. ¹
— Bill Brandt
- Bill Brandt, Camera in London, The Focal Press, London 1948, p.14
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