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"I have seen the moment of my greatness flick'r..."
I want to incorporate everything, understand everything, because time is cruel and nothing stays the same.
If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera.
Look, I'm not an intellectual -- I just take pictures.
The pictures have to talk, not me.
I think a camera is an excuse to be curious.
Ultimately photography is about who you are. It's the seeking of truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.
Photography is both a process of engagement and a method by which we come to understand the world through that engagement.
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
I wanted to make something that was complex enough to stand more than one reading. I wasn’t interested in making jokes or illustrations. Straight photography, following the medium, is intoxicating—trying to wrestle it into the form of a poem.... What’s more interesting than your own life?
If you have faith in the richness of the everyday world and the willingness to collaborate with chance happenings, you can make a picture that exceeds anything your mind could come up with.
Even though most people still don't seem to understand how manipulative photography is - how it changes experience - if it didn't, it wouldn't be so magical. A clue as to why photography is so wonderful is that it does its own thing; it creates a new reality.
I'm interested in people and people things.
My intention is to make interesting photographs. That’s it, in the end. I don’t make it up. Let’s say it’s a world I never made. That’s what was there to deal with.
When I'm photographing, I don't see photographs, I see faces.
For me the true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film…if, later, the reality means something to someone else, so much the better.
A photograph should be more interesting than the subject and transcend its obviousness.
…to persevere, when the times are bad, when you and your wife are arguing, and you have no money, and your photography sucks that you have to keep on going. and going, and going, and going…
The primary problem is to learn to be your own toughest critic. You have to pay attention to intelligent work, and to work at the same time. You see. I mean, you’ve got to bounce off better work. It’s a matter of working.
A photograph is a fossil. That is what a camera does.
Even though my photographs might be about a place or a country, ultimately my photos are my life biography.
You know how few of the pictures you take turn out to be any good.
Taking good pictures is easy. Making very good pictures is difficult. Making great pictures is almost impossible.
Photography is about failure.
I only use the camera like I use a toothbrush. It does the job.
If you don't carry a camera you are not a photographer.
We are only as good as the people who come before us. We may think we're natural born but it's not true, it's all a lie. We learn as we go along and we owe a lot to the people who come before us.
I always wanted to be a photographer. I was fascinated with the materials. But I never dreamed I would be having this much fun. I imagined something much less elusive, much more mundane.
At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands before our camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect--a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known.
- Robert Adams
Life should be an adventure. Anything else is a crying shame.
There is no wealth but life.
I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human.
I photograph to remember.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
I am against virtuosity for its own sake, technique should enrich the action.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins.
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
—Old Arab proverb
Flickr is my scrapbook; my memories, my work prints, my wall. I mostly do candid street photography these days; I enjoy documenting the human condition. Film is my favorite medium ... for now. Feedback is always appreciated. And thanks for looking.
My flickr namesake once got me a short interview in an online magazine. (Sorry about the lousy scans.) It's here: www.smithmag.net/2006/10/31/boo-a-flickr-halloween-stream...
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He makes me want to take my camera everywhere.
no one i know of evokes mood better than _smith_. i feel his photos as well as see them. he reaches across time and space and speaks to us. thank you, michael.
I don’t have to praise the photographic qualitity and technical skill of Smith’s pictures. They are too obvious. There’s more to it: For me his photographs are like authentic echoes from a world Greil Marcus once called that “old weird America”. Looking at Smith’s pictures immediately fills your head with sounds, pictu… Read more
I don’t have to praise the photographic qualitity and technical skill of Smith’s pictures. They are too obvious. There’s more to it: For me his photographs are like authentic echoes from a world Greil Marcus once called that “old weird America”. Looking at Smith’s pictures immediately fills your head with sounds, pictures and notes of American 20th century’s culture, with today’s news and yesterday’s history. Taking pictures in the great tradition of American social-documentary photography Smith is a critical chronicler of the fading away “American Dream” that has too often changed into a nightmare. His allday oberservations are precise and sharp, often melancholic and poetic, showing the familiar as displeasing – like “weird scenes from the goldmine” (Jim Morrison). He explores and documents abandoned homes like a “preventive archaeologist”, not like an intruder, his camera is his shovel and his notebook. Those sad and moving, but also beautiful post-war-like pictures and his wonderful portraits of people - homeless boys in the streets of New York or workers on their last working day before their factory will be closed down – have one thing in common: he always gives the people - even if they are not present in the pictures - the only thing that’s left: dignity.Read less
Michael's work is unpretentious and he has the unique ability to elevate the understated beauty of ordinary life to the status of art!
There is a "richness" to Michael's work...in tone, subject matter, color, light, etc. It's as if the world has been magnified, saturated. And you cannot help but bathe in it.