Realize the limitations as well as the possibilities

Sombrero Galaxy

Within these Limitations Enough Can be Said

I may be writing for a very few persons, maybe only one, no more is to be expected. To the few, or the one, I would finally say, learn to think photographically and not in terms of other media, then you will have something to say which has not already been said. Realize the limitations as well as the possibilities of photography. The artist unrestrained by a form, within which he must confine his original emotion, could not create. The photographer must work out his problem, restricted by the size of his camera, the focal length of his lens, the certain grade of dry plate or film, and the printing process he is using: within these limitations enough can be said, more than has been so far – for photography is young.

Actually I am not arguing for my way. An argument indicates a set frame of mind by those who participate, and to remain fluid, ready to change, indeed eager to, is the only way to grow. Personal growth is all that counts. Not, am I greater than another, but am I greater than I was last year or yesterday. Each of us is in a certain stage of development and it would be a drab world if we all thought alike.

by Edward Weston (March 24, 1886 – January 1, 1958)
from Photographers on Photography, 1966
image: NASA, the Sombrero Galaxy

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2 Responses to “Realize the limitations as well as the possibilities”

  1. Rantz Says:

    I like this quote – both with and without ‘of photography’. For me, it works on both levels really well.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  2. admin Says:

    I didn’t think he’d mind, especially since he didn’t limit his meaning of life stuff to photography. I really enjoy the way someone who is totally immersed in their field can extend love for their area of expertise to philosophizing about life in general — or maybe they started with the philosophy and that helped them excel in their field.