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Ansel Adams Quotes on Photography and Nature

Gain a whole new appreciation for photography and nature with these Ansel Adams quotes.

Ansel Adams was a brilliant photographer and conservationist.

His love for the arts began by playing the piano which is where he thought his career was headed.

But he developed a keen eye for photography and had a love of nature which led to him taking exquisite landscape photographs.

While Ansel Adams did work in commercial photography for a period of time, including working for big name companies like Kodak and AT&T, his passion was in nature.

He continued to pursue using photography for his creative spirit.

Below is our compilation of inspirational, wise and thoughtful Ansel Adams quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

And after reading these beautiful quotes, be sure to also check out our collection of photography quotes for more inspiration.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Ansel Adams Quotes about WhatPhotography Is

1. “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” – Ansel Adams

2. “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams

3. “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” – Ansel Adams

4. “To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.” – Ansel Adams

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5. “A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams

6. “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” – Ansel Adams

7. “…one sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.” – Ansel Adams

8. “In some photographs the essence of light and space dominate; in others, the substance of rock and wood, and the luminous insistence of growing things” – Ansel Adams

9. “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

10. “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams quotes that will make you smile

11. “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams

12. “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams

13. “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams

14. “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looking into.” – Ansel Adams

15. “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” – Ansel Adams

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16. “To visualize an image (in whole or in part) is to see clearly in the mind prior to exposure, a continuous projection from composing the image through the final print.” – Ansel Adams

17. “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” – Ansel Adams

18. “Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.” – Ansel Adams

19. “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.” – Ansel Adams

20. “We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full  possibilities of the medium.” – Ansel Adams

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Ansel Adams Quotes on Photography and Life

21. “With all art expression, when something is seen, it is a vivid experience, sudden, compelling, and inevitable.” – Ansel Adams

22. “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” – Ansel Adams

23. “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” – Ansel Adams

24. “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

25. “I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.” – Ansel Adams

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Enjoy the beauty that is aroundyou

Ansel Adams saw and appreciated the beauty that was in his surroundings.

He used his creativity to find new ways to look at the scenery and was patient enough to find the magic shot.

These quotes by Ansel Adams are filled with the thoughts and inspiration that helped him to achieve the success that he did.

Whether you want to be a professional photographer, enjoy playing around with your camera, or have a deep appreciation for nature, take time to connect with the wisdom that was shared above.

And then, go out into the world and experiment yourself with photography, even if all you have is a camera on your phone.

Look for new angles and ways to capture the beauty that you see.

Which of these Ansel Adams quotes resonated with you best?

Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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1 Comment
  1. Michael Breake

    July 27, 2021 at 10:01 AM

    Ansel expressed so many profound truths about nature, art, and photography. If we all followed even a few of his thoughts the world would be a much better place.

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