We are the strongest filter we can place before the lens. We point the lens both outward and inward.

— John Paul Caponigro

The most practical John Paul Caponigro quotes that are little-known but priceless

Surfaces reveal so much. The marks painters make reveal so much about their work and themselves; their sense of proportion, line, and rhythm is more telling than their signature. Looking at the surfaces of nature may offer equivalent revelations. What do these shapes and patterns reveal about the world and their creator? Surfaces hide so much.

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Color is a powerful physical, biological, and psychological force.

When less color and less intense color is present, trace amounts and subtle differences become highly significant and are strongly felt.

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What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see. Perception, belief, action, and change are codependent.

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Surprisingly, Gestalt psychologists have found that when subjected to Ganz fields for long periods of time, we hallucinate. Can empty fields serve as mirrors, not for our exteriors, but for our interiors?

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Less information often leads to more interpretation.

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The act of creation, making anything, is an alteration.

We cannot eliminate the medium or ourselves from the process, and both are limited. We create decisive moments by devoting our time and attention to specific things. This is the greatest gift we can give anyone or anything - pieces of our life.

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With the arrival of the new comes the need to overcome fascination with novelty in order to approach substance and sophistication - a sophistication born of subtlety and depth of perception, not complexity and perceived virtuosity.

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Visual artists choreograph dances for the eyes, guiding visual journeys in specific ways. But when presented with little or nothing, the journeys of the eyes become erratic and finally still their restless searching. The eye and mind and heart grow quiet, come to rest, and begin to understand their own functioning more deeply.

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While many conclusions are drawn... the process of asking questions is more important than the answers... an ongoing process of discovery.

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Inquiry is more important than answers, for it is the questions we ask and the way in which we ask them that defines us.

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We talk about the vulnerability involved in sharing our work publicly.

I don't think we talk enough about the real vulnerability involved in making art; if we truly engage the process we are changed by it.

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Different people can photograph the same things with the same tools and create such different images.

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About John Paul Caponigro

Quotes 51 sayings
Profession Photographer
Birthday June 23, 1965

Looking and seeing are two different things.

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Don't ask 'Should I ...?'. Instead, 'Ask what happens if I ...?'

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My mantra is, 'This or something better.'

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Photographs are never records of the way things are; they're records of the way things were.

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The most important question is, 'Am I asking the most important question?' The second most important question is, 'Am I asking the most important question in the most important way?'

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I'd say seeking is one of the fundamental artistic impulses.

Art is about discovery. The medium is not the message.

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The primary mode of experiencing images is non-verbal.

.. but once it's brought out into the light of the day, what's understood by the subconscious intuitive mind can be better grasped by the conscious rational mind. Aligning the two produces powerful results.

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Seeing creates growth.

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A good question has many answers.

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Images are altered in many ways, to many degrees, and for many reasons, so it's important for viewers to be informed of both.

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The frame frames a frame of mind.

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Through the experience of art, the powers of perception and transformation can be awakened, in both those who create it and those who re-perceive it.

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Very often there is too little information in photographs to deduce how they were made and even what they represent. We rely on context and supplemental information to confirm our observations, not simply the documents themselves.

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All photographs are about light. The great majority of photographs record light as a way of describing objects in space. A few photographs are less about objects and more about the space that contains them. Still fewer photographs are about light itself.

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Surfaces simultaneously reveal and conceal.

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Amid countless everyday miracles, I come in contact with something greater than myself and realize I am a part of it... I move in wonder through inspiration, reverence, gratitude, interconnectedness, transcendence, and grace.

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Above all, remember that the computer simply isn't as intelligent as you are.

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Art is a journey of discovery.

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We see the world through our experience.

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Every photograph is altered, to one degree or another.

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Listen carefully. The way(s) we speak about things is revealing.

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A photograph is an invitation to look - and to look at looking.

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We don't have enough words for photography.

Can you imagine writers having only one word for writing?

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It's one thing to make a beautiful thing; it's another thing to make a living thing.

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To be sure, not all moments are equally fleeting.

Some moments last longer than others. And certain events do reoccur more than once and even recur repeatedly. Sometimes you do get more than one chance. Sometimes you don't. It helps to know how long a window of opportunity you have and if you'll get another chance.

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It takes asking many questions from many perspectives to truly understand something.

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It's important that we regularly reconsider, revise, and expand our practices, as our capabilities and needs evolve, both to strengthen our understanding of them and to promote our awareness of new practices and their conscientious uses.

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The computer is a tool akin to a telescope or a microscope;

a tool that opens vast frontiers of possibilities and brings them to light; a tool that captures the elemental and animates or holds it still at will; a tool that captures the organic flow of the earth's crust or the wash of a wave, and creates an impossible symmetry, an elemental Rorshach pattern ripe for continued exploration, divulging a thousand revelations.

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The best plans evolve.

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Color is a powerful physical, biological, and psychological force.

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Photography extends our perception allowing us to see and experience more - second hand.

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How do we know what we know? Is seeing believing? Is believing seeing?

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Mysterious spaces cause us to turn inward.

Amid a rich upwelling of association, we encounter many aspects of ourselves. As we grow still, we come in contact with a unified, empty, yet full ground of our being. As our consciousness grows more spacious, we find connections between us and the wider world, a shared greater reality.

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Photography is much more about elimination than inclusion.

The images we make with a lens typically eliminate ninety percent of our field of view and everything that is out of our field of view. The shutter slices time, eliminating all moments before and after it opens and closes. Three dimensions are reduced to two. And in some cases color is removed. How can we call these kinds of artifacts unaltered?

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Many times we are tempted to defer to the documents we create, rather than the direct experiences we have.

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We're responsible for everything that's included in the frame.

We're also responsible for what's not included in the frame. We're responsible for the way we frame the world.

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Many oriental cultures make a distinction between two ways of looking - 'hard eyes' and 'soft eyes'. When we look with hard eyes, we see specific details with sharp focus, but we don't see the relationships between different details as well. When we look with soft eyes we see the relationships between everything in our field of vision, but with this softer focus, we don't see all the details as clearly. It's possible to look in two ways at once.

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