|Ruth Berhnard, 1935|
Photo by Edward Weston
by Ruth Bernhard
Every artist, in a sense, is missionary. He tries to convey a message to his fellow man – he communicates the awesome presence of truth and beauty he discover in the world around him, in its lakes and mountains, trees, rocks and plants, in its living creatures. Down through the centuries poets, sculptors, painters and now photographers, have also been striving to grasp and immortalize the beauty of the human body, both male and female. I see in these forms the elemental relationship to the large forms of nature; a sense of strength like a rock – fluidity like water – space like a mountain range. If I have chosen the female form in particular, it is because beauty has been debased and exploited in our sensual twentieth century. We seem to have a need to turn innocent nature into evil ugliness be the twist of the mind. Woman has been target of much that is sordid and cheap, especially in photography. To raise, to elevate, to endorse with timeless reverence the image of woman, has been my mission – the reason for my work.
Photography is art when it's used by an artist.
A person cannot learn to be a photographer. He can only cultivate what he already has. I try to make people aware that they have something very precious to cultivate.
Light is my inspiration, my paint and brush. It is as vital as the model herself. Profoundly significant, it caresses the essential superlative curves and lines. Light I acknowledge as the energy upon which all life on this planet depends.
The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations - each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.
Today is the day!
If you are not passionately devoted to an idea, you can make very pleasant pictures but they won't make you cry.
If you are not willing to see more than is visible, you won't see anything.
For me, the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny. Whether working with a human figure or a still life, I am deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it. In my life, as in my work, I am motivated by a great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe.
I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help.
Everything is one and I am one with it.
There is no such thing as taking too much time, because your soul is in that picture.
My quest, through the magic of light and shadow, is to isolate, to simplify and to give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity. To indicate the ideal proportion, to reveal sculptural mass and the dominating spirit is my goal.
For me the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny.
If you're not interested in life, then photography has no meaning.