Wise Words Indeed #4 - George Bernard Shaw

11th May, 2011
 Many photographers are as equally eloquent of thought as they are in capturing the most mesmerizing of street images. One who's witty written word insight somewhat dwarfed his efforts with camera in hand (or more likely on tripod) was master Irish playwright, 
George Bernard Shaw

Shaw was an enthusiastic amateur photographer during the earliest years of the twentieth century and counted master lensmen Alvin Coburn and Frederick Evans as close friends. 

In a letter to the photographer and historian Helmet Gernsheim, Shaw explained how he'd come to photography - 

"I always wanted to draw and paint. I had no literary ambition: I aspired to be a Michael Angelo, not a Shakespeare. But I could not draw well enough to satisfy myself; and the instruction I could get was worse than useless. So when dry plates and push buttons came into the market I bought a box camera and began pushing the button ..."  

Shaw collected over 16000 photographs in his lifetime and wrote extensively on the medium, unfurling the following  
Wise Words Indeed…  

"A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic" 
- George Bernard Shaw

Self Portrait - George Bernard Shaw

"The photographer is like the cod, which lays a million eggs in order that one may be hatched"     - George Bernard Shaw.

Sidney and Beatrice Webb - by George Bernard Shaw

"....there is still far too much of the sort of work that can be seen for nothing in the shop-window, not to mention one or two examples of "retouching" which can only be compared to the pipes and moustaches with which portraits of the sovereigns of England get decorated in school histories.... Retouching claims to be an art within an art; and doubtless it is so in much the same way that conjuring as applied to table-turning is an art within an art. All the more reason for it to be artistically done. It ought, however, to be excluded from a photographic exhibition, on the simple grounds that it is not photography..."   - George Bernard Shaw

Self Portrait - George Bernard Shaw
 "Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will" 
  - George Bernard Shaw 

Photograph by George Bernard Shaw

"A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education." - George Bernard Shaw

Arabic Child - by George Bernard Shaw

"I would trade all the paintings of Jesus for one photograph" - George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw in Rotorua, New Zealand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post