A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 02, 2012
“The camera looks both ways” (photography adage)

"The camera looks both ways” is a photography adage popularized by the Canadian nature photographer Freeman Patterson.  In his book, i>Photography for the Joy of It (1977), Patterson wrote:

The camera looks both ways. A photograph is usually as good a description of who’s behind the lens as who or what is in front of it. The photographer as a person. Nobody can ever hide behind a camera.

Photographer, author and newspaper columnist Rick Sammon has often repeated “the camera looks both ways,” but he has credited Patterson for the saying.


Wikipedia: Freeman Patterson
Freeman Wilford Patterson, CM (b. September 25, 1937) is a Canadian nature photographer and writer born at Long Reach, New Brunswick.

Google Books
Photography for the Joy of It
By Freeman Patterson
Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold Ltd.
1977
Pg. ?:
The camera looks both ways. A photograph is usually as good a description of who’s behind the lens as who or what is in front of it. The photographer as a person. Nobody can ever hide behind a camera.

Google News Archive
25 February 1978, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), Canadian section, pg. 10 headline:
The Camera Looks Both Ways
BY FREEMAN PATTERSON
(The text and illustrations are from the book, Photography for the Joy of It, cited above—ed.)

Google News Archive
12 May 2000, Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel, “Camera Angles: Photos reflect your personality” by Rick Sammon, pg. 26, cols. 2-3:
Another famous artist and photographer, Freeman Patterson, says, “The camera looks both ways. In picturing your subject, you are also picturing yourself.”

Google News Archive
30 July 2000, Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ), pg. 3C, col. 1:
Camera angles
Photos bring parents, children together

By RICK SAMMON
The Associated Press
Readers of this column know that I’m fond of some well-known photography sayings. These include: “Cameras don’t take pictures, people do” and “The camera looks both ways—in picturing a subject, we are also picturing a part of ourselves.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Face to face : Rick Sammon’s complete guide to photographing people
Author: Rick Sammon
Publisher: Beijing ; Farnham : O’Reilly, ©2008.
Edition/Format:  eBook : Document : English
Summary: A guide to successfully taking photographs of people provides tips and techniques for both indoor and outdoor locations, setting up shots, and engaging subjects.
Contents: Acknowledgments; Foreword; Preface: Evolution of a Photo Shoot; Introduction: The Camera Looks Both Ways; ...

O’Reilly digitalmedia
The Camera Looks Both Ways
By Rick Sammon
March 16, 2008
(...)
The experience reminded me of an old expression: The camera looks both ways, in picturing the subject, we are also picturing a part of ourselves. Keep this expression in mind when photographing people, and you’ll see that the mood, energy, emotion, etc., that you project will be reflected in your subject’s face. So, you’ll get a higher percentage of “keepers” from a photo session.

Photofocus.com
Photo Adages From Photofocus.com
September 17, 2009
by scottbourne
Post by Scott Bourne and Rick Sammon
(...)
6. The camera looks both ways. (Rick)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (1) Comments • Monday, July 02, 2012 • Permalink


I have heard many photography adages. Among them what I like most is “ Don’t photograph the world as it is, photograph the world as you’d like it to be.” It’s sound really inspirational.

Posted by Christina Nolen  on  09/29  at  09:24 AM

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