Man Ray eye

Lessons Man Ray Has Taught Me About Photography and Painting

Painting, photography and art … all as a hybrid:

Painting x Photography hybrid

“I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”

More thoughts:

“l paint what cannot be photographed, and l photograph what l do not wish to paint. lf it is a portrait that interests me, a face, or a nude, I will use my camera. It is quicker than making a drawing or a painting. But if it is something I cannot photograph, like a dream or a subconscious impulse I have to resort to drawing or painting. To express what I feel I use the medium best suited to express that idea, which is also always the most economical one. l am not at all interested in being consistent as a painter, and object-maker or a photographer. I can use several different techniques, like the old masters who were engineers, musicians and poets at the same time. I have never shared the contempt shown by painters for photography: there is no competition involved, painting and photography are two media engaged in different paths. There is no conflict between the two.”

You only need one enthusiast of you

“A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him.”

On painting

“The creative force and the expressiveness of painting reside materially in the colour and texture of pigments, in the possibilities of form invention and organisation, and in the flat plane on which these elements are brought into play.”

In praise of willpower, and fortitude/grit

“One of the satisfactions of a genius is his will-power and obstinacy.”

Focus on the why, not the how

“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how”, while others of a more curious nature will ask “why”. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.”

Anti critic mentality

“All critics should be assassinated.”


“He without a past has no future.”

Start here:

  1. How to Become a Master Photographer
  2. Why Study the Masters of Photography?
  3. Great Female Master Photographers
  4. Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
  5. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
  6. Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
  7. Download All Articles >

The Masters of Photography

Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

Classics never die:

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