with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Quotes from Our Website

Lorelle has been collecting quotes since she first began to read, and has quite a collection. We have incorporated the most appropriate quotes from her collection and research into our pages where appropriate and enjoyable. We’ve had a lot of requests to share these, so we’ve gathered them together in a series of pages for you to peruse. The quotes from within our pages cover nature and photography, travel, and life in general. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Nature Quotes

Nature abhors annihilation.
Cicero (BC 106-43)

Let us permit nature to have her way; she understands her business better than we do.
Montaigne (1533-1592)

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
Bacon (1561-1626)

Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.
Gerard de Nerval

…If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit.
Chief Seattle

The mountains are the beginning and end of all natural scenery.
John Ruskin

Sunset light on mountains, Alaska, photo by Brent VanFossenMountains are a feeling but the hum of human cities is a torture.

Whenever we go in the mountains, or indeed in any of God’s wild fields, we find more than we seek.
John Muir

Consider the sea’s listless chime; time’s self it is, made audible.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Nature, like man, sometimes weeps from gladness.
Benjamin Disraeli

One joy dispels a hundred cares.

The flowers of all our tomorrows are in the seeds of today.
Chinese proverb

Flowers are the earth’s laughter.

Teach us delight in simple things.
Rudyard Kipling

Meerkat, photo by Lorelle VanFossenThe journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tse

There’s enough in this world for every man’s need but not for every man’s greed.

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
Aldo Leopold

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow stong.
Winston Churchill

You must teach our children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know: The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which units one family. All things are connected.
Inspired by Chief Seattle’s reply to the ‘Great White Chief’ in Washington in 1854 on the occasion of an offer of an Indian ‘reservation’ in exchange for a large area of Indian land.

Mosque in silouette, photo by Lorelle VanFossenThe shadow’s the thing. Outside, shadows are blue, I read, because they are lighted by the blue sky and not the yellow sun. Their blueness bespeaks infinitesimal particles scattered down infinitesimal distances. Muslims, whose religion bans representational art as idolatrous, don’t observe the rule strictly; but they do forbid sculpture, because it casts a shadow. So shadows define the real….
Anne Dillard Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Wildlife needs clutter and chaos. It needs options and opportunities. It needs the slow centuries of growth, nurture, disturbance and decline that produces a complex and unique forest community.
David Middleton, Ancient Growth

Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand.
The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night. I am a red man and do not understand.
The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with the pinon pine. The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath.
The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.
Chief Seattle’s reply to the ‘Great White Chief’ in Washington in 1854 on the occasion of an offer of an Indian ‘reservation’ in exchange for a large area of Indian land.

Nature, like a kind and smiling mother, lends herself to our dreams and cherishes our fancies.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is million fathoms deep.
Emerson (1803-1882)

The forest is the poor man’s overcoat.
New England Proverb

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson

In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.
Milton (1608-1674)

Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot

Man’s rich with little, were his judgement true; Nature is frugal, and her wants are few; These few wants answer’d bring sincere delights; But fools create themselves new appetites.
Young (1683-1765)

Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art.
Landor (1775-1864)

Nature Photography Quotes

The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price. If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought. The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the more practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

To the scientist, light is not only a messenger but also a tool, a tool of limitless versatility, which can be used to uncover the mysteries of the atom and of the stars.
Michael I. Sobel

The least you can do is be there.
Anne Dillard

Wandering through the world as I do, I often forget to watch my feet. When I stop to watch them, I often find camouflaged, wondrous things. Insects, lizards, butterflies, ants, flowers….it makes me walk a little more carefully and slowly now.
Lorelle VanFossen, Personal Journal

An artist chooses his subjects; that is his way of praising…Ultimately, his work is merely a magnifying glass that he offers anyone who looks his way.
Friedreich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom

The more you are able to forget your equipment, the more time you have to concentrate on the subject and on the composition. The camera should become an extension of your eye, nothing else.
Ernst Haas, The Creation

The camera always points both ways. In expressing the subject, you also express yourself.
Freeman Patterson

Ferns in the forest, photo by Brent VanFossen…the immense variety that nature creates emerges from the working and reworking of only a few formal themes. Those limitations on nature bring harmony and beauty to the natural world.
Peter Stevens, Patterns in Nature

The window is not the view; the window allows the view.
Hugh Prather, Notes on Love and Courage

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.
Carlyle (1795-1881)

If you only photograph when you feel like it…you’ll never be totally successful as a photographer.
Freeman Patterson

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
Helen Keller

The idea that creativity bubbles up from a magical well is just another myth, among many, about highly creative people and their work.
David Perkins – Howard

Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution.
Stanley Arnold

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.
Henri Poincare (1854-1912)

Unlike a camera, the eye takes apart the visual image into component parts that are of importance to the animal.
Inside the Brain

When you photograph something, don’t accept it as the end result; there’s always a next step. But repeat something only if you can improve on it. Otherwise, you must move on. A photographer must change to show change, and it is as much the photographer’s challenge to show change as it is to preserve what is. A picture must be a question as well as an answer.
Ernst Haas

Thirty-six satisfactory exposures on a roll means a photographer is not trying anything new.
Freeman Patterson

Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts: the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering stars above, seem to impart a quiet in the mind.
Johnathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Arctic ground squirrel, Alaska, photo by Brent VanFossenNature goes on her way, and all that to us seems an expectation is really according to order.
Goethe (1749-1832)

Nature pleases, attracts, delights, merely because it is nature. We recognize in it an Infinite Power.
Karl Wilhelm Humboldt (1767-1835)

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The less descriptive the photo, the more stimulating it is for the imagination. The less information, the more suggestion; the less prose, the more poetry.
Ernst Haas

A photography image creates a story that was never intended to be told. It is a lie telling the truth, a yes and no at the same time, an is and an is not.
Ernst Haas

Many believe the camera is a shield. I believe it’s an invitation to get closer.
Nevada Wier, Travel photographer

For what has made the sage or poet write, But the fair paradise of Nature’s light.
Keats (1795-1821)

Travel photography and skiing have a lot in common: uneven terrain and the challenge of reacting to ‘uneven terrain’.
Lisl Dennis, Travel photographer

One of life’s most fulfilling moments occurs in that split second when the familiar is suddenly transformed into the dazzling aura of the profoundly new…These breakthroughs are too infrequent, more uncommon than common; and we are mired most of the time in the mundane and the trivial. The shocker: what seems mundane and trivial is the very stuff that discovery is made of. The one difference is our perspective, our readiness to put the pieces together in an entirely new way and to see patterns where only shadows appeared just a moment before.
Edward B. Lindaman, Thinking in Future Tense

My work is always a bit ahead of my ability to comprehend it. As a photographer, it is very important for me to listen to the work, for it will always tell where to go next.
Ralph Gibson

Sunset on birds and trees at Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, photo by Brent VanFossenTravel photography seems to be a very intellectual process but it’s really an emotional experience.
Lisl Dennis, Travel photographer

And hark! How blithe the thristle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher: Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.
Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Many go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.

Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.
Syndey Smith (1771-1845)

I look like a photographer. I keep my antennae out and pay attention. I move slowly and work quickly. I want to be an active observer not a passive bystander. It breaks down the barriers because here I am, looking like I just landed from Mars with all this equipment on me, and I’m cute and funny and make them laugh as I should. I build a rapport at that moment.
Nevada Wier, Travel photographer

Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance. And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the depths of her pure virgin bosom.
H.P. Blavatsky (1831-1891)

Art is the child of Nature; yes, her darling child in whom we trace The features of the mother’s face, Her aspect and her attitude.
Longfellow (1819-1892)

Birds, the free tenants of land, air, and ocean, their forms all symmetry, their motions grace…
James Montgomery

If park fees were kept by the park how would we be able to pay for the graft that we are now funding? I would gladly pay for double at each park if the money would stay with the park. In my opinion, most rangers are underpaid and under appreciated. We are fortunate they love what they do because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to attract people with their education level at the salaries the government pays. In a moment of insanity, I thought we should reduce government graft and waste and put the money in our parks. If we lose them I’m afraid they will be gone forever. Maybe it isn’t such an insane thought after all.
Eugene Bantekas, nature photographer

The highest problem of any art is to cause by appearance the illusion of a higher reality.
Goethe (1749-1832)

Mountain goat, Colorado Rockies, photo by Brent VanFossenOf landscapes, as of people, one becomes more tolerant after one’s twentieth year…We learn to look at them, not in the flat but in depth, as things to be burrowed into. It is not merely a question of lines and colours but of smells, sounds and tastes as well…
C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis: Images of His World

The object of art is to crystallize emotion into thought, and then fix it in form.
Francois Delsarte (1811-1871)

A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament.
Emile Zola (1840-1902)

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself.
Willa Cather (1876-1947)

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.
Diane Arbus (1923-1971)

The Meaning of Life is to see.
Hui Neng

Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.
Lubbock (1834-1913)

The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an out-breathing and inbreathing of ‘the Great Breath,’ which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute – Abstract Space and Duration being the other two.
H.P. Blavatsky (1831-1891)

Breath it all in and let it all out.
Dewitt Jones

Red-bellied woodpecker, photo by Brent VanFossenAn animals wariness is it’s key to survival and critical to the protection of it’s young. The Photographers Code of Ethics prohibits harassing, endangering or interfering with the natural life cycle of wild animals. Therefore, we choose to work in National Parks, wildlife viewing areas and occassionaly with hand raised subjects such as this wolf. In this way, we can share the antics and spirit of relaxed, unstressed animals without endangering the animal or it’s young.
Leo Keeler, Alaska Photographer

A picture is a poem without words.
Confucius (BC 551-479)

There is the happiness which comes from creative effort. The joy of dreaming, creating, building, whether in painting a picture, writing an epic, singing a song, composing a symphony, devising a new invention, creating a vast industry. Work is the great redeemer. It has therapeutic value. It brings happiness.
Henry Miller (1891-1980)

A lot of people feel guilty about photographing people and take the picture and run. Why? I see people notice me and I drop the camera and hang out a while. Then I take some more pictures. You have to pull down the camera and keep eye contact. You have to become a person behind the black box.
Nevada Wier, Travel photographer

I can’t be startled by the unexpected. I have to be looking for it and prepared for it to happen.
Nevada Wier, Travel photographer

As little children we all start out with eyes close to the ground, seeing, feeling, smelling, exploring, and learning. Seeing with a camera is the best way I have found to get close to the earth again.
Earnest Braun, Living Water

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it wihin us or we find it not.
Unknown Author

The wonderful thing about the Smokies, in my opinon, are their accessability. When I go out west I look at the mountains and say “beautiful”, but I can’t feel like I know them. They are just too big. I admire them from a distance. With the Smokies, I can walk from one end to the other if I want, and from the bottom to the top. They are on a scale that is “knowable”. They are “comfortable”. And they are alive with more growing green stuff than you can shake a stick at.
David Vruggink, nature photographer

Photography is many things for me – it is my art form, it is the way I make my living. Most of all, it is a discipline that forces me to see deeply, not just in my photographs, but in my life as well.
Dewitt Jones, nature photographer

Creativity is dangerous…Its pleasure is not the comfort of the safe harbor, but the thrill of the reaching sail.
Robert Grudin, The Grace of Great Things

There is a vitality…translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you…this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
Martha Graham

One should never forget that seeing and producing an effect of nature is not a matter of intellect, but of feeling…I avoid being conventional as much as possible.
Carl Frieseke

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and avalance. Ill acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
John Muir

The seeing is always more important that the photograph.
Dewitt Jones, nature photographer

If a photographer really expects to produce great work, they must, just like musicians, be prepared to practice their craft every day. EVERY DAY. This does not mean one has to take pictures every day, but one must at least practice seeing every day.
David Bayles

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

When I find myself stopping to think I know I’m on the wrong track.
Edward Weston

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Do not fear mistakes – there are none.
Miles Davis

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
Johnathan Swift

The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for morality.
Dennis Stock

The fault with most photographers is that they spend 1/60th of a second making a photograph and the rest of their life explaining it.
Richard Brown

Burrowing Owls, Florida, photo by Brent VanFossenThat which fills my heart and sole – Must be expressed in drawings and pictures – I am in a rage of work.
Vincent Van Gogh

..light animates. It’s a soothing, therapeutic, exciting, thrilling, mutable force, and it plays itself out very directly on me, on my emotions.
Sam Abell

Simplify, simplify…simplify!
Harald Sund, photographer

Photographs take me.
Michael Bishop

Photography as the unique ability to communicate and articulate on a visual level unequalled by the written word. Still photography is reflective and emotional, words and even cinema tend to be more intellectual and cerebral; less from the heart.
Chris Rainier

Nature is not only what is visible to the eye – it shows the inner images of the soul – the images on the back side of the eyes.
Edvard Munch

A photo is an expression of an impression.
Ernst Haas

An artist chooses which subjects to portray; this is a way of praising…utlimately, one’s work is merely a magnifying glass offered anyone looking in our direction.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The technical aspects of design…can be produced efficiently by a computer – but design with delight, design with a glow, cannot.
Robert Sommer, The Mind’s Eye

One day a student asked his master, ‘What is the most diffiucult part of painting?’ He replied, ‘The part of the paper where nothing is painted….’
Quoted from Essential Zen, edited by K. Tanahashi and T.D. Scheider

Every artist is not a special kind of person. Every person is a special kind of artist.
Eric Gill

Each of us on earth is but a mosaic of a picture we will never see.
Ernst Haas

The less descriptive the photo, the more stimulating it is for the imagination. The less information, the more suggestion; the less prose, the more poetry.
Ernst Haas

The senses are poets.
Quote from L. Leshan and H. Margenau’s Einstein’s Space and Van Gogh’s Sky

Standing in a mountain stream I wonder why it is no one can speak as purely as the water sounds against the rock.

The best equipment? Imagination!
Duane Michals

Creativity is not a possension; it is the interchange between ourselves and our world. Instinctively, we know communication is communion, and in the deepest sense we are inexorably bound not only to trees, but to rocks, the air, the water – to everything in the world around us.
James Baker quoted in John Sexton’s Listen to the Trees

White Pelican, Florida, photo by Brent VanFossenIn the beginner’s mind there are many possiblilities, but in the expert’s there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.
Minor White

Science tends to be more an intellectual exercise, tending to separate the observer from the observed. Art tends to intergrate the subject and the observer.
Story Musgrave

Good taste was always the worst enemy of art.
Marcel Duchamp

…the thing that art does for life is to clean it, to strip it to form.
Robert Frost

The closer one looks the farther one sees.
David Cavagnaro

You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.
Juan Gris

The purpose of art…is life, instensified, brilliant life.
Alain Arias-Mission

We are a landscape of all that we experience.

Art is the making of things well.

There is no must in art because art is free.

Sell your cleverness and buy enchantment.

For me, the waiting is a time of preparation, a time of centering, a time of allowing the expected and the unexpected to manifest, and above all, a time of stillness.
J.D. Marston

There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire.
Jules Renard

Good photographic compositiion is merely the strongest way of seeing.
Edward Weston

The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these with money.

There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate – not a grain more.