Wise words from Dorothea Lange

“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera”, the words of Dorothea Lange, American photographer who worked in the Farm Security Administration in the 1930’s, on a board outside of Stills Gallery, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

People often mention to me things such as “wah, how did you see that?”, or “you really notice things huh?”. I often just joke back, “I get paid to notice things”, and really that is the essence of this job, I do notice things, I get tuned to how people move whilst they talk, whether it is a CEO in a boardroom, or someone chatting outside a hut in Papua New Guinea. Being a photographer, whether it is for editorial reportage or a corporate portrait, working on assignment is about taking notice, seeing, predicting when things will happen and how and being there ready with the camera.

But even if you’re not working on assignment, not carrying a camera, there is beauty and interesting things all around us, not to mention a fair amount of misery. It’s all there for us to see, if only we’d actually notice instead of just looking without seeing…


Shot and posted on my Instagram feed @JshPhotog, where I post images from behind the scenes on photography assignments here in Scotland and further abroad, and little moments as I walk through the streets and life. As of January 1st 2015, when it goes live, I will be contributing to the new group @EverydayClimateChange Instagram feed, posting images on climate change and the hopeful solutions. I hope you can join me/us, take a look. Many thanks.

One Reply to “Wise words from Dorothea Lange”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *