Sometimes I head off on a tangent tapping into quotes from painters, writers, poets, coaches and others. Today let’s get back to a quote from a photographer. Former Magnum Photographer Wayne Miller documented war, black families and was a Life Magazine photographer among his other photographic endeavors.

A Time Magazine memorial article when 94 year old Miller passed away in 2013 started this way, “To photograph mankind and explain man to man — that was how legendary photographer Wayne Miller described his decades-long drive to document the myriad subjects gracing his work.”

Here’s the Photo Art Quote from Wayne that caught my attention.

photographer wayne miller quote

“I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.”    Wayne Miller

Simple ten word thoughts like these lead me to do some searching to find a way to make my images stronger and a bit different from those that have created before me. I proudly say that i stand on the shoulders of those photographers that have come before me. Without them photography would not be what it is today. When you take strong ideas and then build upon them you come up with stronger images.

What is dreaming? According to Wikipedia, “Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.” An idea to capitalize on your dreams is to work to retain them after the fact is to have a notebook and pen or recorder next to your bed. If you don’t jot down the ideas that come to you in dreams within a few moments of wakening they go out and become part of the ether again.

To my mind photographic dreaming is a culmination of all the information you place in front of your eyes. Movies, books, photographs, impressions from your travels and added to that your imagination mixing all of these elements together. This can also be done while you are awake to have more control. Give yourself permission to day-dream. I know it was probably knocked out of you at an early age with parents and teachers telling you to, “Stop woolgathering!” “Pay attention!” “Day-dreaming is a waste of time…” Now you don’t want to do it all the time, but you do want to let your mind wander and play. Playing is one of the best ways to learn and develop new ideas and concepts.

What do you dream about? Have you found ways to incorporate your dreams into your photography?

Yours in Creative Dreaming,         Bob