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41.1 - Passion

#1: Passion

Bernice Abbott (1898-1991) met and photographed French photographer, Eugène Atget (1857-1927).

Before she could show him her work, Atget died.

Abbott purchased his negatives and prints.

She wrote of Atget's passion.

Atget was not "aesthetic."

His was a dominating passion that drove him to fix life.

With the marvelous lens of dream and surprise, he "saw" (that is to say, photographed) practically everything before him, in and outside Paris, with the vision of a poet.

As an artist, he saw abstractly, and I believe he succeeded in making us feel what he saw.

Photographing, recording life, dominating his subjects, was as essential to him as writing to James Joyce or flying to Lindberg.1

What do you value?

What are your values?

What are your strengths?

There are extrinsic motivators for our photography, such as recognition.

Passion is our intrinsic fuel.

1 Abbott, B. (1929, September). Eugène Atget. Creative Art, 5, pp.651-656. Reprinted in Newhall, B. (1980). Photography: Essays & images. New York: Museum of Modern Art.