Who said the "Your first 10,000 pictures..." quote or said it first?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by kwmullet, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    After googling, I see "Your first ten thousand pictures are your worst" equally attributed to Henri Cartier-Bresson and Helmut Newton.

    Who actually said it/or said it first? If someone knows the narrative around the quote, that'd be great.

    -KwM-
     
  2. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    All I know is that my next 10,000 weren't that great either! :-O

    Regards,Art.
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    And with so many photographers shooting digitally, we should revise it to your first 100,000 are your worst! :tongue:

    It's funny, I actually thought that was an Ansel Adams quote.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I believe Ansel Adams said that you need to take 10,000 photos to get one good one. That is not an exact quote, but I have heard that or something like it from several sources.

    PE
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Dang! :surprised: I better buy more film ...
     
  6. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I seem to recall that Chuck Jones (Warner Bros. animation director) said that his father told him this about drawing. I think it predates photography.

    Matt
     
  7. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I have heard two versions.

    One from Ansel that said it takes a photographer 10,000 negatives to understand photography.

    I have heard another version from Cherie Hieser that went something like, "You make 10,000 negatives, make 1,000 prints, get 100 good ones, 10 great ones and you only become famous for one."
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    In 35mm, that's only 277 rolls of film. At my current shooting rate, I should get there in two years from now, so I decided to take pre-orders on my future masterpieces. You can get a collector's print for 5,000$ now, which is chump change, only a philistine would refuse such a good investment, considering that they will acquire more value over time.
     
  9. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    I was thinking about this quote recently because (a) I wanted to use it in my sig and (b) in Drawing I a few days ago, the Teaching Asst mentioned one artist who said that you can't claim to know how to draw until the stack of your drawings is shoulder high, and someone else had a quote that you can't claim to know how to draw until you can draw a man who has jumped out of a window and complete the drawing before he hits the ground.

    I like that this thread is picking up steam. Hopefully some more folks for whom photo history is "their thing" will contribute.

    -KwM-
     
  10. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    ...or maybe the first 10,000 to make it off the media from your camera. I can see someone shooting 100,000 images, chimping & deleting 95,000 of them and only saving 5,000 of them on other media.

    -KwM-
     
  11. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    You could probably say the same about analog photo: until you've printed your 10k in your darkroom, you don't know about photo.
     
  12. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I heard it as a Cartier-Bresson quote, but who knows.
     
  13. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I actually did it.

    After taking money out of my first ever pay-cheque to buy the first camera, a Practika fx3, I figured that the best way to really learn photography was to make lots of exposures and take note of the successes and failures. The local camera store ran a B&W darkroom and they developed my film, usually HP-4, and made a contact sheet all for A$1.50.

    I was on my way and about 300 rolls of 36 exp later I felt ready to tackle Kodachrome and a home darkroom.

    Looking at those old negatives and contact sheets convinces me I went about things the wrong way. I should have done a proper photography course with a good teacher. Ten thousand photographs, many featuring the cat and the dog, are a sign of inefficiency not diligence.