12 Significant Photographs

macro flower Photography, debi riley art, Ansel Adams quotes,

I’d love to share the philosophy of one of my favourite photographers, Ansel Adams.  Well known for his stunning black and white landscapes, we all ooh and ahh over them!

But….  the creative genius that fuelled the fires for their creation…. what about that, where did it come from, what sparks lit the fire?


macro flower Photography, debi riley art, Ansel Adams quotes,
lily and iris macro debiriley.com




There are 2 quotes that give me a wealth of insight into Ansel Adams’  motivations and inspirations.

First Ansel Adams Photography quote


“12 Significant photographs

in any one year is a good crop.”   


An eye opening statement.  I’m astounded.

That concept hits me right where it counts.

The MASTER of photography….. considered 12,  to be a good crop!   Per Year.



And here I have been ‘slaving’ and struggling away (like many) to  get nearly every single effort to be ‘significant.’    Ahhh.       Of course, I am no Ansel Adams!  But still.  The philosophy behind this is valid.


And valid in painting as well as in photography.




Second Ansel Adams quote


“A photograph is usually looked at – 

seldom looked into.”       



macro lily stamens, soft focus, debi riley art photography
Green Giants  debiriley.com


Now,  Adams  digs a bit deeper.   Into content, context, meaning, message, communication.   The dialogue between the subject, the photographer and the viewer.


What meaning is behind the image?   What feelings are evoked?          Do we briefly cast a glance in the mirror and then scurry past?

Or pause,  and really take a moment to look into it for the full meaning to be revealed?



Ansel Adams created some of the most beautiful photographic images I’ve seen.  I’m sure its because he took the time to look into the subject until,  what was needed to be revealed,  was.




Today’s Creations  –    full of challenges

This morning,  I set out to replenish my library.  I was thinking about closed and opened doors and windows, the opportunities to try new techniques.  To learn something from a circumstance.

Now,  I haven’t used a tripod.  Shock.

(My hands used to be so steady, I never bothered.)



Trying out my unused tripod would be a fabulous opportunity to learn a new skill.

This is a ‘door to enter and walk through.’     Conveying this  message in the photos, would be another goal.

I’d like the viewers’  to Look Into the photographs rather than look at…. hmmm.  That is another challenge.



I had on hand, some flowers in a vase.

Lilies and Iris.  They were my subjects. I wondered if I could…. achieve any… of my goals.




lily stamen macro photography, ansel adams inspiration quote, debi riley art
The Curtain Parts….  macro debiriley.com





Ansel Adams and his words of wisdom have inspired me.

I hope they have inspired you, whether you are painting, writing, baking, singing, printing, photographing, or some other creative art form.


At the end of 2016,  if by chance…. I have created 12 Significant Photographs or artworks,  I will give myself an encouraging,  pat on the back!


lily macro photography with tripod, debi riley art photography, ansel adams quotes, debiriley.com
Lily at Home  debiriley.com



Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

48 thoughts on “12 Significant Photographs

    1. hi Adele, I’ve rechecked these with a couple people and their computers are reading the quotes. mine does as well when I logout.
      I’m going to continue to try to see what might be amiss!
      Thank you for the alert, I appreciate your comment on the post and how readers are enjoying it! cheers, Debi


    1. Thank you Frances, so glad you enjoyed some Ansel today!! I do love him…. I always hesitated to dare to write a post with his name in it. 🙂


  1. ‘The Curtain Parts’ is my favorite but also love ‘Green Giants’. Your photography is always captivating, worth more than a glance at anytime. I enjoyed the Adams quotes too and my next thought: wouldn’t it be cool to abstract one or more of these photos? Thanks for sharing 3d!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you LL! both of those, cause me to pause and consider the image more. I do like the first image featured for the lovely deep violets in the back tho 🙂 but, it doesn’t cause me to Stop. Pause. Reflect.
      and I’m thinking about the change up I could do to create Abstractions ‘inspired’ by these images. we are thinking alike !!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, I like that about the first image too. The little brown things look like little dancing figs or something. Dates? lol. I don’t know but they are cute. I do like the deep purple behind. Adds the mystery aspect. OK and double YAY that you are thinking about abstractions from these photos! I can’t stop thinking about abstraction and I love that we are on the same track. I feel promoted! LOL ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Following in the footsteps of Ansel Adams is sure to bring you on to a new path with your photography. I will be “looking into” your photography. Thanks for sharing Debi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you (Sharon) for such kindness! I do want to improve my photograph skills (ok… computer/digital/etc) so, practice makes ‘better’! there will loads of rubbish along the way but thats part of the journey too.
      Hope you had a Lovely day for your Birthday, Sharon 🙂


  3. I’m sure if Anselm Adams would live today he would maybe change his opinion, but in non digital camera times, material was expensive and you wouldn’t waste too much. I just looked at some of his photos, they are really stunning. I think black and white is even more difficult than color. These photos are real compositions and beautiful. Understatement is always good, dear Debi. The old Japanese painters were exercising 60 years to paint a flower in a few minutes. It looked very easy but it was 60 years of exercise before. Your photos are wonderful, too. Cheers Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes indeed! I’m ok with getting 1 stand out, classic image, out of 30… if I could even achieve That each month – I’d be really happy!!
      i already know, the more i do, the better i will become. so its all …. wonderful skill building.
      thank you Mitza, you are so kind! witty too, but you knew that…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s a good way to think about it, to get one stand out in a month. We are not God, who made the world in 7 days and he didn’t make a fault, except creating my neighbours, hehe

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that will be a tough one. I guess the trick is to find a place you totally ‘fall in love’ with. And, be close enough to Hamburg you are able to visit!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Jim, thank you for your wonderful comment on Ansel and his quotes! I appreciate it 🙂 I’m happy that you enjoyed the post! cheers, Debi


  4. Great quotes from one of the greats although I have to say your quotes, i.e. quotes from Debi Riley, will also stand the test of time and are having just as great an impact on so many of us that follow you. Have a great and creative weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 12 significant photos is a very tall order. Most of us achieve good or maybe very good but a significant photo that’s a game changer. Most people don’t achieve that in a lifetime or career, let along a year. If you do that, I’ll pat you on the back! 😀 Love the idea of looking into a photo. Going to keep that in the back of my mind. Love “The Curtain Parts….” image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth! Ansel I’m not. All of last year I created one painting that I thought stood out. The rest are …. 🙂 there is always hope. and practice. lol

      Liked by 1 person

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