Frosted Window, Rochester, New York 1952

"The path my feet took was lined with images, whole gardens of pictures. With exposures I picked bouquets, each more vivid than the previous...finally a gathering of gem-like flames in the low tide...I thought I had forgotten how to use my camera, so I counted each step of the process aloud...shutter speed, aperture, cock the shutter...Though I feared to lose the sense of beauty, no loss occurred; the sense of rapport was strong beyond belief.

While rocks were photographed, the subject of the sequence is not rocks; while symbols seem to appear, they are pointers to the significance. The meaning appears in the space between the images, in the mood they raise in the beholder. The flow of the sequence eddies in the river of his associations as he passes from picture to picture. The rocks and the photographs are only objects upon which significance is spread like sheets on the ground to dry."

- Minor White

"In becoming a photographer I am only changing medium. The essential core of both verse and photography is poetry." -Minor White

Minor White's use of texture and abstractions of nature in his photographic work conveys his strong sense of poetry, as did his style of presentation. In part from Alfred Stieglitz's influence, White adopted a sequence form to his exhibitions which used a series of poems with his photographs. This illustrates his strong connection to a poetic narration. In 1947, Minor White's sequence Amputations was canceled because the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco did not want to exhibit the accompanying poetic text. White refused to show the sequence without it. The text was criticized for being too personal and not as patriotic as desired.


Stieglitz's theory of equivalence, where images represent something other than the subject photographed, resonated with White's poetic nature. In the picture to the left, the framing of the rock formation creates an image of a woman's torso which is aptly named Double Navel. White uses this technique repeatedly in his photographs.

When the photograph is a mirror of the man, and the man is the mirror of the world, then Spirit might take over. -Minor White

In a continuation of using subject matter to represent an "other", Minor White reflects an ethereal and spiritual element within his work. White held to a philosophy that stated "photographing is the mirror reflection of the self" and that "the photographer is a receptor and carrier of special meanings" which can become "revelatory manifestations" for others. White committed much of his time to his own spiritual development and the ethereal aspects of his photos reflected his spiritual devotion.

Creativity through the lens of our minds

The juxtaposition of art and our own psyche provides us a start to truly creative works.

Minor White's emphasis on the personal process to photography infused a new sense of creativity to the use of land as art.