"A photograph should be more interesting than the subject and transcend its obviousness."
[Quoted on Conscientious, found by Stan Banos]
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Len Salem: "For some time now I've had typed out and stuck on my wall this quote by Gary Winogrand '…A photograph must be more interesting than the thing photographed.' (I've seen this quote elsewhere in various slightly different wordings so maybe he repeated himself, variously.)"
Mike replies: The great example of this that I can think of off the top of my head is Edward Weston, who made art out of a ceramic toilet ("Excusado") and a bell pepper ("Pepper No. 30") as well as a great many other mundane subjects. Doing an image search of "Edward Weston" is almost an object lesson in photographs that are more interesting than the thing photographed.