1. Bertolt Brech: “Photography has become a formidable weapon against truth in the hands of the bourgeoisie. The enormous quantity of picture material spit out daily by the printing press, that consequently appears to posses the character of truth, actually serves only to obscure the facts. The camera can lie just like the type-setting machine.”

2. Minor White: “Let the subject generate its own photographs. Become a camera.”

3. Robert Frank: “I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others. Perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also, it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.”

4. Helmut Lang on Juergen Teller: “Juergen has a very strong individual voice,” Lang says “which is a rather rare accomplishment these days. I love his ability to say out loud what other people are afraid to even think” Teller became the documentarian of Lang’s designs: “It was natural to have him express the soul of my work”

5. Matin Parr: “I go straight in very close to people and i do that because its the only way you can get the picture. You go right up to them. Even now, i don’t find it each. I don’t announce it. I pretend to be focusing elsewhere. If you take someone’s photograph it is very difficult not to look at them just after. But its the one thing that gives the game away. I don’t try and hide what I’m doing – that would be folly.”

6. Eliot Erwitt: “I wasn’t imposing my presence on anyone, which is very important for a would be journalist. I stayed back. Always let people be themselves.”

7. Paul Caponigro: “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person look like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”

8. Jan Groover: “You have to follow your nose… to have a mental attitude about what you feel good about and yearn for in a picture. Being able to say “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. That’s first”

9. August Sander: “I hate nothing more than sugary photographs with tricks, poses and effects. So allow me to be honest and tell the truth about our ages and its people.”

10. Rober Capa: “If the pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”

11. Bill Brandt: “I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive”

12. Duane Michals: “Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’ and then do it.”

13. Edward Weston: “I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.'”

14. Philippe Halsman: “The immortal photographers will be straightforward photographers, those who do not rely on tricks or special technique”

15. Nan Goldin: “The complete disregard for the camera’s presence indicates its complete saturation in their lives. The subject neither notices nor seem to care that someone has been invited into their private moment.”

16. Yoosef Karsh: “Photography is, to me, more than a means of expression, more than my particular prefession – it is a way of life. And if I were asked to choose one word which holds the key to my work I would select ‘light’ – for light is my language, and it is international, readily understood by any person of any race. It has been my good fortune to welcome before my camera many great men and woman who have made their mark on our generation and will find a place in history. I feel that my life’s work is to interpret th the best of my ability, the inner strength, the true character, of these personalities, through the medium of photographic portraiture. I can think of no elation equal to that when something close to my ideal is achieved, through necessarily there must always be a spark of what I call ‘divine discontent’ – the constant striving for near-perfection. In this self-appointed task, which also carries, I believe, a great sense of responsibility, the medium of light is all important. It is the portraitist’s chief tool, and he can never learn enough about it.”


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