Berenice Abbott
[Photographer, writer, teacher, b. 1898, Springfield, Ohio, d. 1991, Monson, Maine.]

 What we need of equipment is this: let it possess as good a structure as the real-life content that surrounds us. We need more simplifications to free us for seeing. 
 I think the important decision for a photographer is to choose a subject that intensely interests him or her. 
 I’m not a nice girl; I’m a photographer. (On being told by a Federal Art Project official, after she photographed the Bowery, that “a nice girl should not go into such neighborhoods”) 
 Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term—selectivity. 
 I have yet to see a fine photograph which is not a good document. 
 I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else. Excitement about the subject is the voltage which pushes me over the mountain of drudgery necessary to produce the final photograph. 
 [Composition is] as closely tied up with the body of the picture as veins and muscles are articulated with the human body. 
 There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own. 
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