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

 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. 
 Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself. 
 What the human eye observes casually and incuriously, the eye of the camera... notes with relentless fidelity. 
 The photographer’s punctillo is his recognition of the now—to see it so clearly that he looks through it to the past and senses the future. This is a big order and demands wisdom as well as understanding of one’s time. 
 The photographer’s act is to see the outside world precisely, with intelligence as well as sensuous insight. This act of seeing sharpens the eye to an unprecedented acuteness. He often sees swiftly an entire scene that most people would pass unnoticed. His vision is objective, primarily. His focus is on the world, the scene, the subject, the detail. As he scans his subject he sees as the lens sees, which differs from human vision. Simultaneously he sees the end result, which is to say he sees photographically. 
 The more you do, the more you realize there is to do, what a vast object the metropolis is, and how the work of photographing could go on forever. 
 To chart a course, one must have a direction. In reality, the eye is no better than the philosophy behind it. The photographer creates, evolves a better, more selective, more acute eye by looking ever more sharply at what is going on in the world. Like every other means of expression, photography, if it is to be utterly honest and direct, should be related to the life of the times—the pulse of today. The photograph may be presented as finely and artistically as you will, but to merit serious consideration, must be directly connected with the world we live in. 
 Unless they do their share of growing up to their responsibilities the photographer can languish or take up knitting. 
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