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

 [Composition is] as closely tied up with the body of the picture as veins and muscles are articulated with the human body. 
 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. 
 Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past. 
 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. 
 The world today has been conditioned, overwhelmingly, to visualize. The picture has almost replaced the word as a means of communication. 
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