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

 Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage; a myriad-faceted picture combining the elegances, the squalor, the curiosities, the monuments, the sad faces, the triumphant faces, the power, the irony, the strength, the decay, the past, the present, the future of a city—that would be my favorite picture. 
 Living photography builds up, does not tear down. It proclaims the dignity of man. Living photography is positive in its approach; it sings a song of life. 
 There is an essential unity between photography, science’s child, and science, the parent. 
 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. 
 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. 
 What the human eye observes casually and incuriously, the eye of the camera... notes with relentless fidelity. 
 There needs to be a friendly interpreter between science and the layman. I believe photography can be this spokesman. 
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