Manuel Álvarez Bravo
[Photographer, b. 1902, Mexico City, d. 2002, Mexico City.]

 Shoot what you see, not what you think. 
 A photographer’s main instrument is his eyes. Strange as it may seem, many photographers choose to use the eyes of another photographer, past or present, instead of their own. Those photographers are blind. 
 Telemann once said something interesting. He said that every musician must be whistling something at all times. Well, I say that every photographer must be living at all times. 
 There is no other art with as great a democratic capacity as photography. 
 The word “art” is very slippery. It really has no importance in relation to one’s work. I work for the pleasure, for the pleasure of the work, and everything else is a matter for the critics. 
 I think that light and shadow have exactly the same duality that exists between life and death. 
 When one takes a photograph, one doesn’t think about saying anything in particular. One doesn’t think about making a statement but rather of creating something visual which later can bear a meaning that one didn’t intend to transmit—depending on the viewer’s interpretation but not necessarily on the photographer’s. 
 I think that a visual artist’s philosophy develops much more freely than a writer’s or a thinker’s philosophy. It is not so disciplined. The photographer works with both his eyes and his mind. 
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