Janet Malcolm
[Writer, b. 1934, Prague, Czechoslovakia, lives in New York.]

 Are pictures there for anyone to “take”? Or are they made by the photographer? 
 I was always trying to take art photographs, but the most interesting pictures were the snapshots. The artsy pictures were boring, always. 
 If you scratch a great photograph, you find two things; a painting and a photograph. 
 There are good photographers who might elevate themselves to the ranks of the great simply by burning most of their work. 
 The heavy odds against finding the desired… work of art in the mess and flux of life, as opposed to the serene orderliness of imagined reality, give a special tense dazzle and an atmosphere of tour de force to any photographs that succeed in the search. 
 If a painter wants to show large objects and surf, this can be arranged: he has only to get himself the right-size canvas. He is the monarch of all he surveys. The photographer, on the other hand, is the slave of his range finder. 
 [The] arresting of time is photography’s unique capacity, and the decision of when to click the shutter is the photographer’s chief responsibility. 
 The camera is simply not the supple and powerful instrument of description that the pen is. 
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