Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 I never photograph sunsets and I never photograph moonrises. I’m not interested in what things look like. 
 The camera is like a typewriter, in the sense in which you can use the machine to write a love letter, a book, or a business memo. 
 Most portraits are lies. People are rarely what they appear to be, especially in front of a camera. You might know me your entire lifetime and never reveal yourself to me. To interpret wrinkles as character is insult not insight. 
 What’s important to me is the idea. It doesn’t have to be a perfect, Ansel Adams,‘f64’ picture. 
 Get Weston off your back, forget Arbus, Frank, Adams, White, don’t look at photographs. Kill the Buddha. 
 You can never capture a person in picture, never. You might get an interesting expression or gesture. I almost never research a picture subject ahead of time. I think Karsh is full of baloney. Can you imagine spending a whole week out in La Jolla with Jonas Salk soaking up his ambiance, then wind up making him look as if he’s in the studio in Ottawa with his thumb under his chin? 
 I believe in the invisible. I do not believe in the definitive reality of things around us. For me, reality is the intuition and the imagination and the quiet voice inside my head that says: isn’t that extraordinary? The things in our lives are the shadows of reality, just as we ourselves are shadows. 
 I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see. 
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