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

 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. 
 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. 
 One of the marvelous things about film is that if you expose it long enough you’re going to get a picture. 
 You can’t teach art, so ART SCHOOL is a contradiction in terms. 
 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. 
 People believe in the reality of photographs, but not in the reality of paintings. That gives photographers an enormous advantage. Unfortunately, photographers also believe in the reality of photographs. 
 I never photograph sunsets and I never photograph moonrises. I’m not interested in what things look like. 
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