[Photographer, b. 1906, Vienna, Austria, d. 1983, New York.]
Speed, the fundamental condition of the activities of our day is the power of photography, indeed the modern art of today, the art of the split second.
Photography through the camera is an instrument of detection. We photograph not only what we know, but also what we don’t know.
I am a passionate lover of the snapshot, because of all photographic images it comes closest to truth.
Photography starts with the projection of the photographer, his understanding of life and himself into the picture.
The snapshot has no pretense or ambition. Innocence is the quintessence of the snapshot. I wish to distinguish between innocence and ignorance. Innocence is one of the highest forms of being and ignorance is one of the lowest.
[The snapshooter’s] pictures have an apparent disorder and imperfection, which is exactly their appeal and their style. The picture isn’t straight. It isn’t done well. It isn’t composed. It isn’t thought out. And out of this imbalance, and out of this not knowing, and out of this real innocence toward the medium comes an enormous vitality and expression of life.
I just picked up a camera without any kind of ambition to be good or bad. And especially without any ambition to make a living... My whole freedom working in photography comes because I say to myself, “Let’s see what is going on in this world. Let’s find out. How do these people look?”
New images surround us everywhere. They are invisible only because of sterile routine convention and fear. To find these images is to dare to see, to be aware of what there is and how it is. The photographer not only gets information, he gives information about life.