Barbara Morgan
[Photographer, b. 1900, Buffalo, Kansas, d. 1992, North Tarrytown, New York.]

 The most difficult, but also the most creative and exciting, part of dance photography is not so much the eventual picture as the groping and shaping toward a conception of what the picture ought to be. 
 Movement of contemporary life cannot be thought of without the machine. Our viewpoint is through a windshield, through reflected images on plate glass, blurred snatches through an elevator door. We watch quilted land patterns slowly shift far below our propeller blur, and the vibrating wing tip. Time is cogged, margins tightened, spirit is pressured. Pavement is a child's backyard and the moon is less familiar than a street lamp. If it takes a thief to catch a thief, the camera is the machine to catch the machine age. 
 From pre-historic time, the human psyche has found inspiration in art expression, from cave paintings then—to film and photography now. 
 The power of an image to appear full-blown in my mind is proof of its vitality, and those that persist, I work on. 
 As the lifestyle of the Space Age grows more interdisciplinary, it will be harder for the “one-track” mind to survive, and photomontage will become increasingly necessary. I see simultaneous-intake, multiple-awareness and synthesized comprehension as inevitable, long before the year 2000 A.D. (1971) 
 Primarily, I am after that instant of combustion, when all the energies of the spirit are wonderfully coordinated with the action of the body. How to get that onto a negative! 
 Previsualization is the first essential of dance photography. The ecstatic gesture happens swiftly and is gone. Unless the photographer previsions, in order to fuse dance action, light, and space expression simultaneously, there can be no significant dance picture. 
 Light is the shape and play of my thought... my reason for being a photographer. 
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