Beaumont Newhall
[Photographer, writer, and historian, b. 1908, Lynn, Massachusetts, d. 1993, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 The fundamental belief in the authenticity of photographs explains why photographs of people no longer living and of vanished architecture are so melancholy. 
 We are not interested in the unusual, but in the usual seen unusually. 
 The present challenge to the photographer is to express inner significance through outward form. 
 It has been important to me, as an historian of photography, to understand photography by photographing. 
 It is peculiar to photography that, by the extreme ease of its production, many accidentally interesting photographs are produced. 
 Attempts to mix photography and painting fail... On this point the masters are unanimous: the photographic image must not be tampered with. (1958) 
 Documentary is, therefore, an approach, which makes use of the artistic faculties to give “vivification to fact”—to use Walt Whitman’s definition of the place of poetry in the modern world. 
 The documentary photographer is not a mere technician. Nor is he an artist for art’s sake. His results are often brilliant technically and highly artistic, but primarily they are pictorial reports. First and foremost he is a visualizer. He puts into pictures what he knows about, and what he thinks of, the subject before his camera. 
quotes 1-8 of 16
page 1 of 2 next page last page
display quotes