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

 I want to have in my pictures of people a vivid sense of participation: I want the viewer to realize that the subject was indeed aware of the camera, but that he neither feared it nor gloated over it, but allowed the photographer to observe him as is—unposed, unpretentious, natural. 
 For me it is a constant source of wonder that the world becomes transformed through the finder of my camera. 
 Photography—the spirit, I mean—is everywhere: it’s precise, lightning-like, clean cut, brilliant, alert. 
 Over the years, photography has been to me what a journal is to a writer—a record of things seen and experienced, moments in the flow of time, documents of significance to me, experiments in seeing. 
 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. 
 The fever for reality was running high. The physical aid of camera obscura and camera lucida had drawn men so near to an exact copying of nature and the satisfaction of the current craving for reality that they could not abide the intrusion of the pencil of man to close the gap. Only the pencil of nature would do. 
 Messages are needful, and we have learned that many of the most needful can be imparted more effectively with the camera than by any other medium. (1948) 
 Wherever there is disaster, the newsman is there. If he cannot find disaster, he searches for the odd and the peculiar, the exotic and the unfamiliar. His photographs, seen by millions, make momentary events and strange occurrences all over the world our common property. 
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