[Photographer, b. 1918, New York, d. 2006, New York.]
Those who call themselves art photographers are pompous, arrogant egoists.
Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.
I don’t care what you do with that negative, you can retouch it, you can spit on it, you can grind it underfoot. The only thing that matters is if it is honest. If [the picture] is honest, you and everybody can tell. If it is dishonest, you and everybody can tell.
A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.
It seems to me that no one picture can ever be a final summation of a personality. There are so many facets in every human being that it is impossible to present them all in one photograph.
I’m convinced that any photographic attempt to show the complete man is utter nonsense, to an extent. We can only show, as best we can, what the outer man reveals; the inner man is seldom revealed to anyone, sometimes not even to the man himself. We have to interpret.
We don’t take pictures with our cameras, we take them with our hearts and minds. It is how we photograph not what we photograph, that matters.
...Susan Sontag wrote her book On Photography—you’ll find no real photographer has ever said it was a good book. Writers wrote about her book and praised her, knowing nothing about photography... Susan Sontag, almost like it was her own original ideas and thoughts, began to say these things, inferring perhaps that photographers didn’t have the intellect to understand what they were doing. And I get angry, because all my life I’ve been discussing the same kind of questions that she had in this short chapter. I could show you where I wrote notes in the margins—the book is black with notes—“this is full of shit, this is not original, we discussed this years ago.”