Irving Penn
[Photographer, b. 1917, Plainfield, New Jersey, d. 2009, New York.]

 I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel. 
 A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective. 
 A fashion picture is a portrait just as a portrait is a fashion picture. 
 Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is the one they would like to show the world…. Very often what lies behind the façade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe. 
 I share with many people the feeling that there is a sweetness and constancy to light that falls into a studio from the north sky that sets it beyond any other illumination. It is a light of such penetrating clarity that even a simple object lying by chance in such a light takes on an inner glow, almost a voluptuousness. 
 The printed page seems to have come to something of a dead end for all of us. 
 Sometime in 1964 I realized that I was a victim of a printmaking obsession, a condition that persists today.