Edward Steichen
[Photographer and curator, b. 1879, Luxembourg, Germany, d. 1973, West Redding, Connecticut.]

 Every photograph is a fake from start to finish. 
 Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things. 
 Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper... the photographer begins with the finished product. 
 No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. 
 It is an error common to many artists, [who] strive merely to avoid mistakes, when all our efforts should be to create positive and important work. Better positive and important with mistakes and failures than perfect mediocrity. 
 If it were possible for any one person or group of persons to go through a photographic finishing plant’s work at the end of a day, you could probably pull out the most extraordinary photographic exhibition we've ever seen. On almost any subject. The trouble is to find the things. 
 When I first became interested in photography... my idea was to have it recognized as one of the fine arts. Today I don’t give a hoot in hell about that. The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself. And that is the most complicated thing on earth and also as naïve as a tender plant. 
 I don’t care about making photography an art. I want to make good photographs. I’d like to know who first got it into his head that dreaminess and mist is an art. Take things as they are; take good photographs and the art will take care of itself. (1923) 
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