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

 Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper... the photographer begins with the finished product. 
 Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things. 
 Every photograph is a fake from start to finish. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself—mysterious and ever-changing light with its accompanying shadows rich and full of mystery. 
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