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

 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. 
 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. 
 Long before the birth of a word language the caveman communicated by visual images. The invention of photography gave visual communication its most simple, direct, universal language. (1960) 
 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. 
 The use of the term art medium is, to say the least misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium. 
 The use of the term “art medium” is, to say the least, misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium. It is the artist in photography that gives form to content by a distillation of ideas, thought, experience, insight and understanding. 
 The aerial photograph is itself harmless and valueless. It enters into the category of “instrument of war” when it has disclosed the information written on the surface of the print. (1919) 
 A portrait must get beyond the almost universal self-consciousness that people have before the camera. If at some moment of reality... did not happen, you had to provoke it in order to... awaken a genuine response. 
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