Ralph Steiner
[Photographer, b. 1899, Cleveland, Ohio, d. 1986, Hanover, New Hampshire.]

 “The camera cannot lie” is true only in the sense that it is a little harder to tell a complete falsehood with a camera than with words. 
 There are only two hard things in photography; which way to point the camera and when to release the shutter. 
 By showing a picture, you’re showing an x-ray of your heart. 
 I say to young photographers, “What in God’s name are you doing, taking a picture of a tree or a mountain? That’s crazy! What you should do is take a person by the hand and show him the tree or the mountain itself. Why show him a stupid picture? It’s flat and it’s tiny compared to the mountain. The mountain is magnificent and has power ...” 
 The thing to bear in mind in ‘reading’ photographs is that none of them can tell the full truth. 
 These days I think the composers of music influence me more than any photographers or visual creators. I see something exciting or lovely and think to myself: “If Papa Haydn or Wolfgang Amadeus or the red-headed Vivaldi were here with a camera, they’d snap a picture of what’s in front of me.” So I take the picture for them.