Errol Morris
[Documentary filmmaker, b. 1948, Hewlett, New York, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 They say seeing is believing, but the opposite is true. Believing is seeing. 

Walter Benn Michaels
[Writer and critic, b. 1948, lives in Chicago.]

 What a [Cindy Sherman] photograph shows is an object that has been called into the world by the existence of cameras; the pose, as pose, calls attention to this fact and criticizes the world the camera has made; the camera, then, records this critique. 

Arno Rafael Minkkinen
[Photographer, b. 1945, Helsinki, Finland, lives in Andover, Massachusetts.]

 I think photography piles up the limitations more than any other medium I know… To outwit the calamities, I have learned to formulate a partnership with spontaneity. 

Richard Misrach
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in San Francisco.]

 I am not unaware that I have the mindset, as contradictory as it may sound, to discover in the world what I am in fact looking for. Perhaps the best pictures are a seamless hybrid of discovery and construction. 

Toni Morrison
[Writer, b. 1931, Lorain, Ohio, lives in Princeton, New Jersey.]

 At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. 

Chris Marker
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1921, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Île-de-France, d. 2012, Paris.]

 ...after a certain quantity, photos apparently taken by chance, postcards chosen according to a passing mood, begin to trace an itinerary, to map the imaginary country that stretches out before us. 

Samuel Morse
[Inventor and artist, b. 1791, Charlestown, Massachusetts, d. 1872, New York.]

 [The daguerreotype will] banish the sketchy, slovenly daubs that pass for spirited and learned; those works which possess mere general effect without detail, because, forsooth, detail destroys general effect. Nature, in the results of Daguerre’s process, has taken the pencil into her own hands, and she shows that the minutest detail disturbs not the general repose. (1839) 

Bill McKibben
[Writer, b. 1960, Palo Alto, California, lives near Lake Chanokaub, New York.]

 After a lifetime of nature shows and magazine photos, we arrive at the woods conditioned to expect splendor—surprised when the parking lot does not contain a snarl of animals attractively mating and killing each other.