Gore Vidal
[Writer, b. 1925, West Point, New York, lives in Ravello, Italy and Los Angeles.]

 For half a century photography has been the “art form” of the untalented. Obviously some pictures are more satisfactory than others, but where is credit due? To the designer of the camera? To the finger on the button? To the law of averages? 

Diana Vreeland
[Fashion editor, b. 1903, Paris, d. 1989, New York.]

 Photographers aren’t artists, for goodness sake. 

Vincent Van Gogh
[Artist, b. 1853, Zundert, Netherlands, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, France.]

 I always think photographs abominable, and I don’t like to have them around, particularly not those of persons I know and love... photographic portraits wither much sooner than we ourselves do, whereas the painted portrait is a thing which is felt, done with love or respect for the human being that is portrayed. 

John Vachon
[Photographer, b. 1914, St. Paul, Minnesota, d. 1975, New York.]

 One morning I photographed a grain elevator: pure sun-brushed silo columns of cement rising from behind CB&Q freight car. The genius of Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler welded into one supreme photographic statement, I told myself. Then it occurred to me that it was I who was looking at the grain elevator. For the past year I had been sedulously aping the masters. And in Omaha I realized that I had developed my own style with the camera. I knew that I would photograph only what pleased me or astonished my eye, and only in the way I saw it. 

Ellen von Unwerth
[Photographer, b. 1954, Frankfurt, Germany, lives in New York.]

 I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are. 

Édouard Vuillard
[Painter, b. 1868, Cuiseaux, Saône-et-Loire, France, d. 1940, La Baule, Loire-Atlantique, France.]

 It is clear that the “Good” and the “Beautiful” have passed out of fashion—as the “True,” photography has shown us its nature and limitations: registering phenomena as a pure effect of their existence, requiring as little man as possible. (1896) 

James Van Der Zee
[Photographer, b. 1886, Lenox, Massachusetts, d. 1983, Washington, D.C.]

 Being an artist, I had an artist’s instinct. Why, you have an advantage over the average photographer. You can see the picture before its taken; then it’s up to you to get the camera to see it. 

Dziga Vertov
[Artist and filmmaker, b. 1896, Bialystok, d. 1954, Moscow.]

 I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility... My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you. (1923)