Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 I’ve come to realize that the mark is the primal gesture, the internal connection of the caveman to the cosmos; an impossibility similar to an impulse in an insect’s nervous system that it could somehow reduce to dust a steel beam by endlessly crawling over it. 

James Welling
[Photographer, b. 1951, Hartford, Connecticut, lives in Los Angeles.]

 It’s not that I don’t care about content, but content is not the only way a photograph has meaning. 

Tom Waits
[Musician, b. 1949, Pomona, California, lives in Sonoma County, California.]

 Photos are profound because they have such short lives. They are more like fingerprints, dead leaves, rain puddles, or the corpses of flies. 

Jack Welpott
[Photographer, b. 1923, Kansas City, Missouri, d. 2007, Greenbrae, California.]

 I am still struck by the power of photography to strip away the bark of the mind and reveal the visceral workings underneath. 

Carrie Mae Weems
[Artist, b. 1953, Portland, Oregon, lives in Syracuse, New York.]

 I got my first camera when I was 21—my boyfriend gave it to me for my birthday. But at that point politics was my life, and I viewed the camera as a tool for expressing my political beliefs rather than as an art medium. 

Francis Wey
[Writer, member de la Société héliographique, b. 1812, Switzerland, d. 1882, Paris.]

 [Photography] is the seed of a revolution against the system of stencillers, to the benefit of reality... it would seem already that the public, more desirous of the truth, is growing less demanding in terms of preconceived ideas of style and beauty, and displaying curiosity toward the cult of the real. (1851) 

David Foster Wallace
[Writer, b. 1962, Ithica, New York, d. 2008, Claremont, California.]

 You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 Sure. I’d like to live regular. Go home to a goodlooking wife, a hot dinner, and a husky kid. But I guess I got film in my blood. I love this racket. It’s exciting. It’s dangerous. It’s funny. It’s tough. It’s heartbreaking.