Thomas Demand
[Photographer, b. 1964, Munich, Germany, lives in Los Angeles.]

 I’m self-taught in photography, but it’s easy. People make a bigger deal of it than it actually is. 

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre
[Artist and one of the originators of photography, b. 1787, Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d'Oise, France, d. 1851, Bry-sur-Marne, France.]

 I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight. 

Michel de Certeau
[Writer, b. 1925, Chambéry, France, d. 1986, Paris.]

 Can the vast technology beneath our gaze be anything but a representation? Any optical artifact... The city panorama is a “theoretical” (ie visual) simulacrum: in short, a picture, of which the preconditions for feasibility are forgetfulness and a misunderstanding of processes. 

Brian Duffy
[Photographer, b. 1933, London, d. 2010, London.]

 I went into a burning mode. I felt everything I had to do and say in photography had been done. [Irving Penn and Richard Avedon] fucked photography for us... They got there. (1979, On giving up photography and burning all his negatives)  

Louise Georgina Daguerre (né Arrowsmith)
[Wife of Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, b. 1810, d. 1857.]

 He is always at thought; he cannot sleep at night for it. I am afraid he is out of his mind; do you, as a man of science, think it can every be done, or is he mad? (1827, to chemist J.B. Dumas on her husband’s efforts to invent photography.) 

Guy Debord
[Writer and theorist, b. 1931, Paris, d. 1994, Champot, Upper Loire, France.]

 In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation. 

The Dalai Lama (Lhamo Dhondrub)
[Spiritual leader, b. 1935, Taktser, Tibet, lives in exile.]

 I know the earth is round by relying on the words of someone who has seen it and proved it with photographs... You have to rely on a person who has already had this kind of experience and has no reason to tell lies. (Explaining the Buddhist concept of extremely hidden phenomena.) 

John Divola
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles.]

 I don’t look for things to see how they function as metaphors.... You can’t photograph the sublime. You can only traffic in the specific and its relationship to the symbolic.