Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Remember that image of Truman holding up the premature issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune declaring his defeat by Dewey? It is in the Corbis catalogue. Remember Malcolm X pointing out over his crowd of listeners, the airship Hindenberg exploding in the New Jersey sky, that naked Vietnamese child running towards us after being burned by napalm, Churchill flashing his V-for-victory sign, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Patty Hearst posing with her gun in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army banner, LBJ being sworn into office aboard Air Force One beside a blood-splattered Jackie? Corbis offers to lease us electronic versions of them all; it offers to sell us, in other words, the ability to reproduce our memories of our own culture, and therefore of ourselves. 

Athol Fugard
[Playright, b. 1932, Middelburg, South Africa, lives in San Diego, California and South Africa.]

 You call that work? Click-click with a camera. Are you mad? 

Elliott Erwitt
[Photographer, b. 1928, Paris, France, lives in New York.]

 If you’ve got no responsibility and don’t have to generate a certain amount of cash each month, and can live on a shoestring, and are ambitious enough, then you might have a chance. You can be dedicated but that is no guarantee that you’ll make it. I rely on a hunch, a little luck, and some cunning. 

Paul Strand
[Photographer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1976, Oregeval, France.]

 If Ansel Adams gets a thousand dollars a print, I want ten thousand. 

Danny Lyon
[Photographer, b. 1942, New York, lives in Ulster County, New York.]

 My thirteen-year-old has a sign on his wall that reads “Corporate Rock Sucks.” Well now there's something called “Corporate Photography.” It’s corporations calling the shots in the world of photography. If Kodak is behind you they’ll make six copies of your exhibit, with prints big enough to sleep on and put full-page ads in the New York Times. So the corporations, who already own the media, have now bought up photography. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 ...the danger is that photography might become very precious — “Oh, a very rare print.” There’s not a very real place for it. But what does it mean? That preciousness is a sickness. Why do photographers start giving numbers to their prints? It’s absurd. What do you do when the 20th print has been done? Do you swallow the negative? Do you shoot yourself? It’s the gimmick of money. 

Bruce Davidson
[Photographer, b. 1933, Oak Park, Illinois, lives in New York.]

 In those days [1948], to be a photographer was actually to be a nonentity. My brother went to college, grad school, a PhD. I had this little camera. 

David Wojnarowicz
[Artist and activist, b. 1954, Redbank, New Jersey, d. 1990, New York.]

 No one can really explain in a rational way what makes a good photograph or a bad photograph... This is why the art world will not throw billions of dollars at photography the way it has at painting; and that is what makes it an exciting medium. 
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