Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I remember that for some California photography exhibition in the 1980s, someone interviewed Robert Fichter, who described the photo community as being like a lovely little sun-drenched Greek Island. I thought that was really generous. I thought it more Appalachia than Santorini: some dank mountain valley where brothers have been screwing their sisters for generations, and everybody talks a little bit funny. 

Rondal Partridge
[Photographer, b. 1917, San Francisco, d. 2015, Berkeley, California.]

 Ansel [Adams] always jumped over the fence to photograph, walked past the garbage. He always looked to get an immaculate view, and I spent my life stepping back to include the garbage in my photographic view. 

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)  

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Your own photography is never enough. Every photographer who has lasted has depended on other people’s pictures too—photographs that may be public or private, serious or funny, but that carry with them a reminder of community. 

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

 Quality doesn’t mean deep blacks and whatever tonal range. That’s not quality, that’s a kind of quality. The pictures of Robert Frank might strike someone as being sloppy—the tone range isn’t right and things like that—but they’re far superior to the pictures of Ansel Adams with regard to quality, because the quality of Ansel Adams, if I may say so, is essentially the quality of a postcard. But the quality of Robert Frank is a quality that has something to do with what he’s doing, what his mind is. It’s not balancing out the sky to the sand and so forth. It’s got to do with intention. 

Paul Graham
[Photographer, b. 1956, Stafford, England, lives in New York.]

 The “decisive moment” is bullshit. There are ten pictures before and ten pictures after every one of them: [Henri Cartier-Bresson] actually took thirty pictures of people leaping over that puddle. 

Imogen Cunningham
[Photographer, b. 1883, Portland, d. 1976, San Francisco.]

 You know, a documentary is only interesting once in a while. If you look at a whole book of Dorothea [Lange]’s where she has row after row of people bending over and digging out carrots—that can be very tedious. And so it’s only once in a while that something happens that is worth doing. 

John Berger
[Writer and critic, b. 1926, London, d. 2017, Paris.]

 We hate to look at his [Donald McCullin’s] pictures, but we have to. McCullin is the eye we cannot shut. 
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