Hilla Becher
[Photographer, b. 1934, Potsdam, d. 2015, Düsseldorf.]

 There are stillborn topics, where its apparent that the subject won't lead very far, because its not historically founded or is not anchored in the present or has been previously done. Think of the Cindy Sherman syndrome. 

John Waters
[Filmmaker and photographer, b. 1946, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in Baltimore.]

 For most people, the word voyeur is a bad word; to me, it’s a realistic one. Whatever your secret obsession is, that’s what you need to look at again and again and again. It doesn’t matter what it is. Was Ansel Adams—who spent a lifetime looking at mountains, making pictures, and getting off on them—a voyeur? 

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. 

André Kertész
[Photographer, b. 1894, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1985, New York.]

 I gave him [Brassaï] a crash course on night photography: what to do, how to do it, and how long the exposures had to be. Later he started to copy my style in night photography and that, more or less, was the type of work he did for the rest of his life. 

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

 I didn’t like the world of photography. I didn’t like the culture of photography. I feel the same way today. (2011) 

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

 Many photographers in fact remind me in temperament of Thomas Hart Benton; in addition to painting, he said, what he liked was to “drink whiskey and talk big.” 

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

 It’s been a strange [summer].... I was sent by a magazine to photograph famous photographers.... Of course, I included myself. (To Peter Sellers on the set of Dr. Strangelove, 1963) 

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

 Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people’s ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will eventually have to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzsche meant when he said, “I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him.” He knew how insidious other people’s ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own vision. 
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