Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I received my training at an art academy, so what I produce is art. That’s what is artistic about my photographs. 

Samuel Butler
[Writer, b. 1835, Langar Rectory, Nottinghamshire, England, d. 1902, London.]

 All our education is very much a case of retouching negatives till all the character and individuality is gone. 

Bill Jay
[Photographer, writer, and curator, b. 1940, Maidenhead, England, d. 2009, Samara, Costa Rica.]

 Formal education [in photography] has a lot to answer for. We have legitimized, sanitized, academized the medium until we are left with issues not substance, critical stances not action. We have encouraged the mimicking of already dead images, like 19th century painters who spent years copying Greek statuary. 

Larry Sultan
[Photographer, b. 1946, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2009, Greenbrae, California.]

 ...when it comes down to making work that really sings, I don’t know if I can teach any of it. I don’t even know if I can do any of it half the time. It’s so much about failure, it’s so much about making pictures that are so utterly boring and overstated, you’re endlessly disappointed. And in that process you hopefully find something that draws you back and calls to you. 

Sophie Calle
[Artist, b. 1953, Paris, lives in Paris and New York.]

 I met a photographer who agreed to give me a few lessons; in exchange, I had to pose naked for him. 

Edmund Hillary
[Mountaineer, b. 1919, Tuakau, New Zealand, d. 2008, Auckland, New Zealand.]

 As far as I knew, he [Tenzing Norgay] had never taken a photograph before—and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how. (On why there is a photo of Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest during the first successful climb, but not one of Hillary.) 

Eudora Welty
[Writer, b. 1909, Jackson, Mississippi, d. 2001, Jackson.]

 They taught me. The subjects taught me, and my response is what I photographed. 

Man Ray (Emanuel Radnitsky)
[Artist, b. 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1976, Paris.]

 All pupils ask the classical question: “How do you become successful and famous?” I’ve talked to thousands of pupils and there’s only one in ten thousand who might make it. It requires time and persistence, and a certain passion, a certain mania. 
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