Irving Penn
[Photographer, b. 1917, Plainfield, New Jersey, d. 2009, New York.]

 I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel. 

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

 There are photographic fanatics, just as there are religious fanatics. They buy a so-called candid camera... there is no such thing: it’s the photographer who has to be candid, not the camera. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 I’ve got incredible power in my closet. Not power to do harm—just the feeling that I’ve captured people who have since died and people who will never look that way again. The camera is cruel, so I try to be as good as I can to make things even. 

William Wegman
[Artist, b. 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 I just imagined you were a camera. 

Dziga Vertov
[Artist and filmmaker, b. 1896, Bialystok, d. 1954, Moscow.]

 I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility... My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you. (1923) 

Alexey Brodovitch
[Graphic designer and art director, b. 1898, Ogolitchi, Russia, d. 1971, Le Thor, France.]

 When you look into your camera, if you see an image you have ever seen before, don’t click the shutter. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 If I were just curious, it would be very hard to say to someone, “I want to come to your house and have you talk to me and tell me the story of your life.” I mean people are going to say, “You’re crazy.” Plus they’re going to keep mighty guarded. But the camera is a kind of license. A lot of people, they want to be paid that much attention and that’s a reasonable kind of attention to be paid. 

Margaret Bourke-White
[Photographer, b. 1904, New York, d. 1971, Darien, Connecticut.]

 Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand. 
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