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. 

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

 The same camera that photographs a murder scene can photograph a beautiful society affair at a big hotel. 

John Tagg
[Writer, theorist, and photohistorian, b. 1949, North Shields, England, lives in Ithica, New York.]

 Like the state, the camera is never neutral. The representations it produces are highly coded, and the power it wields is never its own. As a means of record, it arrives on the scene vested with a particular authority to arrest, picture, and transform daily life... This is not the power of the camera but the power of the apparatuses of the local state which deploy it and guarantee the authority of the images it constructs to stand as evidence or register a truth. 

Stephen Colbert
[Satirist and television host, b. 1964, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 Cameras are dangerous. With no waiting period or background check, any whack-job could just stroll into a Wal-Mart and walk out with a semi-automatic. Now, for years I’ve been pressing for stricter regulations on cameras, especially around our elected officials. Too many political lives have been cut short by some crazed shooter. 

Alberto Korda
[Photographer, b. 1928, Havana, Cuba, d. 2001, Paris.]

 Forget the camera, forget the lens, forget all of that. With any four-dollar camera, you can capture the best picture. 

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

 Photography is a very subtle thing. You must let the camera take you by the hand, as it were, and lead you into your subject. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 One really doesn’t associate a machine—a little box with glass in it—with the personal imprint of the operator, but it is there, and it’s a kind of magic, inexplicable quality. 

Lee Friedlander
[Photographer, b. 1934, Aberdeen, Washington, lives in New York.]

 With a camera like that [a Leica 35mm rangefinder] you don’t believe you’re in the masterpiece business. It’s enough to be able to peck at the world. 
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