Thomas Merton
[Writer, monk, and philosopher, b. 1915, Prades, France, d. 1968, Bangkok, Thailand.]

 The camera does not know what it takes; it captures materials with which you reconstruct, not so much what you saw as what you thought you saw. Hence the best photography is aware, mindful, of illusion and uses illusion, permitting and encouraging it—especially unconscious and powerful illusions that are not usually admitted on the scene. 

Carrie Mae Weems
[Artist, b. 1953, Portland, Oregon, lives in Syracuse, New York.]

 I’m not interested in stomping around the world with thirteen cameras, ten lenses, umbrellas and stands, and all that bullshit. I move around with an old beat-up camera, a fucked-up tripod, and as much film as I can carry. Then I just trust that I know what I’m doing with this little black box... 

Boris Yaro
[Photographer, b. 1938, lives in Northridge, California.]

 I hide behind my camera. Even though the event may be horrific, it’s still a journal of that particular day and all the things that happen with it. 

Eliot Porter
[Photographer, b. 1901, Winnetka, Illinois, d. 1990, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 The camera offers a way of sublimating the indefinable longing that is aroused in me by close association with birds. 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 As small, quick, foolproof cameras became generally available, moreover, the camera has been used so much and so flabbily by so many people that it has acted as a sort of contraceptive on the ability to see. 

Paul Klee
[Artist, b. 1879, Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, d. 1940, Muralto-Locarno, Switzerland.]

 The artist of today is more than an improved camera, he is more complex, richer, and wider. He is a creature on the earth and a creature within the whole, that is, a creature on a star among stars. 

Ernest Cole (Ernest Levi Tsoloane Kole)
[Photographer, chronicler of Apartheid, b. 1940, Eersterust, South Africa, d. 1990, New York.]

 I couldn’t get over [being given a camera. For] the first few days I carried it around with me wherever I went— even to school. I went around taking snapshots of school friends, beer parties, babies, and I made quite a bit of money. 

Luc Delahaye
[Photographer, b. 1962, Tours, France, lives in Paris.]

 About ten years ago I asked myself extremely simple questions: What is photography? What is a camera exactly? What happens when it is left on its own? 
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