Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Remember that image of Truman holding up the premature issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune declaring his defeat by Dewey? It is in the Corbis catalogue. Remember Malcolm X pointing out over his crowd of listeners, the airship Hindenberg exploding in the New Jersey sky, that naked Vietnamese child running towards us after being burned by napalm, Churchill flashing his V-for-victory sign, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Patty Hearst posing with her gun in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army banner, LBJ being sworn into office aboard Air Force One beside a blood-splattered Jackie? Corbis offers to lease us electronic versions of them all; it offers to sell us, in other words, the ability to reproduce our memories of our own culture, and therefore of ourselves. 

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

 Let go, lady. Godammit, this is history! (Trying to get a clear shot of the dying Robert Kennedy.) 

Bert Stern
[Photographer, b. 1929, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2013, New York.]

 ... her arm was up, like waving farewell. I saw what I wanted, I pressed the button, and she was mine. It was the last picture. (On photographing Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her death.) 

Nhem En
[Photographer, b. 1961, Kampong Leng, Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia, lives in Cambodia.]

 My only job was to photograph them, and it was someone else who tortured and killed these people. As a photographer, I had no right to beat, torture, or kill prisoners. I could not touch them. (En, official photographer at Khmer Rouge torture center Tuol Sleng, estimates he took photographs of 10,000 people arriving at the center. Eight survived.) 

Robert Capa (Endre Ernő Friedmann)
[Photographer, b. 1913, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1954, Thai Binh, Vietnam.]

 I had it bad. The empty camera trembled in my hands. It was a new kind of fear shaking my body from toe to hair, and twisting my face. (Remembrance of landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day.) 

Hunter Thompson
[Writer, b. 1937, Louisville, Kentucky, d. 2005, Woody Creek, Colorado.]

 These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line. Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport. (On photographs of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq) 

Carl Mydans
[Photographer, b. 1907, Boston, Massachusetts, d. 2004, New York.]

 I followed [the boys] to the stakes as the as the cries from the crowds rose higher and higher. The boy’s hands were shaking. And I saw that mine were also. What, among men, is more frightening than the cry for death which rises from the crowd? ... I tried to hold my camera steady as I stepped up to each of them, one by one. I was not in good control. But each in his turn surprised me: for as each saw the camera coming in toward him, his body straightened and he threw back his shoulders and a look of courage came into his face. Inexplicably, that last picture gave strength to the condemned men. 

George Rodger
[Photojournalist, b. 1908, Hale, Cheshire, England, d. 1995, Smarden, Kent, England.]

 When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. 
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