Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 The Abu Ghraib images—digital images, taken by amateurs—have strengthened, not undermined, the status of photographs as documents of the real. No written account of the tortures could have made such an impact. 

Kim Phúc
[Human being, subject of iconic photograph, b. 1963, Trang Bang, South Vietnam, lives in Ajax, Canada.]

 I wanted to escape that picture. I got burned by napalm, and I became a victim of war... but growing up then, I became another kind of victim. (On being the napalm-burned child in Nick Ut’s Pulitizer Prize-winning Vietnam War photograph made June 8, 1972) 

Horst Faas
[Photojournalist, b. 1933, Berlin, Germany, d. 2012, Munich, Germany.]

 I think we have another Pulitzer here. (On his his first viewing of Nick Ut’s photograph of Kim Phuc fleeing the village of Trang Bang, Vietnam after it was napalm bombed in 1972.) 

Robert Kennedy
[Politician, b. 1925, Brookline, Massachusetts, d. 1968, Los Angeles, California.]

 I examined the pictures carefully, and what I saw appeared to be no more than the clearing of a field for a farm or the basement of a house. I was relieved to hear later that this was the same reaction of virtually everyone at the meeting, including President Kennedy. Even a few days later, when more work had taken place on the site, he remarked that it looked like a football field. (On aerial photographs that triggered the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.) 

Joe Julius Heydecker
[Writer and photographer, b. 1916, Nürnberg, Germany, d. 1997, Vienna.]

 I am guilty: I stood there and took photographs instead of doing something. Even then I was aware of this terrible dilemma. To ask what I could have done than is a coward’s question. Something. Kill one of the guards with my bayonet. Raise my rifle against an officer. Desert and go over to the other side. Refuse service. Sabotage. Refuse to obey orders. Give my life. Today I feel there is no excuse. (On his trips as a Nazi soldier photographing Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. He began in 1941 and ended in 1944 when there was no ghetto and there were no Jews.) 

Shomei Tomatsu
[Photographer, b. 1930, Nagoya, Japan, d. 2012, Okinawa, Japan.]

 If I could, I would want to see everything: the affairs of others, the scene of a murder, the Pygmies in the African rain forest, the super-rich of Wall Street, the face of the man who stole three hundred million yen, the Sydney Opera House, the graveyard of ships in the Sargasso Sea, the tail of an orca, the plankton of the deep ocean, the inside of Prime Minister Sato’s belly, Mao Zedong, Mars, Cape Kennedy, Antarctic blizzards, the animal whose name is “sloth,” the pudendum of Marilyn Monroe. My eyes are infamously greedy:... to me, the stuff other photographers substitute for seeing is but a kind of pessimism. 

John Glenn
[Astronaut and politician, b. 1921, Cambridge, Ohio, lives in Washington D.C.]

 To hell with this. I’m going to go down to Cocoa Beach. (On being told by NASA that he couldn’t take a camera on his historic first space flight, forcing him to make a trip to a Florida drugstore where he bought the Ansco Autoset snapshot camera and two rolls of Kodak film he used on the flight.) 

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

 As our landing craft neared the beach I saw that the SeaBees had had gotten there before us and had laid a pontoon walkway out from the beach. As we headed for it, I climbed the boat’s ramp and jumped onto the pontoons so that I could photograph MacArthur as he walked ashore. But in the instant of my jumping I heard the boat’s engines reversing and, swinging around, I saw the boat rapidly backing away. Judging what was happening, I raced to the beach and ran dry-shod some hundred yards along it and stood waiting for the boat to come to me. When it did, it dropped its ramp in knee-deep water and I photographed MacArthur wading ashore. No one I have ever known in public life had a better understanding of the drama and power of a picture. (On General Douglas MacArthur’s return to Luzon, January 9, 1945.) 
quotes 1-8 of 263
page 1 of 33 next page last page
display quotes