Edward Curtis
[Photographer and ethnographer, b. 1868, Whitewater, Wisconsin, d. 1952, Los Angeles.]

 I devoted thirty-three years to gathering text material and pictures for [The North American Indian]. I did this as a contribution; without salary, direct or indirect financial returns. When I was done with the last volume, I did not possess enough money to buy a ham sandwich; yet the books will remain the outstanding story of the Indian. (1937) 

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. 

Joe Rosenthal
[Photographer, b. 1911, Washington, D.C., d. 2006, Novato, California.]

 Had I posed that shot, I would, of course, have ruined it. I’d have picked fewer men... I would also have made them turn their heads so that they could be identified for AP members throughout the country and nothing like the existing picture would have resulted. (On his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

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.) 

Bert Hardy
[Photographer, b. 1913, London, d. 1995, Oxted, England.]

 Although I do not usually like taking pictures of corpses, I controlled my feelings of rage for long enough to take some; without such evidence, no one would believe that anything like this had ever happened. (On photographing the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, April 19, 1945) 

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.) 

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

 In my observation of the Black man’s life in South Africa as presented in House of Bondage, my personal attitude was committed to exposing the evils of South Africa. 

Anne Frank
[Writer, b. 1929, Frankfurt, Germany, d. 1945, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Germany.]

 This is a photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood. (10, October, 1942; Handwritten inscription on a photograph) 
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