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.) 

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

 I remember it as if it were today... seeing him [Che] framed in the viewfinder, with that expression. I am still startled by the impact... it shakes me so powerfully. (On his iconic photo of Che Guevara) 

Arnold Genthe
[Photographer, b. 1869, Berlin, Germany, d. 1942, New York.]

 ...I went back to my studio to get a camera. The one thought uppermost in my mind was not to bring some of my possessions to a place of safety but to make photographs of the scenes I had been witnessing, the effects of the earthquake and the beginning of the conflagration that had started in various parts of the city. I found that my hand cameras had been so damaged by the falling plaster as to be rendered useless. I went to Montgomery Street to the shop of George Kahn, my dealer, and asked him to lend me a camera. “Take anything you want. This place is going to burn up anyway.” (On photographing the San Francisco earthquake of 1906) 

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. 

Graham Nash
[Musician, photographer, and collector, b. 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, lives in Encino, California.]

 What I shoot are moments that disappear in the blink of an eye if you don’t have the courage or the discipline to have your camera with you. I can’t tell you how many fucking times I missed Elvis coming back on the elevator... and it pisses me off! I still try to carry my camera every single moment. 

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. 

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

 When I am faced with the victims of the bomb, I find myself almost praying as I release the shutter of my camera. It is as if they are the God of the fin-de-siècle, Christ of the nuclear age. 

Eve Babitz
[Model and author, b. 1943, Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles.]

 You know, also I, you know, I was on those birth control pills and my breasts were like, they hurt... and, you know, it was like they blew up like. You know, they wouldn’t fit into any of my dresses. I had to quit taking those birth control pills... This was like—I mean they were like, I thought they should be photographed really... So they were, for immortality. (On being photographed nude playing chess with Marcel Duchamp at Duchamp’s 1963 retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art.) 
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