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) 

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) 

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) 

Lee Miller
[Photographer and model, b. 1907, Poughkeepsie, New York, d. 1976, Sussex, England.]

 No question that German civilians knew what went on. Railway into Dachau camp runs past villa, with trains of dead or semi-dead deportees. I usually don’t take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel it can publish these pictures. (Cable from German front, May, 1945) 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history... 

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.) 

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) 

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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