Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 People believe in the reality of photographs, but not in the reality of paintings. That gives photographers an enormous advantage. Unfortunately, photographers also believe in the reality of photographs. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them. 

Buckminster Fuller
[Inventor and philosopher, b. 1895, Milton, Massachusetts, d. 1983, Los Angeles.]

 Seeing-is-believing is a blind spot in man’s vision. 

Errol Morris
[Documentary filmmaker, b. 1948, Hewlett, New York, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 They say seeing is believing, but the opposite is true. Believing is seeing. 

Sarah Kember
[Writer and critic, lives in London.]

 Computer manipulated and simulated imagery appears to threaten the truth status of photography even though that has already been undermined by decades of semiotic analysis. How can this be? How can we panic about the loss of the real when we know (tacitly or otherwise) that the real is always lost in the act of representation? 

Sabrina Harman
[U.S. military guard at Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq, b. 1978, Lorton, Virginia, lives in Virginia.]

 If I come up to you and I’m like, “Hey this is going on,” you probably wouldn’t believe me unless I had something to show you. So if I say “Hey this is going on. Look, I have proof,” you can’t deny it, I guess. (On why she took the infamous photos of abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq) 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 More convincingly than any other kind of picture, a photograph evokes the tangible presence of reality. It’s most fundamental use and its broadest acceptance has been as a substitute for the object itself—a simpler, more permanent, more clearly visible version of the plain fact. Our faith in the truth of a photograph rests on our belief that the lens in impartial, and will draw the subject as it is, neither nobler nor meaner. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask. 
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