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) 

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? 

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

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

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. 

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

 ...we do not form our beliefs on the basis of what we see; rather, what we see is often determined by our beliefs. 

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. 

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
[Writer, b. 1835, Hannibal, Missouri, d. 1910, Redding, Connecticut.]

 My dear Sir, I thank you very much for your letter and your photograph. In my opinion you are more like me than any other of my numerous doubles. I may even say that you resemble me more closely than I do myself. In fact, I intend to use your picture to shave by. Yours thankfully, S. Clemens. (Reply to a man who sent him a photograph and claimed to be his double.) 
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