Kevin Bacon
[Actor, b. 1958, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 They took 3-D digital photographs of my entire body. I had to pose stark naked, assuming a kind of Spider-Man position. After a minute, one of the technicians pointed to my genitals and said, “Um, we’re not getting enough data there”... It wasn’t what you think. It turns out that the fancy digital camera doesn’t pick up dark areas too well, and they were having trouble because of the hair down there. I actually had to spray on this highlighter stuff. (On having digital photos taken for the invisible man role in the film Hollow Man) 

Honoré de Balzac
[Writer, b. 1799, Tours, France, d. 1850, Paris.]

 The steam-engine was rejected as absurd, just as aerial navigation is today. So were gunpowder, the printing press, spectacles and the latest newcomer, the daguerreotype. If someone had gone up to Napoleon and told him that a building or a man is permanently represented by an image in the atmosphere, and that everything that exists possesses an intangible spectre which may nevertheless become visible, Napoleon would have had him put away in the asylum at Charenton, just as Richelieu dispatched the unfortunate Salomon de Cuax to the madhouse at Bicêtre when that Norman martyr came to him with the invention of the steamship. —And yet Daguerre’s invention demonstrates exactly what I have just said. 

The Dalai Lama (Lhamo Dhondrub)
[Spiritual leader, b. 1935, Taktser, Tibet, lives in exile.]

 I know the earth is round by relying on the words of someone who has seen it and proved it with photographs... You have to rely on a person who has already had this kind of experience and has no reason to tell lies. (Explaining the Buddhist concept of extremely hidden phenomena.) 

Joel Sternfeld
[Photographer, b. 1944, New York, lives in New York.]

 Some of the people who are now manipulating photos, such as Andreas Gursky, make the argument—rightly—that the “straight” photographs of the 1940s and 50s were no such thing. Ansel Adams would slap a red filter on his lens, then spend three days burning and dodging in the dark room, making his prints. That’s a manipulation. Even the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, with all due respect to him, are notoriously burned and dodged. 

Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 The only “objective” truth that photographs offer is the assertion that somebody or something... was somewhere and took a picture. Everything else, everything beyond the imprinting of a trace, is up for grabs. 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 The camera is just a machine, which records with impressive and as a rule very cruel faithfulness. 

Henry Peach Robinson
[Photographer, b. 1830, Ludlow, Shropshire, England, d. 1901, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.]

 It must be confessed that it takes considerable skill to produce the best kind of lies. It is in the hands of first-class photographers only—and perhaps the indifferent ones—that photography can lie. 
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