[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)
[Critic and writer, b. 1952, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]
And the wars? Can our photographs do anything at all? (Or do we turn it all into image so that it will bother us less?)
[Photographer, b. 1935, Finsbury Park, London, lives in Somerset, England.]
I’m like an old junkie, in a way. You don’t stick syringes in your arm—you go straight for the most important part of your body, the brain. You are destroying it the moment you go to your first war.
[Photographer, b. 1963, Lagos, Nigeria, lives in Brighton, England.]
[My] pictures are about memory and forgetfulness. The evidence is dissolving. Bones crumble; human ash returns to soil; teeth, sandals, hair, bullets, axes disperse into atoms and molecules. Footprints in the snow will be erased by the next storm. The evidence of evil, like the evidence of good, obeys the universal laws of entropy. Heat cools, matter disintegrates, memories fade. If we let them.
[Photographer, b. 1948, Syracuse, New York, lives in New York.]
The greatest statesmen, philosophers, humanitarians… have not been able to put an end to war. Why place that demand on photography?
[Photographer, b. 1912, Warsaw, Poland, d. 1990, Moscow.]
We photographers make magnificent shots of wars, fires, earthquakes, and murder: the grief of humanity. We would like to see photographs about joy, happiness and love, but on the same level of quality. I realize, though, that this is difficult.
W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]
... and each time I pressed the shutter release it was a shouted condemnation hurled with the hope that the picture might survive through the years, with the hope that they might echo through the minds of men in the future—causing them caution and remembrance and realization.
[Human being, subject of iconic photograph, b. 1963, Trang Bang, South Vietnam, lives in Ajax, Canada.]
That photograph is more powerful than bombs. (On the photograph of her as a nine-year-old fleeing the village of Trang Bang, Vietnam after it was napalm bombed by the United States in 1972.)