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

 Photographs may be taken—but we are also taken in by them. 

A.D. Coleman
[Critic and writer, b. 1943, New York, lives in New York.]

 We’ve spent now about 150 years trying to convince ourselves that photographs are reliable evidence, some unimpeachable slice of the real world. That was a myth from the very beginning. 

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

 [Photographs] are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you. (March, 1971, six months before her suicide) 

Rosalind Krauss
[Writer, critic, and historian, b. 1941, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 ... photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches. 

Marc Riboud
[Photographer, b. 1923, St.-Genis-Laval, France, d. 2016, Paris.]

 The idea of photography as evidence is pure bullshit. A photo is no more proof of any reality than what you may hear being said by someone in a bus. We only record details, small fragments of the world. 

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

 Photographs attract false beliefs the way flypaper attracts flies. 

Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 The Abu Ghraib images—digital images, taken by amateurs—have strengthened, not undermined, the status of photographs as documents of the real. No written account of the tortures could have made such an impact. 

Martin Luther King
[Civil rights leader, religious leader, b. 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, d. 1968, Memphis, Tennessee.]

 I’m not being cold blooded about it, but it is so much more important for you to take a picture of us getting beaten up than for you to be another person joining in the fray. (To photographer Flip Schulke at a civil rights march.) 
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