Ernst Haas
[Photographer, b. 1921, Vienna, Austria, d. 1986, New York City.]

 My theory of composition? Simple: do not release the shutter until everything in the viewfinder feels just right. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 Photographers have to impose order, bring structure to what they photograph. It is inevitable. A photograph without structure is like a sentence without grammar—it is incomprehensible, even inconceivable. 

Tom Wolfe
[Writer, b. 1930, Richmond, Virginia, d. 2018, New York.]

 Suddenly there is magic in such items... as random and eccentric framing, blurred images, keeling horizons, distorted scale, unreal colors (puce waters, chartreuse skies), grotesque foreshortening... and nightclub photo lighting with its flash overexposures and clotted shadows and inexplicable detail and tilted walls and stray items—arms, legs, shoes, cloven bottoms, anorexic elbows—appearing in an amputated condition about the edges... Once regarded as technical limitation of the medium, as annoyances to be overcome by professional expertise, they now become like animae, tree spirits, to be treated with reverence and looked to for guidance. 

Margaret Bourke-White
[Photographer, b. 1904, New York, d. 1971, Darien, Connecticut.]

 It seems to me that while it is very important to get a striking picture of a line of smoke stacks or a row of dynamos, it is becoming more and more important to reflect that life that goes on behind these photographs. (1935) 

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

 I don’t know what good composition is... Sometimes for me composition has to do with a certain brightness or a certain coming to restness and other times it has to do with funny mistakes. There’s a kind of rightness and wrongness and sometimes I like rightness and sometimes I like wrongness. 

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

 The target of our line of sight is reality, but our framing can transform it into a dream. 

Ingrid Sischy
[Editor and writer, b. 1952, Johannesburg, South Africa, d. 2015, New York.]

 [Sebastião] Salgado is far too busy with the compositional aspects of his pictures—with finding the “grace” and “beauty” in the twisted forms of his anguished subjects…. This is photography that runs on a kind of emotional blackmail fuelled by a dramatics of art direction. 

Lisette Model
[Photographer, b. 1906, Vienna, Austria, d. 1983, New York.]

 [The snapshooter’s] pictures have an apparent disorder and imperfection, which is exactly their appeal and their style. The picture isn’t straight. It isn’t done well. It isn’t composed. It isn’t thought out. And out of this imbalance, and out of this not knowing, and out of this real innocence toward the medium comes an enormous vitality and expression of life. 
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