Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial clichés. 

Ellsworth Kelly
[Artist, b. 1923, Newburgh, New York, d. 2015, Spencertown, New York.]

 I realized I didn’t want to compose pictures, I wanted to find them. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 I don’t think very much about [composition] consciously, but I’m very aware of it unconsciously, instinctively. Deliberately discard it every once in a while not to be artistic. Composition is a schoolteacher’s word. Any artist composes. I prefer to compose originally, naturally rather than self-consciously. Form and composition both are terribly important. 

George Rodger
[Photojournalist, b. 1908, Hale, Cheshire, England, d. 1995, Smarden, Kent, England.]

 When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. 

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

 Photographic cropping is always experienced as a rupture in the continuous fabric of reality. 

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. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 Geometry is fundamental, but one must not think about it. 

Jacques-Henri Lartigue
[Photographer, b. 1894, Courbevoie, France, d. 1986, Nice, France.]

 The golden rule is “work fast.” As for framing, composition, focus—this is no time to start asking yourself questions: you just have to trust your intuition and the sharpness of your reflexes. 
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