Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Over and over again the photographer walks a few steps and peers, rather comically, into the camera; to the exasperation of family and friends, he inventories what seems an endless number of angles; he explains, if asked, that he is trying for effective composition, but hesitates to define it. What he means is that a photographer wants form, an unarguably right relationship of shapes, a visual stability in which all components are equally important. The photographer hopes, in brief, to discover a tension so exact that it is peace. 

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. 

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) 

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

 There is a lot of talk about camera angles; the only valid angles in existence are the angles of the geometry of composition and not the ones fabricated by the photographer who falls flat on his stomach or who performs other antics to procure his effects. 

John Baldessari
[Artist, b. 1931, National City, California, lives in Venice, California.]

 Probably I was never going to get out of National City, so I was going to show people what it’s like, to make art out of where I lived without glamorizing it, and with the idea that truth is beautiful, no matter how ugly it is. I drove around in the car shooting my pictures from the window, because I didn’t want to make the place more beautiful by setting my camera up with a tripod, getting the right light, and just the right composition. I wanted it just the way it is. 

Susan Meiselas
[Photographer, b. 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in New York.]

 For a long time I’ve lived with the inadequacy of that frame to tell everything I knew, and I think a lot about what is outside of the frame… 

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. 

Robbert Flick
[Photographer, b. 1939, Amersfoort, Holland, lives in Los Angeles, California.]

 Once you take a picture, you frame something; the moment you frame it, you exclude things. 
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