Henry Holmes Smith
[Artist and teacher, b. 1909, Bloomington, Illinois, d. 1986, San Rafael, California.]

 The intensely felt subjective image is always the reason for making a first rate picture. 

Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 ...the hidden imperatives of photographic culture drag us in two contradictory directions: “science” and a myth of “objective truth” on the one hand, and toward “art” and a cult of “subjective experience” on the other. This dualism haunts photography, lending a certain goofy inconsistency to the most commonplace assertions about the medium. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 The truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional, and that is what I try to show. What is real one moment has become imaginary the next. You believe what you see now, and the next second you don’t anymore. 

Annie Leibovitz
[Photographer, b. 1949, Westbury, Connecticut, lives in New York.]

 I no longer believe that there is such a thing as objectivity. Everyone has a point of view. Some people call it style, but what we’re really talking about here is the guts of a photograph. When you trust your point of view, that’s when you start taking pictures. 

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

 It was the unspoken curse of the medium, which went: “Photography is not really creative.” Naturally no painter would be so gauche as to say publicly that photography was not an art form. Nevertheless, there was an unuttered axiom: “Painters create, photographers select.” Not all the enlightened lip service in the world could change that feeling. The condescension with which the most insignificant painter could look down upon an Ansel Adams, a Steichen, or a Stieglitz was absolutely breathtaking. If sneers gave off heat, Alfred Stieglitz himself would have ended up about the size and shape of a smoked oyster. 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 ... it is not a factual photograph per se. The documentary photograph carries with it another thing, a quality in the subject that the artist responds to. It is a photograph which carries the full meaning of the episode or the circumstance or the situation that can only be revealed—because you can’t really recapture it—by this other quality. There is no real warfare between the artist and the documentary photographer. He has to be both. 

Martine Franck
[Photographer, b. 1938, Antwerp, Belgium, d. 2012, Paris.]

 A photograph is not necessarily a lie, but it isn’t the truth either. It’s more like a fleeting, subjective impression. 

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

 There’s something arbitrary about taking a picture. So I can stand at the edge of a highway and take one step forward and it can be a natural landscape untouched by man and I can take one step back and include a guardrail and change the meaning of the picture radically... I can take a picture of a person at one moment and make them look contemplative and photograph them two seconds later and make them look frivolous. 
quotes 1-8 of 206
page 1 of 26 next page last page
display quotes