Phil Stern
[Photographer, b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 2014, Los Angeles.]

 There is no such thing as the perfect picture. That’s the challenge of photography. I was always striving for perfection, even though I knew I could never achieve it. But it kept me reaching for something... 

John Loengard
[Photographer, editor, and critic, b. 1934, New York, lives in New York.]

 Usually I think if there is something imperfect in a photograph it makes the picture more real. Photographs that are slick, smooth, and perfect seem less honest to me. 

Gregory Crewdson
[Photographer, b. 1962, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New Haven Connecticut.]

 I think my pictures are really about a kind of tension between my need to make a perfect picture and the impossibility of doing so. Something always fails, there’s always a problem, and photography fails in a certain sense… This is what drives you to the next picture. 

Tibor Kalman
[Graphic designer, b. 1949, Budapest, d. 1999, Dorado, Puerto Rico.]

 Could you blow this up really big and print it in the wrong color and tell everybody to go back to school and to remember that form ain’t worth shit anyway and that content ideas you big bunch of jerks rules make that part red or something ok? 

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. 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 Perfection means you don’t question anything about the photograph. 

Miroslav Tichý
[Photographer, b. 1926, Nětčice, Czechoslovakia, d. 2011, Kyjov, Czech Republic.]

 Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! 

Paul Theroux
[Writer, b. 1941, Medford, Massachusetts, lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Haleiwa, Hawaii.]

 Tonight, I knew despair. Photography wasn’t an art, it was a craft, like making baskets. Error, the essential wrinkle in the fiber of art, was inexcusable in a craft. 
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