Donald McCullin
[Photographer, b. 1935, Finsbury Park, London, lives in Somerset, England.]

 I felt I had seen so much horror that it was likely to destroy me…. Yet… I cannot do without the head-on collision with life I have when I am working. 

Nhem En
[Photographer, b. 1961, Kampong Leng, Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia, lives in Cambodia.]

 My only job was to photograph them, and it was someone else who tortured and killed these people. As a photographer, I had no right to beat, torture, or kill prisoners. I could not touch them. (En, official photographer at Khmer Rouge torture center Tuol Sleng, estimates he took photographs of 10,000 people arriving at the center. Eight survived.) 

Janet Malcolm
[Writer, b. 1934, Prague, Czechoslovakia, lives in New York.]

 There are good photographers who might elevate themselves to the ranks of the great simply by burning most of their work. 

Christian Metz
[Writer and film theorist, b. 1931, Béziers, France, lives in France.]

 The person who has been photographed, not the total person, is dead, dead for having been seen. 

Nan Goldin
[Photographer, b. 1953, Washington, D.C., lives in New York and Paris.]

 I don’t even like photography at all. I’m just doing photography until I can do something better. 

Marcel Duchamp
[Artist, b. 1887, Blainville, France, d. 1968, Neilly-sur-Seine, France.]

 You know exactly what I think of photography. I would like to see it make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable. (In a letter to Alfred Stieglitz) 

Brian Duffy
[Photographer, b. 1933, London, d. 2010, London.]

 Photography was dead by 1972. Everything had been resolved between 1839 and 1972. Every picture after ‘72, I have seen pre-‘72. Nothing new. But it took me some time to detect its death. The first person who twigged was Henri Cartier-Bresson. He just stopped—and started painting and drawing. God, he was useless. 

John Steinbeck
[Writer, b. 1902, Salinas, California, d. 1968, Sag Harbor, New York.]

 The camera is one of the most frightening of modern weapons, particularly to people who have been in warfare, who have been bombed and shelled for at the back of a bombing run is invariably a photograph. In the back of ruined towns, and cities, and factories, there is aerial mapping, or spy mapping, usually with a camera. Therefore the camera is a feared instrument, and a man with a camera is suspected and watched wherever he goes... In the minds of most people today the camera is the forerunner of destruction, and it is suspected, and rightly so. 
quotes 1-8 of 250
page 1 of 32 next page last page
display quotes