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

 Let the lens rummage the gravel of chance and the unconscious. 

Robert Doisneau
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]

 The photographer must be absorbent—like a blotter, allow himself to be permeated by the poetic moment... His technique should be like an animal function... he should act automatically. 

André Kertész
[Photographer, b. 1894, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1985, New York.]

 Have confidence in the inventions and transformations of chance. 

Joe Rosenthal
[Photographer, b. 1911, Washington, D.C., d. 2006, Novato, California.]

 When you take a picture like that, you don’t come away thinking that you got a great shot. You don’t know. (1955,on his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

Harold Edgerton
[Scientist, inventor, and photographer, b. 1903, Fremont, Nebraska, d. 1990, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 In many ways, unexpected results are what have most inspired my photography. 

André Breton
[Artist, writer, editor, and critic, b. 1896, Tinchebray, France, d. 1966, Paris, France.]

 Actually, it’s quite true that [Cartier-Bresson is] not waiting for anyone, since he’s not made any appointment, but the very fact that he’s adopting this ultra-receptive posture means that by this he wants to help chance along, how should I say, to put himself in a state of grace with chance, so that something might happen, so that someone might drop in. 

Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 The thing that interests me about photography, and why it’s different from all other media, is that it’s the only medium in which there is even the possibility of an accidental masterpiece. 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 Many people, even some good photographers, talk of the “luck” of photography as if that were a disparagement. And it is true that luck is constantly at work. It is one of the cardinal creative forces in the universe, one which the photographer has unique equipment for collaborating with. And a photographer often shoots around a subject, especially one that is highly mobile and in continuous and swift development—which seems to me as much his natural business as it is for a poet who is really in the grip of his poem to alter and realter words in his line. It is true that most artists, though they know their own talent and its gifts as luck, work as well as they can against luck, and that in most good works of art, as in little else in creation, luck is either locked out or locked in and semidomesticated, or put to wholly constructive work; but it is peculiarly a part of the good photographer’s adventure to know where luck is most likely to lie in the stream, to hook it, and to bring it in without unfair play and without too much subduing it. Most good photographs, especially the quick and lyrical kind, are battles between the artist and luck. 
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