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

 When you set up pictures you’re not at any risk. Reality involves chance and risk and diving for pearls. 

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

 I swung my camera around and held it until I could guess that this was the peak of the action, and shot. I couldn’t positively say I had the picture. It’s something like shooting a football play; you don’t brag until it’s developed. (On his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 You see something happening and you bang away at it. Either you get what you saw or you get something else—and whichever is better you print. 

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. 

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

 Serendipity plays an enormous role in my work. I create the possibilities for accidents to happen. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 Chance is always there. We all use it. The difference is a poor photographer meets chance one out of a hundred times and a good photographer meets chance all the time. 

Dudley Andrew
[Writer, critic, and curator, lives in New Haven, Connecticut.]

 Everything in the photo is potentially significant, even and especially, that which has escaped the control of the photographer pointing the camera. 

Frederick Sommer
[Photographer, b. 1905, Angri, Italy, d. 1999, Prescott, Arizona.]

 Poetic and speculative photographs can result if one works carefully and accurately, yet letting chance relationships have full play. 
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