[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]
I say that chance enters into all branches of art: a chance word or phrase starts a trend of thought in a writer, a chance sound may bring new melody to a musician, a chance combination of lines, new composition to a painter. I take advantage of chance—which in reality is not chance—but being ready, attuned to one’s surroundings—and grasp my opportunity in a way which no other medium can equal in spontaneity, while the impulse is fresh, the excitement strong. The nearest to photography is a quick line sketch, done usually as a note for further elaboration. And how much finer, stronger, more vivid these sketches usually are than the finished painting.
[Filmmaker and photographer, b. 1946, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in Baltimore.]
The way I photograph... in many ways it’s directed by chance and all my mistakes, which are often the best stuff. I found that no matter if it’s the same tape, the same TV, and the same camera, I can never duplicate an image... your arm jiggles, there’s just too much chance. And I never put it on pause, or use any of that fancy equipment.
[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.
[Photographer and ethnographer, b. 1868, Whitewater, Wisconsin, d. 1952, Los Angeles.]
For every negative that is a disappointment, there is one that is a joy.
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]
Let the lens rummage the gravel of chance and the unconscious.
[Photographer, writer, and historian, b. 1908, Lynn, Massachusetts, d. 1993, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]
It is peculiar to photography that, by the extreme ease of its production, many accidentally interesting photographs are produced.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen
[Photographer, b. 1945, Helsinki, Finland, lives in Andover, Massachusetts.]
Artists who believe they control everything control what they know. Artists who allow outside forces to intervene are like canoes going down rapids.
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]
Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you’re photographing children there’s often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen—a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.