Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way. 

Adrian Piper
[Artist, b. 1948, Harlem, New York, lives in Hyannis, Massachusetts.]

 My work is an act of communication, and it’s important to me the way what I assert lands, and where it lands within someone who sees it. On the other hand, I also recognize fully and live by the principle that once the work leaves my studio, I cannot control the effects it has. 

Chip Simons
[Photographer, b. 1958, Ohio, lives in Bosque Farms, New Mexico.]

 I don’t know what I’m doing. I haven’t a clue. That’s why my stuff looks so weird. I’m pretty much untrained, and I thrive on mistakes. 

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

 Sometimes the pictures disappear and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t tell the person, “Oh, please smile again. Do that gesture again.” Life is once, forever. 

Tod Papageorge
[Photographer, b. 1940, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, lives in New Haven, Connecticut.]

 Cameras are like dogs, but dumb, and toward quarry, even more faithful. They point, they render, and defy the photographer who hopes. 

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

 If you took a million pictures you were lucky to come out with one or two gems. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 I enjoy the camera. Beyond that it is difficult to explain the process of photographing except by analogy: The trout streams where I flyfish are cold and clear and rich in the minerals that promote the growth of stream life. As I wade a stream I think wordlessly of where to cast the fly. Sometimes a difference of inches is the difference between catching a fish and not. When the fly I’ve cast is on the water my attention is riveted to it. I’ve found through experience that whenever—or so it seems—my attention wanders or I look away then surely a fish will rise to the fly and I will be too late setting the hook. I watch the fly calmly and attentively so that when the fish strikes—I strike. Then the line tightens, the playing of the fish begins, and time stands still. 

Ansel Adams
[Photographer, b. 1902, San Francisco, d. 1984, Carmel, California.]

 Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter. 
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