Alphonse Bertillon
[Police officer, biometrics researcher, “inventor” of the criminal mug shot, b. 1853, Paris, d. 1914, Münsterlingen, Switzerland.]

 We can only see what we are looking for and we look for what is already in our minds. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 A lot of people in the early decades of photography tried to treat it as if it were simply some kind of copying machine, as an aid in reproducing or dispensing a certain kind of visual information, but not itself as an independent source of seeing or of material that would fundamentally change our visual sensibility, as, in fact, it has. 

Anaïs Nin
[Writer, b. 1903, Neuilly, France, d. 1977, Los Angeles.]

 We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. 

Daido Moriyama
[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 [My] photos are often out of focus, rough, streaky, warped, etc. But if you think about it, a normal human being will in one day perceive an infinite number of images, and some of them are focused upon, others are barely seen out of the corner of one’s eye. 

Allen Ginsberg
[Poet and writer, b. 1926, Newark, New Jersey, d. 1997, New York.]

 Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions. Notice what you notice. Observe what’s vivid. Catch yourself thinking. Vividness is self-selecting. And remember the future. 

Chris Burden
[Artist, b. 1946, Boston, Massachusetts, d. 2015, Los Angeles.]

 It’s about trying to frame something. And draw attention to it and say, “Here’s the beauty in this. I’m going to put a frame around it, and I think this is beautiful.” That’s what artists do. It’s really a pointing activity. 

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

 The best photos, the ones that are remembered, are the ones that have first passed through the person’s mind before being restored by the camera. 

Sylvia Plachy
[Photographer, b. 1943, Budapest, Hungary, lives in New York.]

 What makes you push the shutter has to do with seeking a kind of perfection, a harmony in the world. You are instinctively aware it’s there, but you’ve got to be completely alert and quick and so deeply awake that it moves you. 
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