Carrie Mae Weems
[Artist, b. 1953, Portland, Oregon, lives in Syracuse, New York.]

 A black idiom is simply one that comes out of the peculiar social, economic and cultural conditions that mold black people. If a photographer is sensitive and understands the idiosyncratic gestures and rituals of the culture and employs this understanding while shooting, then that person is working out of a black idiom or a black esthetic. 

Christopher Isherwood
[b. 1904, Disley, Cheshire, England, d. 1986, Santa Monica, California.]

 I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording—not thinking... Someday all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 In printing the photographs of the white-gowned Klan members I ran into considerable difficulty. There were several with uncovered faces and these faces were vividly dark in comparison to the white-white of the gowns that it was almost impossible to keep them from appearing black. I am terribly sorry. (Apology to his editor about images from his 1951 photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.)  

Penelope Umbrico
[Photographer, b. 1957, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 In the act of making, sharing, and consuming images, it seems like the more one shares images of oneself, the less one exists in the world. 

Frederick Douglass
[Writer, orator, activist, b. 1818, Talbot County, Maryland, d. 1895, Washington, D.C..]

 Negroes can never have impartial portraits at the hands of white artists. It seems to us next to impossible for white men to take likenesses of black men, without most grossly exaggerating their distinctive features. 

Robert Capa (Endre Ernő Friedmann)
[Photographer, b. 1913, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1954, Thai Binh, Vietnam.]

 It’s not enough to have talent. You also have to be Hungarian. 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I don’t believe in the psychologizing portrait photography that my colleagues do, trying to capture the character with a lot of light and shade. That’s absolutely suspect to me. I can only show the surface. Whatever goes beyond that is more or less chance. 

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

 I use the camera as a procedure by which continually to affirm my identity, asking myself: “What is the meaning of life in a world and among human beings as grotesque, scandalous, and accidental as the one in which I live and those with whom I interact?” 
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