In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want others to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art.

R. Barthes, Camera Lucida:  Reflections on Photography

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt

“Most people stiffen with self-consciousness when they pose for a photograph. Lighting and fine camera equipment are useless if the photographer cannot make them drop the mask, at least for a moment, so he can capture on his film their real, undistorted personality and character.”

Philippe Halsman, Great Themes : LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life

“If you look at a photograph, and you think, ‘My isn’t that a beautiful photograph,’ and you go on to the next one, or ‘Isn’t that nice light?’ so what? I mean what does it do to you or what’s the real value in the long run? What do you walk away from it with? I mean, I’d much rather show you a photograph that makes demands on you, that you might become involved in on your own terms or be perplexed by”

Duane Michals

“I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.”

Man Ray, Interview in Camera (Paris; reprinted in “Man Ray: Photographer”, ed. by Philippe Sers, 1981)