Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Get Weston off your back, forget Arbus, Frank, Adams, White, don’t look at photographs. Kill the Buddha. 
 What’s important to me is the idea. It doesn’t have to be a perfect, Ansel Adams,‘f64’ picture. 
 People believe in the reality of photographs, but not in the reality of paintings. That gives photographers an enormous advantage. Unfortunately, photographers also believe in the reality of photographs. 
 One of the marvelous things about film is that if you expose it long enough you’re going to get a picture. 
 You can never capture a person in picture, never. You might get an interesting expression or gesture. I almost never research a picture subject ahead of time. I think Karsh is full of baloney. Can you imagine spending a whole week out in La Jolla with Jonas Salk soaking up his ambiance, then wind up making him look as if he’s in the studio in Ottawa with his thumb under his chin? 
 You go to these schools, and the kids all show you gorgeous prints of water running over pebbles. I’d rather see a not-so-gorgeous mistake of a brilliant idea, an idea that maybe the kid didn’t even know how to solve technically, but who cares, because he’s talking about something incredible. It’s not the medium, it’s the message for me. 
 Don’t try to be an artist: try to be true. If your vision is honest, art will find you. 
 Not having gone to photography school, I never learned the rules. 
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