Beaumont Newhall
[Photographer, writer, and historian, b. 1908, Lynn, Massachusetts, d. 1993, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 We are not going to have six million artists because six million people own this Instamatic camera that all you do is just point and shoot. If out of those six million we have six people that are artists, it will be a surprising thing. This does not mean that photography in the hands of the amateur is not a wonderful thing; it is. But we must recognize that the mere ability to get a picture, an image on a piece of paper in color, or in black and white is just the ground work in the beginning of what we call art. 
 Over the years, photography has been to me what a journal is to a writer—a record of things seen and experienced, moments in the flow of time, documents of significance to me, experiments in seeing. 
 Photography—the spirit, I mean—is everywhere: it’s precise, lightning-like, clean cut, brilliant, alert. 
 Wherever there is disaster, the newsman is there. If he cannot find disaster, he searches for the odd and the peculiar, the exotic and the unfamiliar. His photographs, seen by millions, make momentary events and strange occurrences all over the world our common property. 
 The documentary photographer is not a mere technician. Nor is he an artist for art’s sake. His results are often brilliant technically and highly artistic, but primarily they are pictorial reports. First and foremost he is a visualizer. He puts into pictures what he knows about, and what he thinks of, the subject before his camera. 
 For me it is a constant source of wonder that the world becomes transformed through the finder of my camera. 
 Messages are needful, and we have learned that many of the most needful can be imparted more effectively with the camera than by any other medium. (1948) 
 The fever for reality was running high. The physical aid of camera obscura and camera lucida had drawn men so near to an exact copying of nature and the satisfaction of the current craving for reality that they could not abide the intrusion of the pencil of man to close the gap. Only the pencil of nature would do. 
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