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

 Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors. 
 If I can get them to think, get them to feel, get them to see, then I’ve done about all that I can as a teacher. 
 Most photographers seem to operate with a pane of glass between themselves and their subjects. They just can’t get inside and know the subject. 
 I would that my photographs might be, not the coverage of a news event, but an indictment of war—the brutal corrupting viciousness of its doing to the minds and bodies of men; and, that my photographs might be a powerful emotional catalyst to the reasoning which would help this vile and criminal stupidity from beginning again. 
 My camera, my intentions stopped no man from falling. Nor did they aid him after he had fallen. It could be said that photographs be damned for they bind no wounds. Yet, I reasoned, if my photographs could cause compassionate horror within the viewer, they might also prod the conscience of that viewer into taking action. 
 I was after a set of pictures, so that when people looked at them they would say, “This is war”—that the people who were in the war would believe that I had truthfully captured what they had gone through... I worked in the framework that war is horrible. I want to carry on what I have tried to do in these pictures. War is a concentrated unit in the world and these things are clearly and cleanly seen. Things like race prejudice, poverty, hatred and bigotry are sprawling things in civilian life, and not so easy to define as war. 
 I think that basically all of my photographs are failures... I’m not saying that as a self negation or anything like that, I just don’t judge it upon it upon how “good” it was, but rather upon how I’d fail upon what I was trying to say. 
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