George Santayana
[Philosopher and writer, b. 1863, Madrid, Spain, d. 1952, Rome, Italy.]

 To complain of a photograph for being literal and merciless, is like complaining of a good memory that will not suffer you to forget your sins. (1912) 

Otto Steinert
[Photographer, b. 1915, Saarbrucken, Germany, d. 1978, Essen, Germany.]

 Photography gives us for the first time a feeling of the structure of things with an intensity which the eye, limited by its accommodation, had hitherto been quite unable to perceive. 

Ben Shahn
[Photographer and artist, b. 1898, Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania), d. 1969, New York.]

 I said, “Walker [Evans], remember your promise to show me how to photograph?” He says, “Well, it’s very easy, Ben. F9 on the sunny side of the street, F4.5 on the shady side of the street. For a twentieth of a second hold your camera steady,” and that was all. This was the only lesson I ever had. 

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

 With considerable soul searching, that to the utmost of my ability, I have let truth be the prejudice. 

Roy Stryker
[Economist, photographer, and administrator, b. 1893, Great Bend, Kansas, d. 1975, Grand Junction, Colorado.]

 Too many times nowadays the picture is expected to tell the whole story, when in truth there’s only one picture in a hundred thousand that can stand alone as a piece of communication. 

Phil Stern
[Photographer, b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 2014, Los Angeles.]

 Look, Matisse I ain’t. You know how they have on the invitations, “a reception for the artist will be held at...” And I say, “Look, you gotta change this. I’m not an artist. I’m a photographer, a skilled craftsman.” 

Peter Schjeldahl
[Writer and critic, b. 1942, Fargo, North Dakota, lives in New York.]

 Photography is the art of anticipation, not working with memories, but showing their formation. As such, it has relentlessly usurped imaginative and critical prerogatives of older, slower literature and handmade visual art. 

Larry Sultan
[Photographer, b. 1946, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2009, Greenbrae, California.]

 Like a ventriloquist who laughs at his dummy’s jokes, I keep trying to make photographs that seduce me into believing in the image—all the time knowing better, but believing anyway.