Edward Steichen
[Photographer and curator, b. 1879, Luxembourg, Germany, d. 1973, West Redding, Connecticut.]

 Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper... the photographer begins with the finished product. 

Albert Sands Southworth
[Photographer, b. 1811, West Fairlee, Vermont, d. 1894, Charlestown, Massachusetts.]

 Into the practice of no other business or art was there ever such an absurd, blind, and pell-mell rush. From the accustomed labours of agriculture and machine shop, from the factory and counter, from the restaurant, coachbox, and forecastle, representatives have appeared to perform the work for which a life apprenticeship could hardly be sufficient for preparation... 

Saul Steinberg
[Artist, b. 1914, Râmnicu Sarat, Romania, d. 1999, New York.]

 It seems that photography has just been calisthenics, an illusion, an alibi for the real thing. 

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. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 It’s the bane of my existence that I see photography not as a way of recording personal experience particularly, but as this process of exploring the world and the medium. I have to be reminded, “It’s your son’s birthday party. Bring a camera.” And then, when I’m there, “Take a picture,” because it doesn’t occur to me to use it as this memorializing thing. 

Wallace Stevens
[Poet, b. 1879, Reading, Pennsylvania, d. 1955, Hartford, Connecticut.]

 Most modern reproducers of life, even including the camera, really repudiate it. We gulp down evil, choke at good. 

Lise Sarfati
[Photographer, b. 1958, Oran, Algeria, lives in Paris.]

 What I do is put mirrors in the right place to reflect an image. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 Life is a movie. Death is a photograph.