Paul Virilio
[Writer and theorist, b. 1932, Paris, lives in La Rochelle, France.]

 Images contaminate us like viruses. 

Vincent Van Gogh
[Artist, b. 1853, Zundert, Netherlands, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, France.]

 I always think photographs abominable, and I don’t like to have them around, particularly not those of persons I know and love... photographic portraits wither much sooner than we ourselves do, whereas the painted portrait is a thing which is felt, done with love or respect for the human being that is portrayed. 

John Vachon
[Photographer, b. 1914, St. Paul, Minnesota, d. 1975, New York.]

 One morning I photographed a grain elevator: pure sun-brushed silo columns of cement rising from behind CB&Q freight car. The genius of Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler welded into one supreme photographic statement, I told myself. Then it occurred to me that it was I who was looking at the grain elevator. For the past year I had been sedulously aping the masters. And in Omaha I realized that I had developed my own style with the camera. I knew that I would photograph only what pleased me or astonished my eye, and only in the way I saw it. 

Roman Vishniac
[Photographer, b. 1897, Pavlovsk, Russia, d. 1990, New York.]

 I was living in Germany in the thirties, and I knew that Hitler had made it his mission to exterminate all Jews, especially the children and the women who could bear children in the future. I was unable to save my people, only their memory. 

Paul Valéry
[Writer and poet, b. 1871, Sète, France, d. 1945, Paris.]

 Thanks to photography, the eye grew accustomed to anticipate what it should see and to see it; and it learned not to see nonexistent things which, hitherto, it had seen so clearly. 

Édouard Vuillard
[Painter, b. 1868, Cuiseaux, Saône-et-Loire, France, d. 1940, La Baule, Loire-Atlantique, France.]

 It is clear that the “Good” and the “Beautiful” have passed out of fashion—as the “True,” photography has shown us its nature and limitations: registering phenomena as a pure effect of their existence, requiring as little man as possible. (1896) 

Gore Vidal
[Writer, b. 1925, West Point, New York, lives in Ravello, Italy and Los Angeles.]

 For half a century photography has been the “art form” of the untalented. Obviously some pictures are more satisfactory than others, but where is credit due? To the designer of the camera? To the finger on the button? To the law of averages? 

Ellen von Unwerth
[Photographer, b. 1954, Frankfurt, Germany, lives in New York.]

 I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.