Shomei Tomatsu
[Photographer, b. 1930, Nagoya, Japan, d. 2012, Okinawa, Japan.]

 When I am faced with the victims of the bomb, I find myself almost praying as I release the shutter of my camera. It is as if they are the God of the fin-de-siècle, Christ of the nuclear age. 

Donald McCullin
[Photographer, b. 1935, Finsbury Park, London, lives in Somerset, England.]

 It wasn’t my fault if in Sabra and Shatila the light was almost biblical, if what happened in front of my eyes was like a scene out of Goya. 

Donald Rumsfeld
[Bureaucrat, U.S. Secretary of Defense, b. 1932, Chicago, lives in St. Michaels, Maryland.]

 ...people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise, when they had not even arrived in the Pentagon. (On photographs from Abu Ghraib prison.) 

Florence Thompson
[Migrant mother, b. 1904, Oklahoma, d. 1983, Scotts Valley, California.]

 That’s my picture hanging all over the world, but I can’t get a penny out of it. What good’s it doing me? (Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother at 75 years of age living in a trailer park near where the famous photograph was taken and surviving on $331.60 monthly social security.) 

Huỳnh Công “Nick” Ut
[Photographer, b. 1951, rural Mekong Delta, province of Long An, Vietnam, lives in Los Angeles.]

 When we moved closer to the village we saw the first people running. I thought ‘Oh my God’ when I suddenly saw a woman with her left leg badly burned by napalm. Then came a woman carrying a baby, who died, then another woman carrying a small child with its skin coming off. When I took a picture of them I heard a child screaming and saw that young girl who had pulled off all her burning clothes. She yelled to her brother on her left. Just before the napalm was dropped soldiers had yelled to the children to run but there wasn’t enough time. (On his photograph of nine-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing the village of Trang Bang, Vietnam after it was napalm bombed in 1972.) 

Nhem En
[Photographer, b. 1961, Kampong Leng, Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia, lives in Cambodia.]

 My only job was to photograph them, and it was someone else who tortured and killed these people. As a photographer, I had no right to beat, torture, or kill prisoners. I could not touch them. (En, official photographer at Khmer Rouge torture center Tuol Sleng, estimates he took photographs of 10,000 people arriving at the center. Eight survived.) 

Malcolm Browne
[Journalist and photographer, b. 1931, New York, d. 2012, New Hampshire.]

 I had no point of view. I was concerned that [the photographs] be properly exposed, but since the subject was self-illuminated that wasn’t much of a problem. (On his 1963 photograph of self-immolation of South Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc.) 

Shomei Tomatsu
[Photographer, b. 1930, Nagoya, Japan, d. 2012, Okinawa, Japan.]

 If I could, I would want to see everything: the affairs of others, the scene of a murder, the Pygmies in the African rain forest, the super-rich of Wall Street, the face of the man who stole three hundred million yen, the Sydney Opera House, the graveyard of ships in the Sargasso Sea, the tail of an orca, the plankton of the deep ocean, the inside of Prime Minister Sato’s belly, Mao Zedong, Mars, Cape Kennedy, Antarctic blizzards, the animal whose name is “sloth,” the pudendum of Marilyn Monroe. My eyes are infamously greedy:... to me, the stuff other photographers substitute for seeing is but a kind of pessimism. 
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