Margaret Atwood
[Writer, b. 1939, Ottawa, Canada, lives in Toronto.]

 (The photograph was taken the day after I drowned. I am in the lake, in the center of the picture, just under the surface. It is difficult to say where precisely, or to say how large or how small I am: the effect of water on light is a distortion. but if you look long enough eventually you will see me.) 

Jean Baudrillard
[Writer and theorist, b. 1929, Reims, France, d. 2007, Paris.]

 Every photographed object is merely the trace left behind by the disappearance of all the rest. It is an almost perfect crime, an almost total resolution of the world, which merely leave the illusion of a particular object shining forth, the image of which then becomes an impenetrable enigma. 

Helmut Newton
[Photographer, b. 1920, Berlin, d. 2004, Los Angeles.]

 Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. 

Edward Curtis
[Photographer and ethnographer, b. 1868, Whitewater, Wisconsin, d. 1952, Los Angeles.]

 The thought which this picture is meant to convey is that Indians as a race, already shorn of their tribal strength and stripped of their primitive dress, are passing into the darkness of an unknown future. Feeling that the picture expresses so much of the thought that inspired the entire work, the author has chosen it as the first of the series. (Photo caption) 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 It is no accident that the portrait was the focal point of early photography. The cult of remembrance of loved ones, absent or dead, offers a last refuge for the cult value of the picture. For the last time the aura emanates from the early photographs in the fleeting expression of a human face. This is what constitutes their melancholy, incomparable beauty. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 ... we photographers are nothing but a pack of crooks, thieves and voyeurs. We are to be found everywhere we are not wanted; we betray secrets that were never entrusted to us; we spy shamelessly on things that are not our business; And end up the hoarders of a vast quantity of stolen goods. 

Henry Miller
[Writer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1980, Pacific Palisades, California.]

 [The photographer] is like a secretive insect who awaits for the appearance of some unknown epidemic before commencing his ravages. He is stubborn and elusive. He does the banal thing in order to hide his monstrous eccentricities. He has the eye of a ghoul, the indifference of a leper, the calm of a Buddha. He is insatiable. He is a monster—the most amiable, the most courteous, the most raffiné—but a monster. (On Brassaï, who he lastingly dubbed “the eye of Paris.”) 

Yousuf Karsh
[Photographer, b. 1908, Mardin, Armenia, d. 2002, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 I try to photograph people’s spirits and thoughts. As to the soul-taking by the photographer, I don’t feel I take away, but rather that the sitter and I give to each other. It becomes an act of mutual participation. 
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