Fred Ritchin
[Critic and writer, b. 1952, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 In fact, the new malleability of the image may eventually lead to a profound undermining of photography’s status as an inherently truthful pictorial form... If even a minimal confidence in photography does not survive, it is questionable whether many pictures will have meaning anymore, not only as symbols but as evidence. 

John Berger
[Writer and critic, b. 1926, London, d. 2017, Paris.]

 The way photography is used today both derives from and confirms the suppression of the social function of subjectivity. Photographs, it is said, tell the truth. From this simplification, which reduces the truth to the instantaneous, it follows that what a photograph tells about a door or a volcano belongs to the same order of truth as what it tells about a man weeping or a woman’s body. 

Fred Ritchin
[Critic and writer, b. 1952, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 We have faith in the photograph not only because it works on a physically descriptive level, but in a broader sense because it confirms our sense of omnipresence as well as the validity of the material world. 

Andreas Gursky
[Photographer, b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf.]

 I read a picture not for what’s really going on there, I read it more for what is going on in our world generally. 

John Tagg
[Writer, theorist, and photohistorian, b. 1949, North Shields, England, lives in Ithica, New York.]

 Histories are not backdrops to set off the performance of images. They are scored into the paltry paper signs, in what they do and do not do, in what they encompass and exclude, in the ways they open onto or resist a repertoire of uses in which they can be meaningful and productive. Photographs are never “evidence” of history: they are themselves historical. 

Margaret Mead
[Anthropologist, b. 1901, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1978, New York.]

 Anthropology... has always been highly dependent upon photography... As the use of still photography—and moving pictures—has become increasingly essential as a part of anthropological methods, the need for photographers with a disciplined knowledge of anthropology and for anthropologists with training in photography has increased. We expect that in the near future sophisticated training in photography will be a requirement for all anthropologists. (1962) 

Andreas Feininger
[Photographer, b. 1906, Paris, France, d. 1999, New York.]

 Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are “camera lies,” inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a naturalistic medium of rendition and that striving for “naturalism” in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures. 

A.D. Coleman
[Critic and writer, b. 1943, New York, lives in New York.]

 The morphology of photography would have been vastly different had photographs resisted the urge to acquire the credentials of esthetic respectability for the medium, and instead simply pursued it as a way of producing evidence of intelligent life on earth. 
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