George Rodger
[Photojournalist, b. 1908, Hale, Cheshire, England, d. 1995, Smarden, Kent, England.]

 When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. 

Susan Meiselas
[Photographer, b. 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in New York.]

 We know photographers make frames, but we deeply believe they can also create frameworks. 

Abbas (Abbas Attar)
[Photographer, b. 1944, Iran, d. 2018, Paris.]

 I am among the generation of photographers who believe a picture is sacred, that once you took take it, that’s it: you don’t crop it, you don’t touch it, you don’t fool around with it. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 I don’t think very much about [composition] consciously, but I’m very aware of it unconsciously, instinctively. Deliberately discard it every once in a while not to be artistic. Composition is a schoolteacher’s word. Any artist composes. I prefer to compose originally, naturally rather than self-consciously. Form and composition both are terribly important. 

Rosalind Krauss
[Writer, critic, and historian, b. 1941, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 Photographic cropping is always experienced as a rupture in the continuous fabric of reality. 

John Baldessari
[Artist, b. 1931, National City, California, lives in Venice, California.]

 Probably I was never going to get out of National City, so I was going to show people what it’s like, to make art out of where I lived without glamorizing it, and with the idea that truth is beautiful, no matter how ugly it is. I drove around in the car shooting my pictures from the window, because I didn’t want to make the place more beautiful by setting my camera up with a tripod, getting the right light, and just the right composition. I wanted it just the way it is. 

Margaret Bourke-White
[Photographer, b. 1904, New York, d. 1971, Darien, Connecticut.]

 It seems to me that while it is very important to get a striking picture of a line of smoke stacks or a row of dynamos, it is becoming more and more important to reflect that life that goes on behind these photographs. (1935) 

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 Now to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. 
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