John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere... 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 What photograph isn’t a still life? 

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

 [Photography] is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood, or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances is it anything ever anywhere near a beach. 

Kansuke Yamagata
[Photographer and poet, b. 1914, Nagoya, Japan, d. 1987, Nagoya.]

 [Experimental] photography—unlike a knife or fountain pen—has no practical use or function. We can locate the rationale for photography’s superiority in its total lack of purpose, complete uselessness, and absolute meaninglessness. 

Leonard Freed
[Photographer, b. 1929, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2006, Garrison, New York.]

 Photography is like life. What does it all mean? I don’t know, but you get an impression, a feeling... An impression of walking through the street, walking through the park, walking through life. I’m very suspicious of people who say they know what it means. 

Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 ...we’re still not at all sure what photography is: is it news, art, entertainment, documentation, science, or surveillance? It tends to blur all those boundaries, which is exciting, but also bewildering and confusing. 

Martin Parr
[Photographer, b. 1952, Epson, Surrey, England, lives in Bristol and London, England.]

 Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work. 

Luigi Ghirri
[Photographer, b. 1943, Scandiano, Italy, d. 1992, Reggio Emilia, Italy.]

 I have always felt that photography is a language for seeing and not for transforming, hiding, or modifying reality. 
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