Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 I believe in building photographs. I don’t like the unpredictable—I have a clear idea of what I want long before I click the shutter. 

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

 Probably one of the worst things to happen to photography is that cameras have viewfinders. 

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

 I work rather blindly. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and response to what’s before your eyes. 

Joe Rosenthal
[Photographer, b. 1911, Washington, D.C., d. 2006, Novato, California.]

 I swung my camera around and held it until I could guess that this was the peak of the action, and shot. I couldn’t positively say I had the picture. It’s something like shooting a football play; you don’t brag until it’s developed. (On his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

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

 Chance is always there. We all use it. The difference is a poor photographer meets chance one out of a hundred times and a good photographer meets chance all the time. 

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

 I say that chance enters into all branches of art: a chance word or phrase starts a trend of thought in a writer, a chance sound may bring new melody to a musician, a chance combination of lines, new composition to a painter. I take advantage of chance—which in reality is not chance—but being ready, attuned to one’s surroundings—and grasp my opportunity in a way which no other medium can equal in spontaneity, while the impulse is fresh, the excitement strong. The nearest to photography is a quick line sketch, done usually as a note for further elaboration. And how much finer, stronger, more vivid these sketches usually are than the finished painting. 

Janet Malcolm
[Writer, b. 1934, Prague, Czechoslovakia, lives in New York.]

 The heavy odds against finding the desired… work of art in the mess and flux of life, as opposed to the serene orderliness of imagined reality, give a special tense dazzle and an atmosphere of tour de force to any photographs that succeed in the search. 

André Kertész
[Photographer, b. 1894, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1985, New York.]

 Have confidence in the inventions and transformations of chance. 
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