Dziga Vertov
[Artist and filmmaker, b. 1896, Bialystok, d. 1954, Moscow.]

 We cannot improve the making of our eyes, but we can endlessly perfect the camera. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 I prefer to work on the edge, not the middle of the road. I am looking for chaos. 

Phil Stern
[Photographer, b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 2014, Los Angeles.]

 There is no such thing as the perfect picture. That’s the challenge of photography. I was always striving for perfection, even though I knew I could never achieve it. But it kept me reaching for something... 

Rondal Partridge
[Photographer, b. 1917, San Francisco, d. 2015, Berkeley, California.]

 Ansel [Adams] always jumped over the fence to photograph, walked past the garbage. He always looked to get an immaculate view, and I spent my life stepping back to include the garbage in my photographic view. 

Paul Theroux
[Writer, b. 1941, Medford, Massachusetts, lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Haleiwa, Hawaii.]

 Tonight, I knew despair. Photography wasn’t an art, it was a craft, like making baskets. Error, the essential wrinkle in the fiber of art, was inexcusable in a craft. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 Recently I did a picture—I’ve had this experience before—and I made rough prints of a number of them. There was something wrong in all of them. I felt I’d sort of missed it and I figured I’d go back. But there was one that was just totally peculiar. It was a terrible dodo of a picture. It looks to me a little as if the lady’s husband took it. It’s terribly head-on and sort of ugly and there’s something terrific about it. I’ve gotten to like it better and better and now I’m secretly sort of nutty about it. 

Cecil Beaton
[Photographer, b. 1904, London, d. 1980, Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, Great Britain.]

 I want to make photographs of very elegant women taking the lipstick off their teeth. 

Boris Mikhailov
[Photographer, b. 1938, Kharkov, Ukraine, lives in Kharkov and Berlin.]

 I was always against good technique because it didn’t work with Soviet life. Good quality equals foreign life. 
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