Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 I’m so worried that I’m going to perfect [my] technique someday. I have to say its unfortunate how many of my pictures do depend upon some technical error. 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 Perfection means you don’t question anything about the photograph. 

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. 

Miroslav Tichý
[Photographer, b. 1926, Nětčice, Czechoslovakia, d. 2011, Kyjov, Czech Republic.]

 Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! 

Gregory Crewdson
[Photographer, b. 1962, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New Haven Connecticut.]

 I think my pictures are really about a kind of tension between my need to make a perfect picture and the impossibility of doing so. Something always fails, there’s always a problem, and photography fails in a certain sense… This is what drives you to the next picture. 

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. 

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. 

Brian Eno
[Musician, composer, artist, b. 1948, Woodbridge, England, lives in Suffolk, England.]

 Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature... The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them. 
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