“The aesthetic qualities of photography are to be sought in its power to lay bare the realities. It is not for me to separate off, in the complex fabric of the objective world, here a reflection on a damp sidewalk, there the gesture of a child. Only the impassive lens, stripping its object of all those ways of seeing it, those piled-up preconceptions, that spiritual dust and grime with which my eyes have covered it, is able to present it in all its virginal purity to my attention and consequently to my love. By the power of photography, the natural image of a world that we neither know nor can know, nature at last does more then imitate art: she imitates the artist.”
André Bazin: The Ontology of the Photographic Image, in Classic Essays on Photography, edited by Alan Trachtenberg, Leete’s Island Books, New Haven 1980, page 242.
“Of course it is impossible to separate thinking from acting; in any practice of photography, in any single picture produced by a camera, there is already an idea of the function, the character, the limits of the medium.”
Classic Essays on Photography, edited by Alan Trachtenberg, Leete’s Island Books, New Haven 1980, Introduction, p. vii.