[1908 – 1995] English war and documentary photographer
I may juggle the composition, as the strength of a picture is in the composition. Or I may play with the light. But I never interfere with the subject. The subject has to fall into place on its own and, if I don't like it, I don't have to print it.
When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop.
You must feel an affinity for what you are photographing, Yau must be part of it, and yet remain sufficiently detached to see it objectively. Like watching from the audience a play you already know by heart.
I had no contact with my contemporaries in the photographic field, nor even knowledge of their work. So I was influenced by no-one and there were no short cuts for me. I was self-taught the hard way, by trial and error...