[b 1937] American author, scholar and historian of photography
There is no single form or style of portraiture. Portraiture means individualism and as such means diversity, self-expression, private point of view. The most successful images seem to be those which exist on several planes at once and which reflect the fantasy and understanding of many.
Cited in: “Creative Camera International Year Book 1977”, Coo Press, London, 1976, p. 167.
In photography, the issue of the integration of form and content is exceptionally difficult because of the widely held belief that photographs must be a kind of vicarious experience of the subject itself.
In a sense, photographs are highly literary, and the photographer, like the writer, has to be both a master of craft and a visionary. Patient accumulation of facts and then speculation about their meaning is the nature of authorship in both mediums.
Full-color images lack the poignancy of monochrome… Black-and-white film inherently peels off interesting images from the world; it sees things we do not see, and thus insists on the existence of a phantom presence within reality, a world we cannot perceive.
Photographs freed from the scientific bias can, and indeed usually do, have double meanings, implied meanings, unintended meanings, can hint and insinuate, and may even mean the opposite of what they apparently mean.
Each image suggests an inner reality, a kind of scar of the past, a reflection of an act or an event once lived.
You see in the photograph what you are.
The nineteenth-century way of looking at the photograph was as a mirror for the memory, and at that time the photographs almost looked like mirrors, with their polished metallic surfaces.
..in a photograph the most specific details are the source of the most general conclusions.