Steinbeck on Robert Capa

“Capa’s pictures were made in his brain – the camera only completed them. You can no more mistake his work than you can the canvas of a fine painter. Capa knew what to look for and what to do with it when he found it. He knew, for example, that you cannot photograph war because it is largely an emotion. But he did photograph that emotion by shooting beside it. He could show the horror of a whole people in the face of a child. His camera caught and held emotion.”

John Steinbeck, “Robert Capa” in The Best of Popular Photography (1979)

Szarkowski on the history of photography

“The history of photography has been less a journey than a growth. Its movement has not been linear and consecutive, but centrifugal. Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a center; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in out progressive discovery of it that its history lies.”

John Szarkowski, The Photographer’s Eye (1966)