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BRUCE DAVIDSON
[b.1933] An american photographer - member of Magnum since 1958
Most of my pictures are compassionate, gentle and personal. They tend to let the viewer see for himself. They tend not to preach. And they tend not to pose as art. - Bruce Davidson

We took a walk for a few minutes together. The street became his photographs. - Bruce Davidson - Davidson on Henri Cartier-Bresson., Bruce Davidson Photographs by Bruce Davidson , ISBN: 0671400673
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[W. Eugene Smith's photo essays] taught me that a photograph could not only communicate emotions, but could also serve the human condition. - Bruce Davidson, Bruce Davidson Photographs by Bruce Davidson , ISBN: 0671400673
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They all [other photographers] gave us clues to their inner world. Kertesz let us see our mortality in a piece of crusted rock and a man's flesh; Avedon made us confront his anger in the black man's pores and crystal-clear eyes; Arbus broke through the desperate pain of her aloneness into the cruel world of the midget's taboo. - Bruce Davidson, Bruce Davidson Photographs by Bruce Davidson , ISBN: 0671400673
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So I have done what I wanted to do, I have seen everything, misery, celebrity, the beautiful people, the wicked ones, generosity and hatred. But I think I have gone beyond my vision.... In the heart of my own life, in the heart of other people's lives. Perhaps that is the most important thing I have done. - Bruce Davidson

My molecular structure is the same. - Bruce Davidson

Taking photographs, taking candid photographs, means that the photographer is an invisible man. Whereas there is still a feeling that in having a photograph taken there is loss of face: something of the soul is gone. - Bruce Davidson - talking on Beautiful Beautiful, a BBC film shown on 5 October 1969 [cited in: Creative Camera February 1970, p. 41]
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I am a photographer in the way you might be a plumber. I like it that way. - Bruce Davidson - talking on Beautiful Beautiful, a BBC film shown on 5 October 1969 [cited in: Creative Camera February 1970, p. 41]

I am not interested in showing my work to photographers any more, but to people outside the photo-clique. My pictures are not escapes from reality, but a contemplation of reality, so that I can experience life in a deeper way. - Bruce Davidson - 1968 [cited in: Creative Camera April 1970, p. 104]

l am a photographer who uses various professional cameras and film formats to express the way I see and explore reality. Cameras become an extension of my vision and I need to love the thing. Each tool has its purpose and it is up to me to choose one to use for a particular photographic project. - Bruce Davidson

All my photographs are portraits—self-portraits, because you can’t photograph someone without reflecting/echoing, like a bat sending out a signal that comes back to you. You get not only a picture of who you’re photographing, but you get a picture of yourself at the same time. - Bruce Davidson

I’ve had the privilege of being an outsider allowed on the inside, searching for beauty, meaning and myself. - Bruce Davidson

I don’t always know why I’m photographing something. It’s my learning machine. - Bruce Davidson

I burn intensely, but with a slow flame, like an acetylene torch. What keeps you going is the passion that you have. - Bruce Davidson

Most young boys have a buddy. I had a camera. I was pretty much a loner, and I was doomed to failure because I wasn’t interested in anything other than taking pictures and developing them in my darkroom. - Bruce Davidson

Too much in photography is shoot and leave. - Bruce Davidson

I felt that my mission in life was to make visible what appears to be invisible and I do that as someone who is blind and comes into a world and suddenly begins to see. - Bruce Davidson

In those days [1948], to be a photographer was actually to be a nonentity. My brother went to college, grad school, a PhD. I had this little camera. - Bruce Davidson

I’ve never been a photographer that loves sunshine. I love gloom. - Bruce Davidson

I like discovery. I’m attracted to it. I like the feeling of going out, being at some place, looking in at something. Observation is important. - Bruce Davidson

If I am looking for a story at all, it is in my relationship to the subject—the story that tells me, rather than that I tell. - Bruce Davidson

She ran up to her room and came down with this huge book of photographs called The Decisive Moment, a collection of images by Cartier-Bresson, and we sat together looking through all of the amazing photographs. I had never seen anything like it. She said to me, “I really love this photographer.” So, I said to myself, “If I could take pictures like this guy maybe she will love me too.” So, I went out and spent all my monthly allowance on a used Leica. I actually tried to imitate the imagery of Cartier-Bresson. Of course, it didn’t work. The young female student ran off with a history professor, and I was left with Cartier-Bresson. That’s what started me off. I began to take street photographs. - Bruce Davidson

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