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HELMUT GERNSHEIM
[b. 1913] American historian and photographer
Photography is the only “language” understood in all parts of the world, and bridging all nations and cultures, it links the family of man. Independent of political influence – where people are free – it reflects truthfully life and events, allows us to share in the hopes and despaire of others, and illuminates political and social conditions. We become the eye-witnesses of the humanity and inhumanity of mankind. - Helmut Gernsheim, The Complete Book of Photographing People : A Comprehensive Guide to Taking Superb Photographs of People by Michael Busselle , ISBN: 0671412574 , Page: 199
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Nothing flattered the fin-de-siecle photographer more than the admiring exclamation: That doesn't look a bit like photograph! - Helmut Gernsheim, A Concise History of Photography by Helmut Gernsheim , ISBN: 0486251284 , Page: 172
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Respect for the photographic image will always remain the fundamental principle of good photography. - Helmut Gernsheim - [Helmut Gernsheim “Creative photography” (cited in “Thurston Hopkins” by Robert Muller p. 9, [Gordon Fraser Photographic Monographs:6], London 1977)

Neither camera, nor lens, nor film determine the quality of pictures; it is the visual perception of the man behind the mechanism which brings them to life. Art contains the allied ideas of making and begetting, of being master in one’s craft and of being able to create. Without these properties no art exists and no photographic art can come into being. - Helmut Gernsheim

I think only a superb news or reportage picture could move me. Other photographs may leave a strong impression on me, but they don’t move me. - Helmut Gernsheim

Considering that knowledge of the chemical as well as the optical principles of photography was fairly widespread following Schulze’s experiment (in 1725)... the circumstance that photography was not invented earlier remains the greatest mystery in its history... It had apparently never occurred to any of the multitude of artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who were in the habit of using the camera obscura to try to fix its image permanently. - Helmut Gernsheim

Your nightmare existence in a trunk is over... At long last you will be recognized as the inventor of photography. This picture will prove it to all the world. - Helmut Gernsheim - On his discovery of the “first photograph,” made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

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