I have a real love for the camera and deep admiration and respect for such photographers as Cartier-Bresson, Ernst Haas, Yosef Karsh, Gene Smith and others. They are very sensitive and talented people and they show it with their cameras.
Photography, to me, is a modern Aladdin’s Lamp. It has given me the things I have always wanted -an interesting daily existence, a comfortable living, and the continuing excitement of new achievement.
Originality in my photography has always been important to me. Not originality as a thing in itself. The work must have some meaning. It must move people or thrill or amuse them. As I see it, the camera was invented as a duplicator, a kind of stencil machine. My interest in the camera is to make it human; to get away from the mechanical elements and the unbreakable rules of the “machine.” Photography is an art only so far as the imagination of the photographer masters the instrument. He or she must not be limited by it. He or she must feel, “I can do with the camera anything the artist can do with his paintbrush. If the camera as it exists prevents me, I must find ways, invent them, if necessary, to make the camera flexible – to bend the camera to my will.”
Photography is the youngest of the arts. Improvements in the camera are being made every day. And it is the responsibility of the photographer to explore the camera’s possibilities and lead the way to the camera’s changes.
Behind these thoughts are the reasons why, after forty years as a photographer, I am still constantly striving for new techniques.
Weegee with Roy Ald. Weegee’s Creative Camera. New York: Vista (Hanover) House, 1959, pp. 8-9.
Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.