W. Eugene Smith, 1977 © Arnold Newman

W. Eugene Smith, 1977 © Arnold Newman

The man who put it so beautifully was Eugene Smith who is a very dear friend of mine, probably the greatest photojournalist that ever lived. Cartier-Bresson is not a photojournalist. He takes individual images if you really look at them. When he came back from Japan, and he had a crowd of younger photographers around him at the ICP where they discussing his Minamata story, he began to realize as a lot of us did in that room, that they were thinking that if they only had access to a subject like Minamata, they too could become great photojournalists.

He realized this and what he said was, wait a minute. First, you have to be a good artist before you can be a good photojournalist.

And that is the essence of our art.

– Arnold Newman