We think of photography as pictures. And it is. But I think of photography as ideas. And do the pictures sustain your ideas or are they just good pictures? I want to have an experience in the world that is a deepening experience, that makes me feel alive and awake and conscious.
I think about photographs as being full, or empty. You picture something in a frame and it's got lots of accounting going on in it-stones and buildings and trees and air - but that's not what fills up a frame. You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough for someone else to get in there.
I find it strangely beautiful that the camera with its inherent clarity of object and detail can produce images that in spite of themselves offer possibilities to be more than they are a photograph of nothing very important at all, nothing but an intuition, a response, a twitch from the photographerвЂ™s experience.
Photography is a response that has to do with the momentary recognition of things. Suddenly you're alive. A minute later there was nothing there. I just watched it evaporate. You look one moment and there's everything, next moment it's gone. Photography is very philosophical.
They [photographs] teach you about your own unraveling past, or about the immediacy of yesterday. They show you what you look at. If you take a photograph, you've been responsive to something, and you looked hard at it. Hard for a thousandth of a second, hard for ten minutes. But hard, nonetheless. And it's the quality of that bite that teaches you how connected you were to that thing, and where you stood in relation to it, then and now.
It comes down to risk, again and again. If you risk coming out, if you risk making pictures that arenвЂ™t good, you might discover something in a photograph that is the key. The very doorway to your own interest.
I believe that street photography is central to the issue of photographyвЂ”that it is purely photographic, whereas the other genres, such as landscape and portrait photography, are a little more applied, more mixed in the with the history of painting and other art forms.
You look at it [a photograph] and all around the real world is humming, buzzing and moving, and yet in this little frame there is stillness that looks like the world. That connection, that collision, that interfacing, is one of the most astonishing things we can experience.
when you're on the street, and, as you're walking along, a woman turns the corner going away from you, and for an instant you have a glimpse of the side of her face, of the gesture of her shoulder, the shape of her body, and you are committed... You are in love for an instant, or your senses are rocked for an instant. That person then disappears and is lost to you forever...
I photographed the entire thing in color because to photograph it in black and white would be to keep it as a tragedy. Because there is a tragic element to photographing, in this case not war, but the collapse. It was just destruction.
We all experience it. Those moments when we gasp and say, Oh, look at that. Maybe it's nothing more than the way a shadow glides across a face, but in that split second, when you realize something truly remarkable is happening and disappearing right in front of you, if you can pass a camera before your eye, you'll tear a piece of time out of the whole, and in a breath, rescue it and give it new meaning.
I have to say, taking photographs is such an instantaneous act. The recognition and the acting on the recognition, depending on your equipment, is close to instantaneous.
'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn't be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
What is the art experience about? Really, I'm not interested in making Art at all. I never, ever, think about it. To say the word Art, it's almost like a curse on art. I do know that I want to try to get closer to myself. The older I get, the more indications I have about what it is to get closer to yourself. You try less hard. I just want to be.