Sam Abell
[Photographer, b. 1945, Sylvania, Ohio, lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.]

 My best work is often almost unconscious and occurs ahead of my ability to understand it. 
 Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment—this very moment—to stay. 
 A mad, keen photographer needs to get out into the world and work and make mistakes. 
 Photographs that transcend but do not deny their literal situation appeal to me. 
 Above all, it’s hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made. 
 In my work, the most elaborate—and essential—accessory is a standard tripod. For spiritual companions I have had the many artists who have relied on nature to help shape their imagination. And their most elaborate equipment was a deep reverence for the world through which they passed. Photographers share something with these artists. We seek only to see and to describe with our own voices, and, though we are seldom heard as soloists, we cannot photograph the world in any other way. 
 My first priority when taking pictures is to achieve clarity. A good documentary photograph transmits the information of the situation with the utmost fidelity; achieving it means understanding the nuances of lighting and composition, and also remembering to keep the lenses clean and the cameras steady. 
 As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity, I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs. 
quotes 1-8 of 12
page 1 of 2 next page last page
display quotes