Ray Metzker
[Photographer, b. 1931, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, d. 2014, Philadelphia.]

 I don’t need exotic places to be stimulated. Out of familiarity comes nuance. The more you revisit a subject the more you’re like to discover. 
 Photographers are victims of paradox, tracking the impermanent to make it permanent. 
 I never wanted to make portraits—to photograph celebrities, beautiful people, beautiful landscapes, beautiful buildings, or people in distressing situations.... I have always been interested in everyman—average, ordinary people in everyday situations. 
 The collection of photographs is a statement about the relationship of my camera and me. 
 What appears in the pictures was the subject’s decision, not mine. I took what they presented—delicate moments—unadorned and unglamorous, yet tender and exquisite. 
 I am not an objective reporter. I prefer to go further, to the unstated things of our existence. What I can’t understand and grasp seems to lead me. 
 Why one picture stands out among many others is always a mystery. In the beginning the subject is never quite known, but in the course of working something shows up on the film or in the print that speaks to me. I can never predict when this will happen. However, when it does there is an excitement—there is the ecstasy of recognition. And this is one of the things that keeps me going. 
 When you look at the multiples, you are aware of patterning and so forth, but there is still identifiable subject matter; frequently there are people there; there is a rhythm to those people. 
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