Tod Papageorge
[Photographer, b. 1940, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, lives in New Haven, Connecticut.]

 It’s unarguable to say that every one of us has been moved by the beauty of what I have called snapshots, but for photographers they are charms and proverbs, and like lightening or wild strawberries... 
 If your pictures are not good enough, you aren’t reading enough. 
 Cameras are like dogs, but dumb, and toward quarry, even more faithful. They point, they render, and defy the photographer who hopes. 
 By being fictions and, at the same moment, returning their subjects to us with a compelling fidelity, both photographs and poems work with the same surprise... both strike us as if they were simultaneously remembrances and revelations. 
 ...my argument against the set-up picture is that it leaves the matter of content to the imagination of the photographer, a faculty that, in my experience, is generally deficient compared to the mad swirling possibilities that our dear common world kicks up at us on a regular basis. 
 [The photograph] is fabricated out of the unfabricated dross of passing life (while paradoxically still trading on the indexical heft of that dross). 
 I believe that the (distorting) “mirror” which is photography holds an intrinsic, even elemental, relation to writing. 
 Photographing in the street with a Leica doesn’t have much to do with planning. You walk out the door and—bang!—you’re part of the great urban cavalcade. But unlike everyone else, you’re carrying an amazing little machine that, joined with a lot of effort, can pull poetry out of a walk downtown. 
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