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

 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. 
 Photography investigates no deeper relief than surfaces. It is superficial, in the first sense of the word; it studies the shape and skin of things, that which can be seen. 
 All the failed pictures you’ve ever made, all of the other photographs you’ve ever loved, even songs and lines from poems walk with you, insinuating themselves into your decisions about what you’ll make your photographs of, and how you’ll shape them as pictures. The process, if anything, is intuitive rather than the product of planning—although the fact that very few people have been able to produce this kind of work at a high level also suggests how difficult it is. In other words, intuitive may not be an adequate word for describing the stew of wildness, dogged work and hard thought that goes into producing this kind of [street] photography. 
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