[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]
By Interstate 70: a dog skeleton, a vacuum cleaner, TV dinners, a doll, a pie, rolls of carpet... Later, next to the South Platte River: algae, broken concrete, jet contrails, the smell of crude oil... What I hope to document, though not at the expense of surface detail, is the form that underlies this apparent chaos.
Nature photography… that acknowledges what is wrong, is admittedly sometimes hard to bear—it has to encompass our mistakes. Yet in the long run, it is important; in order to endure our age of apocalypse, we have to be reconciled not only to avalanche and hurricane, but to ourselves.
The suburban West is, from a moral perspective, depressing evidence that we have misused our freedom. There is, however, another aspect to the landscape, an unexpected glory. Over the cheap tracts and littered arroyos one sometimes see a light as clean as that recorded by O'Sullivan. Since it owes nothing to our care, it is an assurance; beauty is final.
With a camera, one has to love individual cases.
Landscape photography can offer us, I think, three verities—geography, autobiography, and metaphor.
No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.
The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope.
For a shot to be good—suggestive of more than just what it is—it has to come perilously near to being bad, just a view of stuff. (1970)