Alex Webb
[Photographer, b. 1952, San Francisco, lives in Brooklyn, New York.]

 ... the possibility of one particular photographer’s pictures lying around the corner is never realized until the photographer is there. It’s one of the enigmas of photography. 
 I have always felt that a lot of the most interesting work, not just mine but other people’s, falls into [the] nether area, somewhere between the worlds of documentary and photojournalism (two very vague words) and the world of art. I think a lot of street photography falls into this nether area. 
 I work extremely intuitively. I wander, I respond. Am I aware of certain elements rationally at times? Sure. But I think that often when I am more aware of them, it usually means that the picture falls flat. 
 Traditional photojournalists arrive with an idea of what they are going to produce or what the editor wants. I approach a subject very much as a street photographer and a wanderer, without preconceptions. I try to leave it extremely intuitive and exploratory. 
 There is something about the light, the heat (physical and perhaps metaphysical), the vibrancy of street life, and the rawness and disjointedness of much of the tropical world that has moved and disturbed me—in places where the indigenous culture is often transformed by an external northern culture (sometimes my own... I suspect that one has a few serious creative obsessions in life. I certainly cannot seem to escape this one. 
 I only know how to approach a place by walking. For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heart of the known awaits just around the corner. 
 One of the first times I went to Paris as a photographer, I just looked around and I looked over there and I saw that there is Doisneau, there is Brassaï, there is Kertész, and there is Cartier-Bresson. I just thought, “What am I going to do with my camera?” 
 Running through a lot of traditional photojournalism there is an overwhelming sense of... pictures that say something, that define something. I’m not trying to define things. I’m trying to explore things. I’m trying to ask questions. 
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