James Welling
[Photographer, b. 1951, Hartford, Connecticut, lives in Los Angeles.]

 [Photography] underlines the photographer. That’s the Barthesian “this has been.” Well, “this has been” for the photographer as well. The photographer is the hidden placeholder in the Barthesian equation. 
 ... I began showing the black border of the negative as part of the image, something I’d never done before. I began to realize that the edge of the negative represents the shadow of the camera, the opaqueness of matter. It casts a shadow on the negative, so it’s a photogram as well. 
 It’s not that I don’t care about content, but content is not the only way a photograph has meaning. 
 There is a narrative behind every image. I often imagine being able to see the photographer standing behind the camera, or perhaps crouching or running with it. 
 A photograph records both the thing in front of the camera and the conditions of its making... A photograph is also a document of the state of mind of the photographer. And if you were to extend the idea of the set-up photograph beyond just physically setting up the picture, I would argue that the photographer wills the picture into being. 
 Even an ugly, abject photograph bears the recording of its making… my goal [is] to create dense objects, works in which many lines of thought converge.