[Photographer, b. 1917, San Francisco, d. 2015, Berkeley, California.]
Ansel [Adams] always jumped over the fence to photograph, walked past the garbage. He always looked to get an immaculate view, and I spent my life stepping back to include the garbage in my photographic view.
You have to bring to the photograph a prejudice about something, and I’m prejudiced against farmers who tie dead animals on fences. Therefore, I can make a meaningful photograph.
So many people are diverted to doing what people want photographed—fashion models, buildings, mountains—they get to thinking those photographs are good.
You know, you have to be an optimist, a pessimist, sarcastic and pleasant all at the same time to be a photographer.
I have an abiding faith in the fact that time will change the value of photographs. What you see today may be so familiar to everyone that they don’t immediately appreciate or value it.
I never think of myself as an artist. I think of myself as making a point.
Edward [Weston] was the first artist—and I don’t use the word lightly—to make a living doing art photography. Other photographers did commercial work, or worked for the government.
Photography is a life of learning. That’s all I want from photography. I don’t want the money. I don’t need the fame. I don’t need the admiration. I’d like all of those things, but I don’t need them. Because what I get from photographing is learning. I have spent my life learning by looking through a lens.