Paul Graham
[Photographer, b. 1956, Stafford, England, lives in New York.]

 To photographers, street photography is a Himalayan range that the foolhardy pit themselves against. Or maybe it’s a shibboleth, a mystical visual code that only the indoctrinated members of our cult speak and revere. 
 [The] unique qualities of [photography are] its struggle to deal with time and life. Sometimes I think those are our materials. Not film, not paper, not prints: time and life. 
 The “decisive moment” is bullshit. There are ten pictures before and ten pictures after every one of them: [Henri Cartier-Bresson] actually took thirty pictures of people leaping over that puddle. 
 ...a partial, but nonetheless astonishing description of the creative act at the heart of serious photography: nothing less than the measuring and folding of the cloth of time itself. 
 [Photography is] so easy it’s ridiculous. It’s so easy that I can’t even begin—I just don’t know where to start. After all, it’s just looking at things. We all do that. It’s simply a way of recording what you see—point the camera at it, and press a button. How hard is that? 
 The problem is that the term “documentary” is used to describe nearly every photographer who works from life-as-it-is. If someone makes food with vegetables from their garden, are they doing documentary cooking? 
 ...my photography doesn’t always fit into neat, coherent projects, so maybe I need to roll freeform around this world, unfettered, able to photograph whatever and whenever: the sky, my feet, the coffee in my cup, the flowers I just noticed, my friends and lovers, and, because it’s all my life, surely it will make sense? Perhaps. 
 Why is everyone addicted to prepackaged spectacular moments, as if that’s all that’s worth photographing? 
quotes 1-8 of 15
page 1 of 2 next page last page
display quotes