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

 [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 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? 
 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. 
 [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 “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. 
 I have been taking photographs for 30 years now and it has steadily become less important to me that the photographs are about something in the most obvious way. I am interested in more elusive and nebulous subject matter. The photography I most respect pulls something out of the ether of nothingness… you can’t sum up the results in a single line. 
 Normally, photography offers these frozen shards of time where the world is ossified into a singular moment. I’ve struggled to get away from that brittle, crystalline notion by inviting time into the work, making it a quality that you feel and experience. 
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