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

 ...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. 
 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? 
 [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. 
 [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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 Sometimes, when I go out with a camera, I don’t have a plan or even know what it is I am looking for. But I do go out every time and question how we make photographs of the world. It’s the same question that photographers have always asked: how is this world? And, what are the new ways to find that out?” 
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