Roger Ballen
[Photographer, b. 1950, New York, lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.]

 I never think about a photo before I start it. I try to let my mind relax, and then when I get there I do it. 
 In the end, I believe that the most important influence on my aesthetic has been the photographs I have taken. 
 A lot of photography is about the unexpected happening during the time that you do the work. So it’s not something that you can really predict. 
 [My] goal as an artist is to create increasingly complex images with greater and greater clarity of form and intensity of vision. 
 Because photography is such an easy medium to master technically, especially with today’s cameras, people don’t realize that it’s not just being able to pick up a camera. When I lift that camera up to take a picture, I’ve gone through thousands of steps to get to that point. That’s what you’re really seeing; it’s a complex view of the world, through my imagination, through my experiences. 
 Every time you push the button of the camera you create a new reality. 
 You need to travel deep inside yourself to create a good picture. 
 The essence of photography is freezing minute periods of time. The mind has to believe that you’ve captured a genuine moment, because that is the purpose of photography. 
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