Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 ...nature photographs downright bore me for some reason or other. I think: “Oh, yes. Look at that sand dune. What of it?” 

Bill McKibben
[Writer, b. 1960, Palo Alto, California, lives near Lake Chanokaub, New York.]

 ... the constant flow of images undercuts the sense that there’s actually something wrong with the world. How can there really be a shortage of whooping cranes when you’ve seen a thousand images of them—seen ten times more images than there are actually whooping cranes left in the wild? 

Emmet Gowin
[Photographer, b. 1941, Danville, Virginia, lives in Princeton, New Jersey.]

 [In nature] we may even glimpse the means with which to accept ourselves. Before nature, what I see does not truly belong to anyone; I know that I cannot have it, in fact, I’m not sure what I’m seeing. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that? The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places like national parks? 
 Nature photography… that acknowledges what is wrong, is admittedly sometimes hard to bear—it has to encompass our mistakes. Yet in the long run, it is important; in order to endure our age of apocalypse, we have to be reconciled not only to avalanche and hurricane, but to ourselves. 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 When I’ve exhibited pictures... I’ve tried to juxtapose a flower, then a picture of a cock, then a portrait, so you could see they were the same. 

Mario Giacomelli
[Photographer, b. 1925, Senigallia, Italy, d. 2000, Senigallia.]

 Nature is a mirror in which I am reflected, because by rescuing this land from sad devastation [through recreating it in photographs], I am in fact trying to save myself from my own inner sadness. 

Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 Working in the inexhaustible natural pageant before me, I came to wonder if the artist who commands the landscape might in fact hold the keys to the secrets of the human heart: place, personal history, and metaphor. 
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