John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 To photograph beautifully a choice vestigial remnant of natural landscape is not necessarily to do a great favor to its future.... It is difficult today for an ambitious young photographer to photograph a pristine snowcapped mountain without including the parking lot in the foreground as a self-protecting note of irony. 

Ralph Steiner
[Photographer, b. 1899, Cleveland, Ohio, d. 1986, Hanover, New Hampshire.]

 I say to young photographers, “What in God’s name are you doing, taking a picture of a tree or a mountain? That’s crazy! What you should do is take a person by the hand and show him the tree or the mountain itself. Why show him a stupid picture? It’s flat and it’s tiny compared to the mountain. The mountain is magnificent and has power ...” 

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. 

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. 

John Muir
[Self-described "Poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc.", b. 1838, Dunbar, Scotland, d. 1914, Los Angeles.]

 See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I was living in Monterey, a place where the classic photographers—the Westons, Wynn Bullock and Ansel Adams—came for a privileged view of nature. But my daily life very rarely took me to Point Lobos or Yosemite; it took me to shopping centers, and gas stations and all the other unhealthy growth that flourished beside the highway. It was a landscape that no one else had much interest in looking at. Other than me. 

Edward Abbey
[Writer and Environmental Activist, b. 1927, Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States, d. 1989, Tucson, Arizona, United States.]

 Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one. 

John Steinbeck
[Writer, b. 1902, Salinas, California, d. 1968, Sag Harbor, New York.]

 No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. 
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