One night I was on my [Navy] ship... on my first cruise crossing the North Atlantic in a horrible storm, chained to the rails so I wouldn't fall overboard. In this lightning and thunder and hail, in this misery, I shouted at the heavens with my little squeaky voice and said, Someday I'm going to be a photographer! It was as big an epiphany as any man ever had.
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It occurs to me that at the beginning one works passionately to learn photography. This takes years, and the craft is usually formed during this period. Then as time passes one finds oneself more in the role of serving the medium... Then, as in the example of several masters that I have been privileged to know personally, it appears that by having devoted oneself totally to the medium, one becomes photography.
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Traditionally, photography has dealt with recording the world as it is found. Before photography appeared the fine artists of the time, the painters and sculptors, concerned themselves with rendering reality with as much likeness as their skill enabled. Photography, however, made artistic reality much more available, more quickly and on a much broader scale.
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In the history of photography, we have many masterpieces in terms of black and white books. You have Bresson's 'Decisive Moment,' Frank's 'The Americans'... many masterpieces. But there is nothing to this caliber in color. Well, I think I'll waltz with my muse and hope that I might be able to produce something on this order in color.