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“Beaumont Newhall released a revised edition of his History of Photography, where he had a chapter called “Recent Trends”. It was supposed to be the trends of the twentieth century. And he had four recent trends, and they were, as I recall; the straight photograph, the document, the formalist photograph, and the equivalent. And so it’s Paul Strand as the straight photograph, and maybe Cartier-Bresson as the document, or Walker Evans as the document, and Steiglitz as the equivalent, or maybe the formalist is Walker Evans. Whatever. But that’s the point. It’s that, to me, someone like Walker Evans is all of them. And that you could even look at Walker Evans as the equivalent, in Steiglitz, Minor White terms. Except that he’s drawing his metaphor not from nature, but from the complexity of the built environment, which may allow for a different kind of equivalent. So I thought, “Why can’t a photograph be all four things at once?” –be an art object; be a document, what ever that means exactly, but deal with content; be a formalist exploration; and operate on some, metaphor is not the right word but, resonant level..”

Stephen Shore

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“I wanted to make pictures that felt natural, that felt like seeing, that didn’t feel like taking something in the world and making a piece of art out of it.”

Stephen Shore

“There’s something arbitrary about taking a picture. So I can stand at the edge of a highway and take one step forward and it can be a natural landscape untouched by man and I can take one step back and include a guardrail and change the meaning of the picture radically… I can take a picture of a person at one moment and make them look contemplative and photograph them two seconds later and make them look frivolous.”

Stephen Shore

“I enjoy the camera. Beyond that it is difficult to explain the process of photographing except by analogy: The trout streams where I flyfish are cold and clear and rich in the minerals that promote the growth of stream life. As I wade a stream I think wordlessly of where to cast the fly. Sometimes a difference of inches is the difference between catching a fish and not. When the fly I’ve cast is on the water my attention is riveted to it. I’ve found through experience that whenever—or so it seems—my attention wanders or I look away then surely a fish will rise to the fly and I will be too late setting the hook. I watch the fly calmly and attentively so that when the fish strikes—I strike. Then the line tightens, the playing of the fish begins, and time stands still.”

Stephen Shore