Anyone can take pictures. What's difficult is thinking about them, organizing them, and trying to use them in some way so that some meaning can be constructed out of them. That's really where the work of the artist begins.

— Lewis Baltz

The most remarkable Lewis Baltz quotes to get the best of your day

I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve.

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I believed it was necessary to investigate photography, dismantle it, jettison all the non-essential components, and begin again with a stripped down but more powerful idea of what is, or could be photographic.

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Digital technology, you see, is not the villain here.

It simply offers another dimension. I'm not sure if it's a farther remove from reality than analogue. I think if we can speak of reality, if reality and representation can be spoken of in the same sentence, if reality even exists any more, digital is simply another way of encoding that reality.

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The photobook occupies that deep area between the novel and the film.

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I assumed from the outset that photography was already art, and that I and other people working in photography were artists. I understand now that this was a minority point of view.

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I never had any ambition to do anything commercial, anything journalistic.

I wanted to be an artist, and I wanted to be an artist whose work was done in the medium of photography. It may be debatable to this day whether I ever succeeded in achieving that ambition, but the point is, I never had any uncertainty about that.

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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.

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I wanted [my photography] to appear as though the camera was seeing by itself.

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It might be more useful, if not necessarily more true, to think of photography as a narrow, deep area between the novel and film.

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The ideal photographic document would appear to be without author or art.

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