Harry Callahan
[Photographer, b. 1912, Detroit, Michigan, d. 1999, Atlanta, Georgia.]

 Everything was Bauhaus this and Bauhaus that. I wanted to break it... I got tired of experimentation. I got sick of the solarization and reticulation and walked-on negatives. What I was interested in was the technique of seeing... I introduced problems like “evidence of man,” and talking to people—making portraits on the street... I thought [the students] should enter into dealings with human beings and leave abstract photography. I felt that social photography would be the next concern. 
 My value lies in the fact that I am a man for whom the visible world exists. 
 I very rarely start photographing immediately. I like to walk and walk and walk. And the beach was nice because I can walk and unwind and then after a while start photographing. You can go to the sea where it’s beautiful and you are a part of it and I guess you want to let somebody else know about it. I think I must have felt the same way with Eleanor. 
 I thought at one time I should benefit humanity, but I don’t even know what that means anymore, and then you think, well, you’re doing it to satisfy yourself, but there’s more to yourself than just satisfying yourself too, and so I really think that it’s just that I want to leave something for somebody. 
 Photography is filled with conflicts and choices. I can be just as serious about one picture as I am about another, but one works and the other doesn’t. Why? Ultimately I choose... that’s the important one... and give up on the other. 
 I have ideas. I always go out with an idea, but it isn’t a very big deal, you know. It isn’t as if I’m going to save the world. Maybe I want to get down low and tilt the front lens, maybe it’s that much. 
 Photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure. If man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life. I am interested in relating the problems that affect me to some set of values that I am trying to discover and establish as being my life. I want to discover and establish them through photography. 
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