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Sam Abell quotes
How the visual world appears is important to me. I'm always aware of the light. I'm always aware of what I would call the 'deep composition.' Photography in the field is a process of creation, of thought and technique. But ultimately, it's an act of imaginatively seeing from within yourself.
'Woman on the Plaza,' with its distinct horizon, snow-like surfaces, wintry wall, stunning sunlight, sharp shadows, and hurrying figure, would become the most biographical of my photographs - an abstract image of the landscape and life of northern Ohio where I grew up and first practiced photography.
As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs.
There are grander and more sublime landscapes - to me. There are more compelling cultures. But what appeals to me about central Montana is that the combination of landscape and lifestyle is the most compelling I've seen on this earth. Small mountain ranges and open prairie, and different weather, different light, all within a 360-degree view.
I think of myself as a writer who photographs. Images, for me, can be considered poems, short stories or essays. And I've always thought the best place for my photographs was inside books of my own creation.
In almost every photograph I have ever made, there is something I would do to complete it. I take that to be the spirit hole or the deliberate mistake that's in a Navajo rug to not be godlike, but to be human.
When I first went to 'National Geographic,' I thought I was the least qualified person to step through the doors. But because of my parents and the culture of continual learning they imposed on us, I later came to believe I was the most qualified person who ever worked there.