I have a good number of years of more or less compulsive photography; I am devoted to it, and I still get a great deal of excitement out of looking at things and getting them the way I want. However, you won’t find me overly intellectual about what we are all interested in doing.

I work rather blindly, and I don’t think an awful lot about what I am doing. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and the response to what is before your eyes, but you are using your eyes all the time and teaching yourself unconsciously really from morning to night.

There are several tenants that go with this craft of ours. One of them is that the real gift and value in a picture is really not a thought; it is a sensation that is based on a feeling. You have to unpeel that before you can really get hot and get going and not be afraid of feeling.

We are overly literary, really, although I am very much drawn to literature; but I cannot recommend that as an approach, and I keep trying to tear it down because words are abstract things, and feeling in a sense has been abstracted from them. However, feeling remains in the action of producing pictures. Although photography is more descriptive than music, it is still not a story. Although I have a feeling that much of my work is literary – or is done by a literate man because I read a great deal – it is still a way from abstract thought into… feelings abstracted from reality.

Walker Evans

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