Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. Los Angeles, California, 1975
"What goes through my mind when I’m taking a picture? I’m thinking wordlessly about how all the elements relate to each other, and again wordlessly about finding a balance. I look for a point that seems central to the picture, and when I find that point, it tells me where to stand, and where exactly to aim the camera.
I think the work can hold a lot of different things at once. Explore the medium, explore perception, and explore other psychological levels… I don’t need to limit what I’m doing, I feel like I can hold all these things.
In a simple physical way, the camera is recording with extraordinary detail, and that allows me to see things of interest but not make them the whole point of a picture. For a person to see a scene with as much detail as this camera can record it might take several minutes, but you can have the experience of taking it all in in a few seconds when looking at the picture. So there’s a sense of time being compressed in it. I have discovered that this camera was the technical means in photography of communicating what the world looks like in a state of heightened awareness. And it’s that awareness of really looking at the everyday world with clear and focused attention that I’m interested in.
Most people think that thinking has to do with words, this little voice in your head, but there’s a visual thinking that doesn’t have that."
- Stephen Shore on his thought process when taking pictures (using an 8x10 camera).