I became interested in photography when I found my own sketching was inadequate.
An amateur is someone who supports himself with outside jobs which enable him to paint. A professional is someone whose wife works to enable him to paint.
I felt very strongly the whole social impact of that depression, you know, and I felt very strongly about the efforts that this Resettlement Administration was trying to accomplish; resettling people, helping them, and so on.
I feel, having the choices I had, I felt I had more control over my own medium than I did over photography.
I've been asked a great deal about the influence I've had with my work and it's impossible to say, you know.
I was brought in, not in the photographic department at all, I was brought in on a thing called Special Skills. I was to do posters, pamphlets, murals, propaganda in general, you know.
It's pretty hard to measure influence of written or visual material.
Of course I realize that photography is not the technical facility as much as it is the eye, and this decision that one makes for the moment at which you are going to snap, you know.
The time when I had desire to go to the United States I didn't have a penny. It was in the middle of the depression, you know. I couldn't get as far as Hoboken at that time.
When you talk about war on poverty it doesn't mean very much; but if you can show to some degree this sort of thing then you can show a great deal more of how people are living and a very great percentage of our people today.
I did take my camera along, as I felt there wouldn't be enough time to draw the things I wanted to do. I did some drawing and did a lot of photography but I was not part of Stryker's outfit at all.
I was so impressed with the work we were doing and I was very involved ideologically in photography - that I arranged an exhibition at the College Art Association. The first exhibition I picked the photographs and so on and we had an exhibition in New York.
In '38, this time I did a job for Mr. Stryker. I went on his payroll at about half the salary I was getting before, to cover what he called Harvest in Ohio.
So, I was offered this job to come down there but first it was suggested that I take a trip around the country in the areas in which we worked to see what it's all about, and I tell you that was a revelation to me.
Some time ago, we went to Asia and took a camera along, and I began to do what I'd done even years ago doing people. I couldn't get interested in it. And I did hundreds of photographs of details of the monuments as sculpture.
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