John Rosenthal

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If photography is about anything it is the deep surprise of living in the ordinary world. By virtue of walking through the fields and streets of this planet, focusing on the small and the unexpected, conferring attention on the helter-skelter juxtapositions of time and space, the photographer reminds us that the actual world is full of surprise, which is precisely what most people, imprisoned in habit and devoted to the familiar, tend to forget.

A well-composed image will catch our attention because the eye finds a certain satisfaction in composure. But that is not enough. Good photographs are also disturbing, and inevitably remind us of what we have overlooked.

Sometimes a photograph offers the photographer a gift he didn't expect, a marvelous detail - what the eye longing for meaning sees unconsciously, and includes. How wonderful it is that the decision to take a photograph is mysterious - giving us, like love, more than we bargained for.

Does a photograph tell a truth, or does it sentimentalize? This is an important question. Does it come from a place where I’m still fresh, or am I repeating myself? Am I photographing the exotic for its own sake, or am I capturing an actual beauty that resides in the ordinary? These questions are important to me—and, if I make a photograph that both compels and pleases me, then, at least for a while, I’ve offered some kind of answer.