Haas on Haas: I want to come to the moment when, through pure concentration of seeing, the composed picture becomes more “Made” than “Taken.” Without a descriptive caption to justify its existence, I would rather see it speak for itself; less descriptive, more imaginative; less information-more suggestion; less prose, more poetry. Not pleasing my audience with satisfaction, I would rather try to force them to think what I thought as well as to feel what I felt...
There is really no original in photography. You are the original. Basically, at the end it is your vision, which is your original, and you sew it up and it becomes your work and you have organized it and you have made a statement, and you give this vision to the world.
Who was his daddy? Somebody gave me a book about Edward Weston and suddenly I was touched by somebody who could transform the simplest thing by pure seeing...Weston really showed me how dynamic you can be in stillness.
And then from Cartier-Bresson, I learned that the moment is a poetic phenomenon. But I found that that you cannot really do that with color photography. Color Photography is a language by itself. You have to find your very, very own method, your very own style, and that the decisive moment in color is not THE decisive moment.
I am, undeniably, a color photographer. As a kid from the Bronx, it was the epic, color images of the National Geographic Society magazine that transported me to exotic place all around the globe. Black and white photos would not do. However, it was not till I was a young man staring at a color photograph made by Ernst Haas did I realize that photography, color photography, could be art. Yes, I wanted to make photographs informed by his way of seeing, but moreover, I wanted to adopt his definition of what it meant to be a photographic artist. Thirty-five years later I still feel the same way.