What an excellent way to start a book:
In this era of images, there is nothing beyond the production and consumption of images. Photography is, of course, at the core of these processes. However, the traditional method of producing images that consisted of wandering passionately in search of subjects and shooting photos of them, no longer guarantees the meaning of photographic images as it once did. The explosion of digital images challenges the basic assumptions of photography that have been its support for the last one hundred and fifty years. The myth of direct representation, whether of a dramatic moment or a beautiful scene, has started to collapse and is finally coming to an end. It is true that luckily some images can still stand out when rescued from the sea of images. This, however, is something that photographers today are unable to attain and discourse on “the death of photography” may be the most evident reflection of this sense of crisis.
This passage indicates the way that my own thinking has changed about photography over the past few years. Photographers who fail (or refuse) to grasp the insight contained here will be left behind. I want to say it’s surprising that Japan has not yet produced a photographer like Seung Woo Back 2, but I should think about that some more—maybe it’s not surprising at all, or maybe (less likely) someone here shares Back’s approach.
I’ll post another quote from the book later. Note that the translation is obviously a little suspect, but I haven’t touched it.