"Photography threatens because photography implies notice and permanent record. Most Americans simply cannot imagine why anyone would scrutinize what they themselves ignore. Deep down, at the very core of the American psyche, they know too that they are unable to make sense of the landscape around them, that someday a stranger may come and see the jewel they missed, and after seeing it, will take it away. Yet for all they distrust their own ability to verbalize what they see and know and think about the ordinary landscape around them, they do feel for it, and in fact they seem to love it very deeply. The vacant lot, taken for granted year after year, somehow holds treasures of memory and vision, for the photographer aiming a camera at the vacant lot quickly attracts people wanting to know what the photography portends. Only in rare places does change strike abutters and neighbors as likely to be good. Ordinary landscape fits like an old shoe, comfortably, without conscious notice by its wearer, and the photographer of it threatens the change that might pinch and squeak forever after."

John R. Stilgoe, from “Outside Lies Magic” 

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