An art is definable only in its own terms; it is as difficult to write about photography as it is about music, especially from a personal viewpoint. I feel that as one grows older his credo becomes simpler and more direct. Penetrating the smoke screens of equipment and techniques, glamour, ideology, and simple achievement motive, the art of photography appears as strong and vital – and purposeful – as any other creative medium, and stands cleanly on its own feet. We are confronted today with a dichotomy; as our equipment and materials constantly grow in scope and quality, the creative and technical standards appear to be diminishing; there is a near-cult of photographers who seem to intentionally avoid the beautiful and precise image, concentrating only on subject and obvious function. My personal reaction to this attitude is a determination to go as far in the opposite direction as possible. I believe in the most beautiful and appropriate prints, and the most clarifying and revealing approach of mind, heart, and craft. I believe that firm objectives in this direction can fulfill the promise of photography as one of the great visual arts. However, we must always be logical in our critical estimates; most photography is not intended as art and should not be judged as such.  But if art is intended, compromise must not be tolerated.                                                                                                                                       -Ansel Adams