Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann:
I had been undeviatingly photographing the kids since 1985, remarking once to a friend that my passion for those pictures was so intense and blinkered that I could drive right past the moonrise at Hernandez that so dazzled Ansel Adams if I was on the way to get a good picture of the kids. But on that July day, I was overcome with farm lust, wordless and undeniable. Driving with the camera from the cool river to the sweltering upper fields, we followed the animal pathways through the grass, stopping to make an occasional picture.
At the time, I didn’t care whether the pictures I was taking were any good, or how I was going to inscribe my deep love of place, this time with photography, in a way that could begin to explain it. I hadn’t made a picture in the landscape for at least a decade, although recently I had found myself swiveling the camera away from the kids just to watch the randomly edited tableaux pass across the milky rectangle of ground glass. Often a beautiful landscape would surprise me there, ambushing me with the allure of its self-sufficiency.