"My interest in artists who began painting before the advent of photography, and who explored new approaches during the emergence of photography, lead me photograph the sites of their work. I was not interested in the perspectives from which they painted nor the present state of the landscapes they depicted. Traveling to the places they painted, I wanted to experience the landscape, the weather, the changes in light, the direction of the wind, to think about what the painters felt and what they sought there.
Driving through France, I could feel the changes in the landscape, the smell of the land, the goût de terroir. I imagined that the painters of the past experienced this landscape in a similar way. The new medium of the photograph allowed people in the nineteenth century to hold the world still, the miracle of showing past time in the present, through a mode of mechanical vision so different from that of the human eye. Wonder fades over time, but some painters incorporated features of photography now taken for granted. The discovery of the "moment" was particularly significant. Degas, who painted momentary scenes is an obvious example but, in addition to informing their subject matter, both Monet and Cezanne sought to directly connect the act of painting and seeing in order to capture the moments that unfolded successively before their eyes. As soon as something is seen, the moment has already past; each momentary look is to see anew. These painters sought to render on canvas the ever-changing present.
The continued vibrancy of the light and wind they painted attest to their innovation and originality.
The mechanical perception of the camera takes place outside of the body. It is as if one were to look at the image captured on the retina of a disembodied eyeball. It is decidedly different from the way that something is seen with the naked eye. Because our vision is always informed by our memories of the past, unadulterated vision is an impossibility. What we see in the present cannot be disaggregated from our memories of the past. Yet the mechanical perception of the camera, unlike that of the body, produces images with a clarity unaffected by human activity. My goal is to retain as much of this clarity as possible in material form of the photographic print. If this clarity is obtained, the experience of looking at a photograph can be one of expansiveness as well as depth. This sensation, this response, is a profound experience. It is a profundity that arises anew with every look at a world that continues to forever change." （Risaku Suzuki afterword "La plaque sensible"）