Compass A&E

I once saw an old man on the street in Newport, R.I., his view camera was on a tripod, a blackout cloth was draped over his shoulder and the camera was pointed at the side of a clapboard house with peeling paint. I was 19, but even then I knew he was an artist. This was not photography like they did at weddings or football games, this was ART.  

I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was “making a photograph.” His name was Aaron Siskind and he was then a professor at Rhode Island School of Design. By that point in my life I understood that...