"The point is it shows that I must have had a built-in facility for composition. It shows in all my landscape pictures, all my personal pictures, everything I took. And when I got into architecture, I was able to define design statements. And as I look at any of my old photographs, they possess some quality which I pursued in a natural way in my architectural photography. And I'm very proud of some of those photographs, because no matter where you see any of my works, and I demonstrate this to my students all the time, that the secret of photography is composition. Assembling--identifying to begin with--and then assembling these statements, these thoughts, in your mind without the camera. Matter of fact, I don't allow cameras to be used in some of my seminars, at least for the first day or half-day discussion. I say, "Let's learn how to take pictures without a camera. And let's learn to identify--whatever we're photographing, whether it's a landscape or a building or an interior--let's look first and see how we identify ourselves with the object." Then when we take out the camera, we've assembled these design thoughts in our mind and we've put together the composition, showing all four sides, all four edges of the camera view, possessing the elements of what we want to photograph."
Julius Shulman / by Taina Rikala De Noriega, for the Archives of American Art.