Why People Photograph: Selected Essays and Reviews
Why People Photograph is a book by a professional photographer about the relationship of art and life. In 1981 Robert Adams published a volume of essays entitled Beauty in Photography, in which he suggested that art is too important to confuse with interior decoration or an investment opportunity. Its real use, he contended, is to affirm meaning and thus "to keep intact an affection for life." Why People Photograph gathers a selection of Adams's writing since then. His subjects vary, but again he questions accepted prejudice, this time not only the view that art is trivial but that artists are separate. He demonstrates that many understand themselves to be bound to the world by complex and important obligations. Adams's writing is free of academic jargon. Readers will also appreciate his attention to common experience (he talks about trying to earn an income), his enjoyment of the unorthodox (one essay concerns dogs and photography), and above all his conviction that art matters. Photographers "may or may not make a living by photography, " he writes, "but they are alive by it."
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achievement American West Ansel Adams Aperture apparently artists Atget Beaumont Newhall beautiful believe Berlin-Kreuzberg best pictures biography camera Canyon de Chelly CÚzanne church collectors Colorado composition Denver Dorothea Lange early Edward Abbey Edward Hoagland Edward Weston England pictures enjoy essay eventually evidence example experience fact funny geography gift Henri Cartier-Bresson hope human important instance Kerstin land landscape Lange's Laura Gilpin light live lohn Szarkowski look Maddow Mexico Michael Schmidt Modern Museum nature Navaho never Newhall Nicholas Nixon nudes O'Sullivan observed painters painting parks Paul Strand perhaps person photog photographer's photographers Pierre Bonnard plate Point Lobos portraits prairie prints published record reminded Robert Adams rock Sandweiss seems sense shape share sometimes space specific Stieglitz suggests Susan Meiselas teaching things Thomas Eakins tion tographers trees vision walk whole William Stafford wonder writing wrote