Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Just the Facts, Ma'am"

Like every photographer I am constantly wrestling with my own notions about photography and how it might relate to my work. Lately I've had one particular mantra in my head and I've been trying to use it like a compass. Writing about Atget, John Szarkowski mentions Atget's ability "to describe facts of such surprising character that they might seem almost miraculous." What could be more simple? And difficult! One of the best photographers to do just this for well over thirty years has certainly been Robert Adams. He's the photographic equivalent of Dragnet's Joe Friday. His work is often, for many, not the easiest to get excited about. While that's not terribly surprising it is unfortunate. After all there are many compasses these days and they are pointing in many different directions. There are few, however, that regularly point to true north, as opposed to magnetic north.

All pictures above are by Robert Adams

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