These essays address us in the quiet voice of a working photographer, an artist and craftsman who has thought long and seriously about his endeavor, who has tested and questioned his own assumptions in the light of actual practice. The result is a rare book of criticism, one that is alive to the pleasure and mysteries of true exploration. Written over a ten-year period, and originally published in 1981, this timeless collection of writings now includes a new preface by the author.
Robert Adams possesses the wit to avoid cant, dogma, and platitudes of the scholar that can deaden our responses to the lively business of art. His eight essays pose a host of questions about photography's place in the arts-- and in our lives: How is photography art? By what standards are we to judge the success or failure of a photograph? His reflections are delicate, unusually calm, but they also carry the force of sure conviction, the passion of absolute dedication.
Few visual artists are capable of articulating the subtle, potent wellsprings of their own creative achievement. Adams does so with extraordinary grace and power. This book offers not only an insight to the work of a distinguished photographer, but also an illuminating challenge and corrective to the usual pieties and pettiness of photography criticism today.