One of the things I guess that fascinates me about R. Adams is that I probably can count on one hand the number of people I know who like his work, but if you look at his biography his work may be the most collected by institutions and museums of any contemporary photographer. He has won numerous awards and honors worldwide for his work. I like the summer nights work and his projects about Los Angeles in the early 80s, but his more recent work concerning deforestation and clear cutting is pretty boring stuff that has been done over and over for 40 years.
Maybe it's salesmanship or simply his connections in academia led to his critical acclaim. Perhaps his work in the early 70s was considered anti-capitalist and anti-establishment enough to garner the attention of the left leaning radicals that would assume positions of power in university and museum art departments in the 80s.