"They are addressing the nature of things as opposed to the thing itself."
Yes, I agree this is the way to do it. Now, if I could just Do it myself.
Portraits? Take a look at Karsch's; Eisenhower and Churchill come to mind. Now there's DETERMINATION and bright intellect in those faces. You can FEEL it. Einstein comes off as the intellectual he was; rumpled, kind, thoughtful. But he doesn't have the soldier's determination of the other two; he never was a soldier. How did Karsch get these subtleties on film?
I recently saw an Adams that I really liked; Mt Williamson. A good use of backlighting and geometry. I think most people are attracted to it just because of the 16x20 size. Would it be so popular if it was confined to an 8x10 print?
The longer I stay in photography, the more I see that Adams missed.