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  1. #1
    Curt's Avatar
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    Robert Adams: Why People Photograph

    I bought an Aperture book "Why People Photograph" by Robert Adams. If you have read this book, maybe you can share your reaction to it. For me it was the break that I needed. Sometime in the early hours I discovered that I am among the few people living that has a clear and unique insight into life, its trials, successes and failures, its exclusive and coherent manifestation of connectivity to art and nature that no man can possibly imagine. In a flash I have seen and simplified the lives of the top photographers of our time and distilled their lives into a grain of truth never before known.

    All that I need to write my new book is a short bio. of each photographer and I will clarify their existence to the mass audience for all time. If you feel you have such a talent let us know about it.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #2
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Hi Curt, would you care to explain a little further.

  3. #3
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    Curt,
    I first read this book about three months ago and have just started to read it again, this time making a few notes as I go. I thoroughly enjoyed the lucid and poetic writing and have adopted a few of his conclusions for myself e.g. people (I) photograph to "keep intact an affection for life". What a lovely, succinct way to put it. I found his homage to the disappearing "real" American West was in parts a little too sentimental but heartfelt and persuasive nonetheless.

    I would say compulsory reading for anyone serious about photography.

  4. #4

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    Read this one years ago, and just started re-reading it again along with Beauty in Photography. Like Tony, these are two books that I would say should be compulsory reading for the serious photographer. Not a big fan of his photography (after White Churches of the Plains), but the guy writes really well.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Sometime in the early hours I discovered that I am among the few people living that has a clear and unique insight into life, its trials, successes and failures, its exclusive and coherent manifestation of connectivity to art and nature that no man can possibly imagine. In a flash I have seen and simplified the lives of the top photographers of our time and distilled their lives into a grain of truth never before known.
    Thank you. You are truly a gift to humanity.

    Now what exactly did you mean by all of this? And what does this have to do with Adams' superb book?

  6. #6
    Curt's Avatar
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    "A part of what brought Strand to make the New England pictures as presumably psychological." "Those to whom I talked who knew him describe him as difficult-which suggests, as do his three marriages, that like most artists he was driven by inner and idiosyncratic burdens." "But of these we can know little in the absence of a major biography."

    So let me speculate, assume and draw conclusions about people with little biographical or first hand contact with the individuals but from second hand comments and assumptions. This book is filled with speculation, assumptions and judgments.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkr View Post
    Now what exactly did you mean by all of this? And what does this have to do with Adams' superb book?
    I think it means Curt did not like the book and he saw this dislike as an opportunity to sharpen his satirical wit.

    As a book discussing art and the reasons people make it, I find it quite acceptable to have the pages filled with speculations, assumptions and judgments. I certainly do not expect statistics, controlled experiments and exact measurements on the subject of art. The book needs to be judged by the quality of thought (and the quality of the writing) behind the speculations, assumptions and judgments. And Adams has done a fine job. One may not agree with all his speculations, assumptions and judgments, but to only read books one agrees 100% with sounds a bit boring.

    Vaughn

  8. #8

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    I agree with Adams in that, lacking writings by the photographer himself on his images, we can use those images to speculate on his motivations. Adams background in literature would make such a leap of insight obvious.

  9. #9
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    When I become famous, just remember that my motivation in photography as a whole, and in any particular image, is simply because I like it.
    juan

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan View Post
    When I become famous, just remember that my motivation in photography as a whole, and in any particular image, is simply because I like it.
    juan
    But that will leave future generations wondering why you liked it.

    Vaughn

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