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A now classic text on the art, "Why People Photograph" gathers a selection of essays by the great master photographer Robert Adams, tackling such diverse subjects as collectors, humor, teaching, money and dogs. Adams also writes brilliantly on Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Laura Gilpin, Judith Joy Ross, Susan Meiselas, Michael Schmidt, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and EugeneA now classic text on the art, "Why People Photograph" gathers a selection of essays by the great master photographer Robert Adams, tackling such diverse subjects as collectors, humor, teaching, money and dogs. Adams also writes brilliantly on Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Laura Gilpin, Judith Joy Ross, Susan Meiselas, Michael Schmidt, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Eugene Atget. The book closes with two essays on "working conditions" in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West, and the essay "Two Landscapes." Adams writes: "At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands in front of the camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are."...

Title : Why People Photograph
Author :
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ISBN : 9780893816032
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 190 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Why People Photograph Reviews

  • Tifany
    2019-04-15 22:39

    I've already talked about Adams in my previous review, but it's hard to get a sense of what makes him so special without reading him. So here's a few samples:"At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands in front of the camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect--a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known.""Art does not deny that evil is real, but it places evil in a context that implies an affirmation; the structure of the picture, which is a metaphor for the structure of the Creation, suggests that evil is not final.""There will come a time when we stop naming places for lake shores that aren't there, and attaching to names eastern suffixes like 'glen' and 'green'. And if we call them by names that are accurate, we may ultimately find it easier to live in them.""Finally, there is the joy to be found in a landscape experienced with family and friends. There are days that become, in the urgent and hushed sharing of a wonderful place with someone else, as much as I expect to know of the world for which I dream. To hear one's name, and the invitation, spoken with the assurance you will together see the same gift--'Look'."And, from Beauty in Photography:"Our discouragement in the presence of beauty results, surely, from the way we have damaged the country, from what appears to be our inability now to stop, and from the fact that few of us can any longer hope to own a piece of undisturbed land. Which is to say that what bothers us about primordial beauty is that it is no longer characteristic.""If, as a personal matter, I have chosen not to make color pictures, it is because I have remembered how hard it is to write good free verse, with which color photography has some similarities, both being close to what occurs naturally."Well, enough said--or rather, quoted.

  • Abdulrahman
    2019-04-15 03:15

    The book falls closer to the 4 stars than the 3 to me. Starts amazingly!And Adams goes around the humanitarian aspects of being a photographer and his surroundings, describing them beautifully and emotionally using his English literature skills, using poems too which makes even more emotional and closer to the heart. He then goes to describe the main artists' works and their emotional backgrounds and how their lives affected their photographic styles and techniques. So interesting I say but sometimes it got dull.. The last part is when he describes the working conditions in 19th, 20th centuries, the landscape changes, the influence of humans on the deterioration of nature and landscapes that he used to see. In this part he goes a little depressing and black visioned you feel there's no green areas at all, but that's the price you pay of literate, exaggeration. It's still beautiful, his hopes for more responsibility toward nature and landscapes and the green areas.. All in all, this book is totally worth it for photographers.“At our best and most fortunate we make pictures because of what stands in front of the camera, to honor what is greater and more interesting than we are. We never accomplish this perfectly, though in return we are given something perfect - a sense of inclusion. Our subject thus redefines us, and is part of the biography by which we want to be known.”

  • John
    2019-04-06 00:35

    A collection of essays on photography, some of which are slightly related, others of which are not. There are some interesting insights and inspirations in some of the essays, but as a whole, I found the collection to be lacking. I had hoped to gain a better perspective on why people photograph and what makes for a classic artistic photograph, what makes photography in and of itself a great artistic medium, but didn't really find that here.

  • Robert
    2019-04-27 05:29

    THis collection of essays was not exactly what I was expecting. The title is very misleading, in my opinion. I was expecting a book about the idea of photography, instead I got a collection of essays mostly about some famous photographers.

  • s2artM
    2019-04-01 01:19

    This was my second Adams book of essays and remains my favourite it was a stalwart of wonderful ideas that have remained to this day

  • Mary Mcintyre
    2019-04-26 03:15

    Eh. Didn't learn anything new.

  • Holden Richards
    2019-04-17 00:21

    Incisive writing from a philosophic and technical point of view from someone within the photography community itself.

  • Steve
    2019-04-20 21:22

    Wonderful short collection of essays on photography and the approach of photographers to their art.

  • Sean Halpin
    2019-04-14 22:15

    Admittedly this book is marketed toward a self selecting group. Still I think it is important to reflect on the merits of reading or not reading this book. As others have pointed out, the title is misleading. There are hints of interesting insights hidden throughout the book but more often Adams' essays read like a short book report. Unfortunately the insights are hidden and it takes a lot of weeding through pages of quotes from other books and commentary on why he thinks they got it wrong to find the insights.

  • Mary
    2019-03-29 00:30

    With respect but not much enthusiasm, I would say that the light in this book comes mostly throughwell-deployed quotations from the work of other and better writers. I appreciate learning about somegood photographers I had not heard of before. But the book is uneven, with what reads as freshly thought sections being followed by sort of padding consisting of old book reviews and essays written for other purposes.

  • Jim
    2019-04-10 21:41

    An unusual mixture of essay, biographies, and social commentary all settled around photography. Several worthy gems have been highlighted and recorded for future inspirations. The second book I've read recently that I have to stomach a paragraph of venom spewed at hunters, as with the other, if you can ignore there is much to be taken from the rest. I do wish nature lovers of all types could co-exist better.

  • Mark Broadhead
    2019-04-08 04:25

    Largely, "Why Photographers Photograph" rather than the title. But it does touch on the veracity of photography (oh, for those innocent days) and its ability to record the (past) state of nature. In this its tone can resemble a lament. This also leaks into his eloquent interpretations of the classic American photographers.

  • Ruzz
    2019-04-22 04:15

    A book that asks big questions and describes a lot of the problems with being "a photographer" or having a "a photographer's life" though those titles can play out in a myriad of ways. The later parts of the book it drops off a bit. Focusing more on the works of other photographers and for my interests was too dated to matter.

  • Carey
    2019-04-11 02:30

    An amazing small book of essays on photography, art, the environment and America. Yes, America, with an 'A.' All from the perspective of a photographer of course, but it's so much more than just another book on photography. Worth reading and rereading, especially when one has the time and space to think more seriously and quietly about the ideas and discussions it contains.

  • Ray Dunsmore
    2019-04-03 03:30

    A collection of essays by the great photographer Robert Adams - filled with great, life-affirming aphorisms on subjects like creativity, inspiration, the delicate skill of cultivating creativity without losing it, the lamentable loss of the pristine landscape of the West, the need for environmental conservation and the (still) current seemingly deteriorating state of America.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-02 04:35

    Very interesting book with perspectives on what Master Photographer's employed. Philosophy and deep thoughts regarding photography. Excellent book and was rather hard to put down. After reading 32 pages one day, I finished all 182 the next day...

  • Damon
    2019-04-07 01:34

    Reads like an intellectual biography. Interesting insight into the mind of a professional photographer, but for me less valuable on more abstract ideas about why we photograph, which I think others like Barthes and Sontag do much better.

  • Rebecca Worth
    2019-04-13 21:25

    The first third of this book had me captivated, but the rest was a chore to get through. Some of the essays about particular photographers were nice, but I kept having to jump out of the book to search online for a visual reference.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-11 03:21

    I somehow was sidetracked and haven't finished this yet, but I was inspired by everything I have read so far. This book was extremely helpful in aiding me in writing my artist statement for my bfa project, and also gave me more of a drive for my work.

  • Andrew McComb
    2019-04-07 21:41

    Good read, a must for those serious about taking photography seriously.

  • Joe
    2019-03-29 05:15

    absolutely brilliant, inspiring articles. i'd recommend to everyone.

  • Terence
    2019-04-14 04:24

    Great book, some major insights into Photography and many other topics. Great history too and perhaps the most valuable to me was the section on Teaching. Great advice, observations. Such a force.