W. o’ W.: Robert Adams

HereĀ is the preface to the (35th? 36th?) 2010 book of pictures fromĀ the cliche-free photographer:

“In common with many photographer, I began making pictures because I wanted to record what supports hope: the untranslatable mystery and beauty of the world. Along the way, however, the camera also caught evidence against hope, and I eventually concluded that this too belonged in pictures if they were to be truthful and thus useful.

The only people of whom I knew who had in some measure resolved the conflict were writers like Emily Dickinson and painters like Edward Hopper, individuals who searched the world so diligently that they occasionally caught glimpses of another. Theodore Roethke’s notebook entry was the victory I wanted: ‘I see what I believe.’

As much as I try to stay away from abstractions, I often find myself asking three questions, and I repeat them here as a point of entry into this book: What does our geography compel us to believe? What does it allow us to believe? And what obligations, if any, follow from our beliefs?”