Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Working like mad on a project tonight, so all I can do is quote a nested quote from the most completely awesome Eggleston trust website. The quote in question is photographer Robert Adams, quoted by John Szarkowski in what might be first great analysis of color photography as art.

"Over and over again the photographer walks a few steps and peers, rather comically, into the camera; to the exasperation of family and friends, he inventories what seems an endless number of angles; he explains, if asked, that he is trying for effective composition, but hesitates to define it. What he means is that a photographer wants form, an unarguably right relationship of shapes, a visual stability in which all components are equally important. The photographer hopes, in brief, to discover a tension so exact that it is peace.

"Pictures that embody this calm are not synonymous, of course, with what we might see casually out of a car window (they may, however, be more effective if we can be tricked into thinking so). The form the photographer records, though discovered in a split second of literal fact, is different because it implies an order beyond itself, a landscape into which all fragments, no matter how imperfect, fit perfectly."

The full text of the essay is here, and is chock-full of other readable revelations on photography that manage not to sound anything like Susan Sonntag.

No comments: