02 April 2006

Robert Adams

"Nature Photography of even less extreme scenes, but photography that acknowledges what is wrong, is admittedly sometimes hard to bear - it has to encompass our mistakes. Yet in the long run, it is important; in order to endure our age of apocalypse, we have to be reconciled not only to avalanche and hurricane, but to ourselves."


The opening quotation is from Robert Adams' Beauty in Photography (Aperture 1981). Adams is a man of his word. He recently won the 2006 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize for a series of photographs (including the one I have lifted here) focusing on de-forestation and environmental degradation in Oregon. He announced that he would donate the $52K award money to Human Rights Watch. Adams stated: "However concerned I am about the environment, I'm even more concerned at the moment with a collapse in human decency."

Adams has done an extremely admirable thing. Make no mistake about that. And I do not want to seem overly critical, but the basic difficulty here is not simply a deficit of human decency. The source of most of the problems that Human Rights Watch and similar organizations address are political - the failure, whether due to inability or unwillingness, of political authorities and legal agencies to protect vulnerable populations from the powerful actors who prey upon them.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Grey said...

i am new to this blogging thing. i have many photos to share but cant seem to grasp how to upload them. i would appreciate any help u could offer. email is chrysta27@cox.net
or icq 60620789

04 April, 2006 03:32  
Blogger Stuart said...

I'm a little unclear here about what you are saying, are you saying that Adam's donation was misgudied or that Human Rights Watch's work bears no realtion to Adam's concerns?

Adams I feel has always been a humanist at heart, particularly through his writings, even though his photographic subject matter doesn't make that readily apparent?

[Also fwiw, I have 2 blogs, http://blog.stunik.com as well as my blogger one]

12 May, 2007 19:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the time you read this, it will be too late for the information :P. I'm writing a small paper about Robert Adams,and for the life of me I can't find a website that tells me what kind of camera he uses, or what kind of equipment.

17 October, 2007 14:28  

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