Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 For a shot to be good—suggestive of more than just what it is—it has to come perilously near to being bad, just a view of stuff. (1970) 
 Lewis Hine said he hoped to show what was wrong so that we would try to change it, and what was right so we could take comfort in it. I don’t often achieve that, but the two goals seem appropriate to me. 
 The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope. 
 No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film. 
 Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that? The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places like national parks? 
 By Interstate 70: a dog skeleton, a vacuum cleaner, TV dinners, a doll, a pie, rolls of carpet... Later, next to the South Platte River: algae, broken concrete, jet contrails, the smell of crude oil... What I hope to document, though not at the expense of surface detail, is the form that underlies this apparent chaos. 
 Invention in photography is so laborious as to be in most instances perverse. 
 …talking about pictures as though you could tell anybody how to take good ones is nuts. Pictures are given, not taken. 
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