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

 Nature 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 job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope. 
 The suburban West is, from a moral perspective, depressing evidence that we have misused our freedom. There is, however, another aspect to the landscape, an unexpected glory. Over the cheap tracts and littered arroyos one sometimes sees a light as clean as that recorded by O'Sullivan. Since it owes nothing to our care, it is an assurance; beauty is final. 
 The final strength in really great photographs is that they suggest more than just what they show literally. 
 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) 
 What a landscape photographer traditionally tries to do is show what is past, present, and future at once. You want ghosts and the daily news and prophecy... It’s presumptuous and ridiculous. You fail all the time. 
 Many photographers in fact remind me in temperament of Thomas Hart Benton; in addition to painting, he said, what he liked was to “drink whiskey and talk big.” 
 Pictures should look like they were easily taken. 
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