I am a great admirer of Robert Adams' photography and writing. In one of my favorite books about photography are several lines I refer to in my teaching. I thought I'd share a few with you here.
Truth and Landscape essay
Geography by itself is difficult to value accurately - what we hope for from the artist is help in discovering the significance of a place.
We rely…on landscape photography to make intelligible to us what we already know
Gardens are…strikingly like landscape pictures, sanctuaries…the Persian word for paradise is "walled enclosure" much like what a photographer sees through the finder of his camera.
from Beauty in Photography
the word beauty, is in practice, unavoidable. It accounts…for my very decision to photograph.
The Beauty that concerns me is form. Beauty is a synonym for the coherence and structure underlying life…Why is form beautiful? Because…it helps us meet our worst fear, the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning.
Quoting William Carlos Williams…poets write for a single reason - to give witness to splendor.
Art…abstracts. Art simplifies…a careful sorting out in favor of order is called composition.
A photographer can describe a better world only by better seeing the world as it is in front of him. Quoting Weston from his Daybooks, he started to photograph because of his "amazement at subject matter."
I think we judge art "by whether it reveals to us important FORM that we ourselves have experienced but to which we have not paid adequate attention. Successful re-discovers Beauty for us."
Quoting Stieglitz "Beauty is the universal seen"