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Module 11
For this module, I studied Robert Adams, and his work series,
Turning Back: A Photographic
Journal of Re-Exploraon.
This photography book was published in 2005, and includes prints
that focus on deforestaon in the Northwest. Adams stated that some of the pictures taken
took several days to complete, because the trees were photographed at various mes of the
day in different lighng. Adams also indicated that the book represents a journey, in which the
photographs travel from the ocean, through the industrial forest land, and then end in the high
deserts of Oregon. The book focuses on the idea of reminding us that we must try to correct
and value what we changed when we began to sele in the West, and incorporates the travels
of Lewis and Clark. Adams wants to correct the mistakes that were made when Lewis and Clark
travelled West and then back East, so that we can move forward and value the land and space
that we have. Adams’ representaon of trees and deforestaon relates to the idea that humans
have cut down trees and ruined soil for years, resulng in the disappearance of a very large
rainforest in the Northwest. Adams wanted to show what was leſt, and also show how we can
rehabilitate the forest with the goal of fixing our mistakes
1
. I believe that Adams was successful
in conveying his message of the damage that humans have done to the environment, but I also
believe his photos represent a kind of hope. This hope could be what compels people to go
back and try and fix what they have damaged.
1:
"Turning Back"
. hps://art21.org/read/robert-adams-turning-back/.


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