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Topographic Essay

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The “Art term” for new topographic was a term created by William Jenkins in 1975 to describe a group of American photographers whose pictures had a similar banal aesthetic, in that they were formal, mostly black and white prints of the urban landscape. Some of the American photographers are as listed; Robert Adams (1937 - 1997), Joe Deal (1947 - 2010), Lewis Baltz (1945 - 2014). They took photos of landscapes, suburban sprawl, and everyday scenes not usually given a second glance.

The New Topographics was originally held at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, in January of 1975. New Topographics: Photographs of a, man-altered landscape this exhibition was pretty rare that usually caused a permanent change in the development of art. This exhibition show brought ten photographers together who generally defined the “coming together” of a new approach to landscape. What was so impressive about photos of abandoned buildings and trailer parks? Maybe “impressive” isn’t exactly the right word to use. These landscape photographs you could say were unusual because they were even considered landscapes. These photographers were not very concerned that portraying an ideal image of nature and were more interested in showing how mankind has painly changed it.

Robert Adams, who is now one of the most well-known photographers of this “New Topographics” didn’t focus on anything that, as you would call “normal photographers” focused on such as the wilderness of nature. He pointed his camera at strangely at empty streets, immaculate trailer parks, or even just standard houses. Most of his photographs were taken in California, Colorado, and Oregon. He mostly used the photographs to understand how industrial growth have changed it, also thinking that not the entire beauty of the world has been shown. So he takes beautiful pictures of things that people usually take for granted because what he takes photographs of people don’t necessarily think of “picture worthy” because it's not requisitely



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