Multimedia Presentation of
All Photographs and Text
Copyright © Sam Abell/
Introduction by Sam Abell
The book, The Photographic
Life, ends with a chapter called, The Life Behind Things, and this is
a true gallery of photographs, and is appropriate at the end. The book
begins with an autobiographical section that explains my past, my influences,
and the path that I took. The second part of the book is about how I
took pictures, the process of working in the field. The book at this
point has given the reader a lot of information, impressions and even
emotion, and a lot of images that explain things.
This third section of the book has no text other than an introductory essay. The pictures are meant to stand on their own and they're meant to be cumulative - where one picture builds on the meaning of a previous one, and collectively they address those themes that are most important to me as a photographer. Those themes were not editorial themes, about "Ireland Today" or "The Shakers" or "The Appalachian Trail" or "The Imperial Palace of Japan." The rest of the book concerns those, but here the reader sees the themes that were most important to me. They are themes of duality - of color, and its absence; of permanence, and impermanence; of the beauty and aesthetic power of decay.