Salt & Truth. Photographs by Shelby Lee Adams. Introduction by James L. Enyeart. Text by Shelby Lee Adams, Catherine Evans.
Shelby Lee Adams first encountered the communities of the Appalachian mountains as a child, while accompanying his doctor uncle on his rounds. In the mid-1970s he started to photograph in the region, using a 4 x 5 camera, gaining and building a special trust among its often impoverished people, who have tended to not always welcome would-be documentarians. Adams not only records their lives and hardships with great empathy, but also depicts the grace and humanity of his subjects, photographing with an ease evident in the results. Salt and Truth is Adams' fourth monograph, and presents 80 new photographs taken mostly over the past eight years. The photographs in this collection are of children and animals, of working people and of a way of life rarely glimpsed by photographers.