Photographers like Robert Adams have stripped away the grandiosity of the American West, avoiding the rhetoric of the American landscape tradition. Adams eschews the grandiose and spectacular in favor of the modest and mundane. He abandons the urge to dominate and accepts what is, trusting to the democratic virtue of everyday light to redeem the landscape for art. He quotes cinematographer Raoul Coutard: "Daylight has an inhuman faculty for always being perfect."
Adams accepts on his own terms the challenge of developing new forms for new landscapes - and its corollary, the process of defining himself as an American.