MacAllaster House

Nathan Farb

ABOUT THE ARTIST

American photographer and conservationist Nathan Farb (1941 – ) grew up in the village of Lake Placid, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, where he would find inspiration for years to come. Throughout the years, Farb has used large format film cameras, and, more recently, newer technologies, to capture the beauty and mystique of New York’s largest state park. Through his lens, he “achieves effects of great sharpness, clarity, depth and richness of color and texture…[making] a focal point of some minute, exquisite object, transient with the season or the time of day” (The Adirondacks, 23). Often using long exposures, Farb captures the movement, intricacy and details of landscapes that draw the viewer into the forest with him. 

Born in Konawa, Oklahoma, in 1941, Farb was raised by his widowed mother Bertha, a music teacher who brought Nathan to the Adirondacks for the first time when he was five years old. Together, they explored the region to which he would return in 1982 to begin photographing professionally. However, Farb was not always set on being a photographer. He majored in psychology in college and began graduate school before buying his first camera in 1966 while working as a suburban newspaper reporter.  

His first photographic work in the sixties captured scenes in the East Village of New York City. He went on to work in what was then the Soviet Union, photographing segments of Soviet society which were then produced in his 1980 book, The Russians, which was published in six countries and its images included in magazines across the world. His second book, Galapagos, was also internationally acclaimed. Farb returned to the Adirondacks and became focused on capturing landscapes with detail obtainable only through the human eye. This body of work lends itself to awareness of wilderness conservation, a curiosity about how manmade and natural changes will affect the environment, and his desire to “help people see how nature works”11 through photographs (Adirondack Wilderness, 20). His books 100 Views of the Adirondacks and The Adirondacks would set a precedent for fellow nature and landscape photographers.  

Farb has been a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Life Magazine, and the New York Daily News, among other publications.

– Research and writing by Eva Yeo, SLU Class of 2023

 

Notes

Farb, Nathan, and Paul F. Jamieson. The Adirondacks. New York: Rizzoli, 1985.  

Farb, Nathan. Adirondack Wilderness. New York: Rizzoli, 2009.  

Nathan Farb – More than You Know.” Whiteface Region, January 13, 2023.