Who is Sam Abell?
Sam Abell is an American photographer known for his frequent publication of photographs in National Geographic. He first worked for National Geographic in 1967, and is one of the more overtly artistic photographers among his magazine peers. Sam Abell's style of photography is documentary in the sense that his major avenue, the National Geographic magazine, is a publication of record. However, his best work is known for its transcendent qualities, starting at the documentary level yet open to interpretation on an aesthetic level. One of his favorite photographs is of the tree viewed through a Japanese window, which graces the cover of his book Seeing Gardens. It's a documentary photograph of a tree, but due a combination of light and Abell's inclusion in his composition of roof tiles in the background, the photograph takes on the transcendent, illusory quality of a stained glass window. Abell rarely uses flash, preferring a pure relationship with light. He has said that he could be perfectly happy with his photography even if his only subject was light itself.