Pictures and Words


At the Democratic Party Fish Fry, Marshall, Madison County, NC 1990

This has long been one of my all-time favorite pictures. The way it moves. The moment in time. The gesture and posture. The audience. The framing. Loose and spontaneous. 

I will be leading a workshop at Doe Branch Ink, just off of Big Pine, in Madison County, NC, from June 14 to June 20. The workshop is open to anyone, but would be especially interesting for both writers and photographers. The setting is ideal - quiet and stunningly beautiful, with perfect hosts and good grub. You will sleep well and be stimulated to be creative.

People have asked what I plan to do, or teach at this workshop. My work is largely about place and man's response to particular spots in the world. It is also about time and how time affects those places and communities. I tell those stories about those subjects with pictures and words. I find myself consistently fascinated by the joining of the two mediums. How words can complement a photograph through an extended caption, or a poem, or with no words at all. And how an image can inform a story with documentary fact, or an individual point of view, or surreal renderings of reality. I think about this stuff a fair amount, as sick as that may sound.

My hope for the workshop is for a healthy ongoing discussion and that participants come away with new ideas, new work, and a new appreciation of time and place. 


Spring Has Sprung


In Our Yard, PawPaw, Madison County, NC.

Spring has always been a busy time of year, but this year seems busier than normal. In addition to the usual farm chores of gardening, birthing lambs, mowing and mucking stalls, we are also involved in a major home renovation in lieu of Leslie's Mom moving in with us over the summer. There are also a number of photography projects during the time period that I hope some or all of you will choose to attend.

On May 1 at 5:30 pm, I will participate in a panel discussion at the Asheville Art Museum as part of their regular "Up for Discussion" series. Titled "Darkroom or Digital: A Panel Discussion," five photographers - myself, Ralph Burns, Steve Mann, Erin Brethauer, and Dana Moore - will look at changes in the photographic process and how each of us has chosen to cope with those changes. It should be a lively discussion. This is held in conjunction with my dear friend Ralph Burns' exhibit at the Museum, which should not be missed.

On May 8, I will be having a one-person exhibit at Flow Gallery in downtown Marshall. Flow is an artist owned and operated gallery that exhibits a wide range of exceptional art and craft from our Madison County community. My show is titled, "Madison County Past and Present: Photographs by Rob Amberg," and will include some of my oldest work from the county, as well as, some of my most recent work. I will give a brief artist's talk on the 8th beginning at 5:30.

From June 8 to June 14, I will be leading a workshop on Photography and Personal Narrative at Doe Branch Ink, a nationally known writers' retreat in Madison County. The facility is in a stunning location in Madison County and offers writers, and in this case photographers, an opportunity to reflect, concentrate and hone their skills.

And not so much an event as an opportunity to see a supersize print of one of my images, please visit the newly opened King Daddy's Chicken and Waffles at 444 Haywood Road in West Asheville. Julie and John, owners of the popular Early Girl Eatery, in downtown Asheville have chosen to grace their main wall with one of my chicken pix. The print will be 84" wide, so big I'm sending it to Vermont to be printed. We're hoping to have it hung in late May. And by the way, the food is tremendous and if you like beer with your waffles, they can accommodate you with that also.