Adam Bell’s photographic work focuses primarily on the evidence of humanity. It’s more conceptual than visually stunning, more thought-provoking than awe-inspiring. Certainly, they’re more interesting with a story behind them. Vacation Properties and Night Houses are two eerie photo series focusing on homes in the dark. Vacation Properties catalogues the modest vacation homes near Bell’s home in New Jersey, photographed silent and empty in the late autumn. The photos were taken in the dead of night, on black and white film, silent pale specters washed out by the force of the camera flash. (During the making of this series, Bell repeatedly got the cops called on him by concerned neighbors who noticed the lone figure on the nearly-empty streets taking pictures of the empty houses like the world’s least stealthy potential burglar.)
Night Houses has a similar theme, appearing at first as a series of black empty photographs until one gets closer and notices the faintly brighter area behind the houses, revealing the majority of the image as the dark silhouette of houses only noticeable against the slightly lighter darkness of the night sky. The series has a quiet, contemplative feel to it, almost eerie.
Hollow Earth is all about caves, specifically commercial caves, but not the parts that show up on the brochures. The series focuses on the layers of soot-graffiti on the cave ceilings, the plywood-blocked openings, the metal handrails attached directly to the living rock–silent evidence of the humanity changing the landscape around them.
He also does a significant amount of writing, both as a means of a living and as a way to stay connected. He writes a lot of reviews and has co authored two books.