Rob Amberg (born 1947 in Washington, D.C.) is a North Carolina photographer, folklorist, and chronicler of a small Madison County mountain community, Revere, North Carolina (also known as Sodom or Sodom Laurel), which he depicted in his long-term photo project Sodom Laurel Album. Amberg anticipated the completion of highway I-26 from Charleston, South Carolina, to the Tennessee Tri-Cities area (Bristol-Kingsport-Johnson City) and, starting in 1994, began photographing, interviewing, and collecting objects to document the cutting of a nine-mile stretch of I-26 through some of North Carolina’s most spectacular vistas and some of the world’s oldest mountains—a project which contributed to the publication of his book The New Road. His documentary photography is archived in a collection at Duke University Library.
Amberg was educated in Catholic schools and graduated from the University of Dayton in 1969. While there, he produced a slide-tape presentation which introduced him to photography as a tool for social change. After college, he was granted Conscientious Objector status to the draft and spent two and a half years in Tucson, Arizona, where he taught nursery school as his alternative service. While in Tucson, he produced his “first published photographs – a piece on street preachers in a downtown park – and had his first one-person exhibit at Spectrum Gallery.” In 2011, he began working with the American Forest Foundation, documenting the relationship between tree farmers and their land. In 2011, he gave the keynote address at the American Tree Farm Convention. In July 2012, Amberg began serving as a visiting artist at Duke University, working specifically with a Literacy Project for middle-school students in Madison County.