A day trip to Greenwich – Ansel Adams
Today I made the trek out to Greenwich to visit the Ansel Adams exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.
Adams is my favourite, non-reportage photographer (For the record, my favourite photographer, Cecil Beaton, is known for his lavish portraits of screen stars and royalty, however, I like his World War 2 Ministry of Information reports). He is one of the fathers of Photographic Modernism – the concept that art photography needn’t follow classical painting styles and could be a representation of reality.
The exhibition is fantastic, I was lucky enough to get a tour. It starts with some prints of his ealry teenage work. Then we have a look at his early professional work (Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras), his establishment of a unique style influenced by the likes of Stieglitz, Weston and Strand, and technique (the zone system), his work in Yosemite and the National Parks, his formation of the f/64 Group and the creation of the Great American Montages. It also looked at his later life as a teacher of photography.
I learned a lot, and find his ideals match mine – he accepted that an image could be modified by adjusting contrast, dodging, burning and re-framing, but no more – he didn’t believe a photograph could be abstract – he liked experimenting with new technologies (polaroid, colour, digital) – he pre-visualised shoots – he only ever took one photo of a scene.
The bit I found unbelievable for the portrayer of the American Wilderness – he was a Sierra Club tour guide and often had large groups with him and was quite often in a car park.
Wandering round the Park
Took a nice panorama and tried out my new £4.99 camera timer, here are the results: