Ansel Adams

Ansel

I had known this show was going on since early in June. One evening  I even tried to make it to the gallery but  the Friday night traffic from Dallas to Fort Worth is a hopeless mission  so I sat with my friends at Craighead Green Gallery and drank wine and celebrated the beautiful creations they have hanging on their walls. It was a lovely Artist’s Date as recommended in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which was referred to me by Thom Jackson who happens to be a contributor to the gallery. A virtuous circle of sorts.  I love when things seem completely and utterly connected.

This Saturday morning, after a particularly dogged week in which my head, heart and hands were dedicated to all things work and friends and not to any of my creative pursuits, CF suggested a Sunday outing to see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art.

While long an admirer, I wasn’t a student of his work. I knew of him and his importance, had seen photographs of his, but never an exhibit. I was excited as we set off Sunday afternoon.

For the last year I have dabbled in film. I don’t know why exactly, but I believe understanding film photography and how it works will help me be a better digital photographer. I have never been in a darkroom and experienced  that fantastical moment where your image emerges from the paper. I hope in the coming year to realize that and to connect to the smells and touch of a dark room. Having tried so hard to hit the clarity of the image, I was completely gobsmacked to see the light and shadow existing in Adam’s photographs.

Siesta Lake.

UnknownThis was my favorite.  The reflection of the trees on the water captured my breath as we moved with the crowd through the exhibit. I lingered over the photograph with a not unexpected mix of envy and admiration. It was simply beautiful.

 

 

 

.Sand Dunes

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As we made our way, I came across a photo so different from those of the Sierras… the sand dunes. The strength of the line of the dune was inspiring – even more so by the brilliance of the composition

 

 

 

I favored the photos with the greatest simplicity. Mr. Adams is renown for his amazing naturalist images of verdant forests and commanding mountains. I loved the quiet simplicity of the fern, the light from a building or the waves on the sand. It seemed he could shoot anything with a clarity to which I aspire. Reading of him, and subsequently watching a movie in which he regaled the stories of his photographic excursions made me truly understand the artist. Brilliant. Committed.  I hunger to know more.

Penitente Morada
images
I revered him after the visit.. I am inspired and engaged to be better – to aspire to a talent equal in measure to the bar he set just from the example he set.

 

 

 

I am thankful to the Arlington Museum of Art for bringing this treasure to me. Frankly though, I felt as if you were seeing artistry displayed in a gymnasium. The character and quality of the installation not worthy of the man. or the photo.  The lighting poor, the information incomplete (I would have loved to know more of how he shot the photo – camera, stop….etc.). But I loved every minute of my time  and would recommend to everyone to see it before it closes this weekend.

A few of my favorites are here – pulled from the web where photography is nearly too accessible. When one realizes the artistry that went into each photograph by his hand, one cannot believe that Nature and talent are not inspired by the divine.

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