Exhibit of bad Ansel Adams photos of L.A.

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by 2F/2F, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    http://www.drkrm.com/ansel_adams.html

    ''In the early 1960s Adams rediscovered the photographs among papers at his home in Carmel and donated them to the Los Angeles Public Library. He wrote in a letter: 'The weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good... I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value... At any event, I do not want them back.' But as many critics will agree, sometimes an artist is not always the best judge of their own work."
     
  2. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    There was an episode of one of the Huell Howser shows on KCET (the LA public television station) a few years back where he visited the Central Library and got the story of the AA pictures. I found it interesting, not so much for the images themselves, but for the insight into Adams' life at the time including his need to make money and how any of us may well excel at certain types of photography and be nothing special in others. Adams clearly knew the actual artistic value of the work, but also saw where someone else could see them as a valuable part of the narrative of Los Angeles of the time they were made.

    Huell had his usual assortment if "Woooww"'s and expressions of amazement at holding an actual negative Adams had made.
    Adams has become so sanctified, which I don't consider a bad thing for photography, but many folks don't realize that not everything he did was wonderful. We know only the photos he wanted seen, and the other thousands remained in his files, where they are of interest mainly to students and historians. To me, one of the laughable things about the Norsigian pictures was that even if they had been authentic, there were many thousands more "lost" photographs in his archive at the University of Arizona.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2011
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Wow, from the preview photos, it looks like he was drinking while shooting.
     
  4. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Heresy... There are no bad Ansel Adams photographs... You know that... Everyone knows that...

    That's why his first name isn't Mister, it's Saint...

    :tongue:

    Ken
     
  5. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Robert Frank found such sanctification distasteful. Apparently he once took a stack of his "The Americans" prints and drove a nail through them as an act of rebellion. This might have been after he moved to Nova Scotia. His work had changed a lot by then.

    s-a
     
  6. MDR

    MDR Member

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    It has to be said I prefer his bad pictures to most of his good pictures. In his bad picture I see emotions from the photographer whereas his good photos lack emotion and are mostly cold analytical representations (sometimes visual stunning ones).

    Dominik
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think they're great. It's just a different subject matter than his usual shots of Yosemite. Some of the shots remind me of Gary Winogrand's shots of suburbia.
     
  8. ROL

    ROL Member

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    FYI: This exhibit is part of the So-Cal region–wide Pacific Standard Time art series, parts of which are well worthwhile.

    Huell's wide open Okie "gollllly" attitude is probably one reason he is so beloved, at least enigmatically in certain circles, locally. I can't even imagine there isn't at least one college drinking game based on his prolific public TV presence. And then there are the times that have us rolling over laughing at his exclamations, "It's deeep and dark in here..." :wink:
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    and drinking bad moonshine at that. it must've made him temporarily blind.