Ansel Adams at the National Maritime Museum, UK
Thought I'd share. An opportunity I'm certainly not going to miss.
It's on for a good while too.
Yes, I went this week. A rare opportunity in Britain to see Adams' own prints he made at the time, most of which have been lent by institutions in the USA. Its a must if you print your own photos, or love landscape photography. Seeing the quality of the real print was fantastic, and a huge difference to calendar reproductions! There is also some filmed extracts of Adams talking about his work too.
And while you're in London, the Klein/Moriyama exhibition at the Tate Modern is un-missable too.
Thanks. Didn't think whether or not they were original prints actually, good to hear. Hope to go down in the new year sometime.
Originally Posted by osprey48
yes, they are all originals bar one, (a special old neg that his family won't allow out of the house) although some of them were printed at a later date, some time after the photo was taken.
I went to see this exhibition and I was blown away. I had seen many of his prints in books and calendars and couldn't really appreciate what he was all about. It's when you stand in front of an Ansel Adams and put your nose up against the photo that you see just how good he was. I was severely humbled and in awe of his work. I remain convinced that he was in fact a master painter and an expert with an airbrush. I just don't see how it's possible that a human can do that with paper, silver and light.
The shades and tones that he was able to print blew me away.
There was a discussion going on here recently about what focus is and people were saying that an Adams print is boring as everything is in focus. I retract what I said in that thread. You need to see an Adams print to appreciate how beautiful and impressive sharpness can be.
If you have the opportunity to see the exhibition, go.
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AA's prints are really pretty fuzzy compared to today's large-format standards. This becomes quite
apparent when you see his images four or six feet wide - that's why he recommended making prints on that scale lower-contrast on non-glossy paper! We've got way better cameras, film, and lenses to choose from, plus our own bag of tricks added to those he taught. But anything looks crisp compared to the average inkjet smear that is so popular nowadays. He had assistants retouch his prints. I felt
sorry for the dude I saw trying to spot out the silhouette of a mosquito which was resting on the film
during the exposure of a famous Denali scene - right in the sky area. It looked like a big helicopter! But
yes, seeing the real prints and all the subtle poetry in them is different from looking at a book or postcard, and extremely different from looking at the kind of web smudges that pass for photography