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Saturday, 03 April 2010


Thanks for reminding me that A. Adams was one of my earliest influences when I was just a wee boy of 20 or so with a Pentax S1a. I still love his elegant land- and mountain-scapes and don't look at them often enough.

Differing forms of display, to me, are one of the joys of photography. I love to see a photographer's work in different ways...prints, portfolios and books. No doubt Adams would have also embraced the web as another way to organize and show his work.

Paul Strand is one of my favorites, and I was fortunate to collect his work in different forms before it became cost prohibitive for me to do so. While I can see the same image in different forms, the viewing experience is totally different: in size; in texture and touch; and in meaning when shown in context with other images.

I recently saw some of Strand's large abstract prints at a local museum, displayed in the context of other photographs and paintings by various artists influenced by Cezanne. That lent another perspective to his work. (When I realized one of the prints was owned by the museum, I contacted the curator to see if I could get a private viewing of other works. She was delighted to do so. I highly recommend this approach to others as a means to view important works otherwise unobtainable, and not on public display.)

As for my own work, well, that's another story. While the print has always been my end product, I'm now struggling to consider other options regarding display, for fun and/or sale. So, Mike, your comments today are particularly timely and relevant on a personal level.

Still no Kindle version, I see. Harumph. Tsk.

(That's a joke, son. A Joke.)

The paperback (2008 second printing) is the only Adams monograph I own (not counting the technical books).

Yes, a very interesting book. I think "Examples" is more interesting in some ways, especially as a portrait of the artist at work, but when I was at the bookstore to buy myself a copy, I discovered "The Portfolios". Leafing through, I got the impression that these sets were personal labors of love and Adams' way of putting his best foot forward; this in a largish (9 x 10.5 inches), nicely printed format at a bargain price. Plus, I'd already read "Examples". So I bought "The Portfolios" instead.

OK, the cover is too thin and feels frail, but I don't see anything else to complain about. It makes a fine only Adams book (so far) in a library. I feel it's an excellent and particularly personal introduction to Adams' work. And for those who already appreciate Adams but have jaded on the iconic landscapes, there are many pleasant surprises.

I bought this book a few years ago, I was totally disappointed with it and since then I´ve always thought he was totally overrated in my very modest uneducated opinion. So after reading the comments I´m going to give it another try tonight! Same thing with Edward Weston, always loved his most famous images, I own most of his books but just never felt anything special about his other images. I always prefered Brett Weston, then last year the local museum had a photography exposition on Frida Kahlo portraits made by quite a few iconic photographers. There must have been about 40 different images, but there was one which stood out above all the others and that was a 5x7 contact print by Edward Weston. It was the most utterly amazing print I´ve ever seen in my life. Everyday during the 2 months the show was on I would head down to the museum after lunch and after work in the evening before heading home. It was so haunting and expressive I would just stand transfixed by it, I´ve seen the image on the web a few times since and it is another great example of how one must see a real print to really grasp the power of photography and how when its done properly it has nothing to envy a painting. Paul

Re: forms to work in, consider B.S., M.S., and PhD...otherwise known as bullsh*t, moresh*t, and piled higher and deeper. (Obviously intended to be humorous, not to cast aspersions on those with degrees, myself included, but I know where I stand in that pile).

I always remember the first time I saw his prints in person. The Philadelphia Museum of Art had an exhibit, which actually didn't have any of his iconic shots but the prints still took your breath away. Then a few years later I saw Moonrise in DC which was if anything even more inspiring. I like the books but I really think to appreciate Ansel Adams you need to see his prints.

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