I finally got to see this magnificent exhibition celebrating Ansel Adams this past week. It ends this weekend (28 April), so if you are in the UK and want something to do this weekend, do not miss this. The venue is the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.
No photography allowed in the exhibition of course, but some big banners promoting it, and they are the accompaniment for today’s Post.
The breadth of this exhibition (over 100 images on display) is huge as implied by the title: ‘Photography from the Mountains to the Sea’. In fact, bearing in mind that this is essentially an exhibition about water in all its forms perhaps we might be forgiven for suggesting that it starts not with mountains but with clouds. Clouds feature strongly.
On show are a few of Ansel’s iconic images that are used on the banners to advertise the exhibition. You see those classics in today’s images.
But there is so much more: Snow and Ice in Yosemite, Waterfalls in full thunder, Geysers from Yellowstone, Quiet lakes and Rivers in spate, Surf, Waves, Ocean. Every aspect and form of water is on show here. Much of it may be new to you, all of it is inspiring.
Images on show span his life from tiny sepia ones shot with his Box Brownie, when he was barely into his teens, to those Icons that cemented his reputation for ever as a master of the American landscape in all its majestic beauty.
One comes away from an experience like this feeling invigorated and yet at the same time with a feeling of inadequacy that one’s own work falls so far short.
Perhaps there is a small clue to his skill in one of his quotes: ‘Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst’. We never stop learning.