Friday, 29 February 2008

Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius

Yesterday I went to the Ansel Adams exhibition at Edinburgh's City Art Centre. It was like stepping into a time machine, seeing so many photos of Yosemite in California, which I had visited on a family holiday, when I was very young.

The photos in this exhibition are all in black and white which adds to the sense of travelling back in time and also seems to add to the grandeur of the scenery. The landscapes are stunning,mostly from Yosemite but also from other areas of the USA. Adams seemed always to capture moments of wonderfully beautiful light or spectacular storms, the rising moon or the eclipsed sun. The rivers almost leap out of his photos. As well as landscapes there are a lot of almost abstract photos of trees, where the texture of the bark or the shape of the branches becomes the focus of the photo. Other photos feature parts of machinery or buildings. But it is the photos of landscapes and trees that are most magnificent and also demonstrate Adams' keen interest in the environment, for which he was a tireless campaigner.

Showing with this exhibition was a small exhibition of the black and white landscape photography of Lindsay Robertson, a Scottish photographer. His photos are stunning too. I really like how he had taken photos of some of the same areas in the USA as had Adams (showing the same view from different points in time). Sometimes his photos are in reply to Adams, for instance whereas Adams had taken a photo of the Golden Gate in San Francisco before the building of the famous bridge, Robertson had taken a photo of the Sound of Sleat before the Skye Road bridge had been built. In these cases, it is interesting to go back in time to see the landscape unspoiled by the bridges, though both bridges are themselves beautiful. It was interesting too how in Robertson's exhibition photos of the USA were displayed next to photos of Scotland. Our scenery may be on a much smaller scale, but its just as spectacular in its own way.

Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius and The Landscape Photography of Lindsay Robertson
until 19 April at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Time Machine for Sunday Scribblings

30 comments:

Rob Kistner said...

Nice take... photos are quite definitely 'time windows'.

Scot said...

Robertson's work uses light much the same way--you are correct--stunning. Funny what takes us back to another time.

gingatao said...

This is what i would call perfect blogging, without any perjorative tone, the piece uses links to illustrate and the writing acts as an accurate, heartfelt, intelligent and honest introduction to the ideas and feeling in the work reviewed, it is a new genre, the writing/piece/blog acts as a connecticon outward to a world of experience,

anthonynorth said...

No better way to experience the past - at this point in time, that is :-)

Janice Thomson said...

Both photographer's works are stunning. Thanks for these links Juliet

javacurls said...

The exhibit sounds fascinating! I love how you compared the work of these two talented photographers. Wonderful take on this week's SS theme.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Gigatao - oh thanks, you always say such lovely things about my blogs,,,

Rob, yes they are aren't they? Scot thanks
Janice - glad you enjoyed
Anthony - yes you're right there!
Javacurls - thanks - i liked your entry too but couldn't comment for some reason!

susiej said...

What a nice visit for you-- and for Adams to have captured "the way it was." and probably will never be again.

Lucy said...

sounds like a great exhibition! pictures are a wonderful time machine!

Bill said...

You can't beat great black and white.

texasblu said...

I LOVE Ansel Adams' work - this is the first I've ever seen Robertson's work. Fabulous - Thank you!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Would you suspect Ansel Adams is a bit Scot as well?

UL said...

photographs takes us so many places...even trivial events return back with clarity when there's a photograph...

redness said...

Excellent take - photos, especially b & w make it all so interetsing don't they?

gautami tripathy said...

Photographs do have the ability to transport us from present to past or vice versa.

Taking us places. Thanks.

timely intervention

GreenishLady said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful. I've so often heard praise for Ansel Adams, and I loved Yosemite so much, I'm tempted to plan a jaunt to Edinburgh before the exhibition ends.

ren.kat said...

Scotland is quite beautiful. I hiked down to an old castle remains and thought the terrain was much like Norway, but gentle.

I know that makes no sense.

Robin said...

Photos are indeed a very potent time machine.

Lovely post, and I too love Ansel Adams' work.

sarala said...

I too visited Yosemite as a kid. Except I lived near enough that I visited it a number of times. I do believe it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I checked out the Robertson site. Thanks for the link. It is amazing how much one can learn by blogging.

I'm having a problem with commenting so forgive me if I have commented 4 times.

gingatao said...

Another time machine, they're everywhere all of a sudden. i wish i still had mine,

Amarettogirl said...

As a photographer I love your appreciation of the medium and I share the belief that photos are incredibly powerfuul tools in making memories indelible. My fear of forgetting causes me to never leave the house without a camera!!!

Patois said...

While I am a die-hard Adams fan -- I've long had a coffee table book of his work -- Robertson's photo is stunning. Thanks for transporting me to your neck of the woods.

Devil Mood said...

I really enjoy seeing pictures of today's places in the past. I can't believe this was like this - cows in the middle of the street, etc. :)

I've never been to Scotland but the sceneries I've seen were really breathtaking. I'm reminded of a book by Kate Atkinson that I truly loved, called Emotionally Weird. Did you read it? It was placed in Scotland.

the tongue tied muse said...

Wonderful post. I love Adams, and the time element that his pictures portray. Thanks for the introduction to a new photographer as well. I was in Scotland as a young child, which left me with little memories of my visit. I hope to return in the future to enjoy it's beauty.

paisley said...

i have always felt an akinship to black and white photography... mainly because of the mood it sets.. it doesn't catch a moment in time,, as much as it creates it... great post.

solsamba said...

Thank you for your nice comment and encouragement!

Gemma said...

Lovely post. Enjoyed your words and links to the old photographs.
:-)

Preethi said...

lovely take.. have always waned to go to Yosemite.. keep seeing the wonderful scenery on Discovery and National Geographic!!

My time capsule

missalister said...

Very nice. I’ve enjoyed Ansel Adams’ photography, so enjoyed your descriptions. The most impressive thing is just the hint of Sunday Scribblings, its use as a barely-there backdrop behind yet another informative post that stays true to your mission. Your mission is one of the most admirable and you are incredibly prolific with your posting! So much good information here that I’ve subscribed to your feed. :-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

missalister - thanks very much, I'm honoured!

Devil Mood - I haven't read that book but I love Kate Atkinson's short stories.