Art Videos at the Gallery Series

Ansel Adams pixAnsel Adams will be the next artist featured in Barn Gallery’s Art Videos at the Gallery series on Wednesday July 15 at 7:30 p,m. The Barn Gallery is located in Ogunquit at Shore Road where there is plenty of free parking and admission is free, too. Ansel Adams is probably one of the best known American photographers because of his beautiful black and white photographs of the deserts, rock formations, and canyons of the Western states.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984), photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco. When he was twelve, he taught himself to play the piano and read music. Soon he was taking lessons and embarked on an ardent pursuit of a career in music. He continued his studies of music for the next dozen or so years. His interest in photography began with the Kodak Box Brownie camera that his parents gave him for their trip to Nevada’s Yosemite Sierra and he transferred his enthusiasm to the environment and the stark beauty of the West. He spent time there every year until his death in 1984. The sale of his photographs made him realize that he probably could make a better living as a photographer than a concert pianist!

Adams’ technical mastery of the art of the photograph is legendary and he was often consulted for technical advice. His “soft expression” subjects in his early photographs developed into a much clearer, harder treatment known as “straight photography” at the encouragement of his friend, the famous photographer Paul Strand (1890-1976). He further developed this treatment when involved with an important group of photographers known as f/64 (refers to the lens opening which guarantees a sharp image.)

He became active in the Sierra Club the lobbied to create national parks and protect the environment from destructive development projects. He was often criticized for not including people in his photographs and for artificially idolizing a wilderness that no longer exists. But thanks to Adams, these pristine areas have been protected. He was also criticized for photographing rocks while the world was falling apart. His answer to this: “the understanding of the  . . . world of nature will aid inholding the world of man together.” His photographs continue to inspire artists and conservationists alike.

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