I’ve been a fan of Adams’ work for a long, long time, and have a couple of books of his work, but have never really seen any of the original work – so when the exhibition was announced, I knew it was something I wanted to go to.
I’m really pleased that I did go – so many of the photos in the exhibit are absolutely stunning. It sounds odd, but I was surprised by how many were actually really small. Logically I knew that they’re mainly taken on a 4″ x 5″ plate, but when you see the huge landscapes he’s taken, you always imagine them being epic in scale. And some of them are truly epic – prints 3 metres high, and absolutely stunning, including a triptych of photos that graced the foyer of an insurance company in San Francisco.
Honestly, I didn’t know some of the story of his work, of how ground-breaking and radical some of it was at the time, his influence and work on changing from the more ‘impressionist’ style of Pictorialism through to the more modern “Photorealism” and the f/64 movement (partly founded by Adams) for landscapes and so on, maximising the depth-of-field for the maximum detail throughout the frame.
It’s a stunning exhibition – there’s only a couple of prints I didn’t like, and so many that would love to have on my walls.