Visit to the National Maritime Museum- Ansel Adams
I had a day off work today so I decided that I would visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. I had read in the Daily Telegraph on the 6th Nov 2012, that they were having an exhibition of his images. The cutting had been stuck to the computer for a month so it was time to go.
Although he was known more for his landscapes it would still be worth a visit, especially as landscapes are part of the second year syllabus.
Mr Adams died in 1984, aged 82, as you can see in the image on him below he was rather a dapper chap.
Shooting mainly in black and white he is best known for his landscape images many including mountains and rivers. He documented his many visits to the nation parks of America.
After a train and tube ride I arrived in Greenwich. I was told that there were over a 100 of his pictures ranging in size and subject. I had previously seen a number of his images on-line and noted that as well as landscapes he did take a large number of portraits.
I was chatting to a fellow visitor who told me to look at this image when I got home:-
She told me that the image was called Moonrise it was taken from the side of the road. It is one of his most popular images but it’s the way that the image was taken that would interest me. I looked at the image later and yes it is very impressive. You could imagine a landscape photographer doing some research as to the location, arriving early to prepare equipment, setting up a tripod and taking the shot. In this particular case, it seemed that it was rather a race against time, with the image taken with seconds to spare.
This is another of his images , the reflection is just perfect. These are the type of images that he is really well-known for.
Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters……
I had a great time at the gallery and after getting home I looked at more of his images.
This image, and the story behind it really interested me:-
After the attack on Pearl Harbour many Japanese people, including those who were born in the USA were taken to camps as they were thought to be a security threat. The conditions in the camps were very poor. Mr Adams wanted to highlight their plight and took a series of images for the public to see how bad the conditions were.
His book “Born Free and Equal” was published but , interestingly, it seemed to have the opposite effect, pictures of happy smiling people, as above , did not really show the conditions in a true light. This did nothing to help the Japanese prisoners reintegrate after the war. Maybe if people saw the true conditions that these, fellow Americans, had to endure they would have received a bit more help.
An interesting thought to consider as you look through the lens.