Posts Tagged ‘Kodak’

One of the things I am looking forward to next week when I head to California for the opening of my show at the Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo is the couple of days beforehand that we will spend in Yosemite National Park.  I have never been there but know well the iconic images of its beauty from the photography of the great Ansel Adams.  While he is known for many photos of other locales, his images of the Yosemite Valley have come to be most closely associated with his name.

Adams (1902- 1984) first encountered Yosemite as a teen on a family excursion  on which he carried his first camera , a Kodak Brownie.  He was smittten by the spectacular landscape and the light as it filtered through the valley.  He would  return  over and over through the coming years, his prowess as a photographer growing.  He eventually married a local Yosemite girl, Virginia Best, whose father ran  Best’s Studio there.  She inherited the studio in 1935 and she and Adams ran it until 1971.  It is now called the Ansel Adams Gallery , where his work and the photos of  other great contemporary photographers are shown and sold.  The gallery  is still in the hands of the Adams family.

I’ve always loved his images of the grandeur of the Yosemite Valley and have formed my own idealized version of how the place might be in my mind through them.  I am hoping that reality lives up to expectations that have grown over many years.  I f any place can do this, I believe it might be Yosemite.

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There’s an exhibition currently hanging at  one of my favorite museums, the  extremely comfortable Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, called Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard.  It bascially shows how the advent of personal photography in the late 1800’s, with the invention of the Kodak handheld camera, changed how many artists worked.  The camera allowed artists to capture moments without their easel as well as permitted them to ponder an image long after the moment had passed.  This exhibit focuses mainly on the effect fo the camera on the Post-Impressionists, such as George Hendrik Breitner, whose photo of a girl in a kimono and the resulting painting is shown here.

I have seldom used photos as a pure reference source but, as this blog will attest, have been influenced by many of the photographed images I have come across through the years.  I think this exhibit would be a wonderful insight into how the photographed image is used to translate the artistic vision.   It runs at the Phillips until May 6 of this year

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