Yesterday, I went to see the Ansel Adams Masterworks exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art.  The Masterworks collection is one that Adams chose himself to represent his best work.  I was blown away by his photography.  The detail and striking contrast in his images is stunning.  Accompanying many of his images were quotations from Adams about taking and developing each image.  Reading his descriptions made me miss working in the darkroom.  Adams wrote about the hours he spent developing and redeveloping each photograph until it was perfect.  Today’s digital photography provides instant gratification.  In journalism, this is a huge advantage, but it also takes away the feeling of surprise and gratification you get when working in the darkroom.  I remember how exciting it was to watch your image appear on the paper. Adams’ photography reminded me of that.

One of the photos that stood out to me was Oak Tree, Snowstorm (above).  I thought this photograph was so different than Adams’ other work.  The large amount of white in this photo makes it very unique.  The snow in this photo must have made it an extremely difficult photo to take.   Another photo of Adams’ that surprised me was Trailer Camp Children (below).  I was unaware that Adams had many images of people.  The exhibit also described Adams’ work photographing the Japanese internment camps during WWII.  It was a side of Ansel Adams that I was surprise to discover.

I was so pleased with the exhibit and was thrilled that I managed to see it before it left Columbia.  If this exhibit ever comes to a town near you, I would highly recommend it.

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