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Photographer's Note

As a photographer Ansel Adams saw the natural world simultaneously as itself and as an art object. The realized perfection of many of his images derives from an abstract tendency working itself out in the dimensions of a large, vibrant terrain. This is a very different matter from the mild geometry of brick and shadow or the interminable search for "texture." In his best photographs, landscape and season, earth and light, are revealed in a grand mutuality - a moment so precisely visualized in tone and composition as to be mathematical, and yet so revelatory of earthly beauty as to be something else entirely. - John Rosenthal -

When I look at photographs by Ansel Adams, I sometimes find myself wondering if Adams is celebrating the natural beauty of creation or simply the beauty preserved in our great national wilderness parks. Are his photographs about life or about zoning laws? Of course one might accuse me of asking dreary questions - but I don't think so. The act of cropping a photograph, which is a fundamental act of photography, is at heart a moral decision. In our landscapes, have we cropped out the tourists and the garbage in order to suggest 19th century America (which is to say, nostalgia), or have we cropped out what is truly irrelevant to our intentions as an artist? What photographers leave out is just as important as what they leave in. - John Rosenthal -

The point is that good photographs frequently respect the world-as-landscape. And this is no small matter, particularly in the so-called postmodernist period where urban consciousness generally rules against landscape as a foreign territory and against respect as a mode of perception too short on irony. The loss is, regrettably, large, as it always is whenever the concrete loses ground to the abstract. The subject of a photograph shifts from the bright landscape of the real world to a murky "inner" landscape, and what once determined the worth of an image - the elusive and compelling and almost measurable tension between the thing itself and its shape as metaphor - gives way to the indefinite process of a psychology claiming whatever it wants. - John Rosenthal -


When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

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Additional Photos by Georgios Topas (TopGeo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4033 W: 93 N: 8299] (38220)
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