When living in Greenwich it’s surprisingly easy to neglect the big tourist destinations in favour of the myraid of fantastic smaller local venues, but every so often a major exhibition or event comes to Greenwich that it’d be a shame to miss.
Having said that, I’m embarassed to say that it’s taken me nearly 4 months to get round to seeing Ansel Adams at the National Maritime Museum - shocking behaviour! The £7 ticket price is certainly reasonable, so I have no excuse (unlike the rather extortionate fee needed to look around the Cutty Sark…).
I’ve not seen any of his work before and it was a really comprehensive collection so I definitely have a better feel for Adams’s work. I think what I really took away from the exhibition though (apart from being inspired to do more with my own under-used camera) was how we forget that photography is such a recent art form.
What makes his work impressive now is not the subject matter (anyone with access to such breathtaking views and modern technology can produce impressive images) but that many of his images were taken on the earliest commonly available camera - a box brownie, that he had learned to use at a really young age.
I weas struck by a couple of huge prints hanging on the wall, produced by Ansel Adams for a bank. This wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary nowadays with modern printing techniques, but Adams pioneered this form, by projecting onto the largest sheets of printing paper available and placing them together.
With the abundance of incredible ways we can now capture the world around us, we forget that in the past this took great skill and determination, rather than simply snapping on a cameraphone and applying a filter. It’s Ansel Adams’ dedication and passion for the art form that really comes through in the exhibition and I would definitely recommend going to experience that yourself.