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The photographer Ansel Adams hated

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by svenkarma, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans

    ... In a roll call of the pioneers of modern photography, one name is never invoked. From the late 1920s to the 1950s, William Mortensen was one of the most famous and celebrated photographers in America. However, his subject matter – which veered towards the savage, indecorous, gothic and grotesque – as well as his use of montage and illustration, made him a pariah among the puritanical new guard in photography, led by Ansel Adams, who tried to write him out of history.

    For decades, Mortensen’s work and ideas were kept alive by a small coterie of adherents. Only in recent years has he been recognised as a unique and innovative visual stylist, leading to the publication this month of American Grotesque, the first major survey of Mortensen’s work and career, which will be marked by retrospectives in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. ...

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    • Like Like x 13
  2. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2013
    This is really old old news ...
  3. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Pardon my ignorance. I'll overlook your charmlessness.
  4. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2013
  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Imagine what he would have done with Photoshop. I'd heard of Mortensen but didn't know much, so I learned something.
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    And yet plenty of folk, like me, are not as up to date as you, so find such posts educational.
  7. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks for sharing, I'd never heard of Mortensen
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Never heard of him ... until now.
  9. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It's only 'old' news if you've already heard it!
  10. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I like what I've seen so far, and to be honest, I'm not that big a fan of Ansel Adams. I mean, it's pretty, and all, and he DID bring a new vision to landscape photography, BUT. . .
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'd never heard of him either and looking at his stuff on Google he did some pretty unique stuff, a lot of it very interesting indeed. The very least that this shows is that Adams was somewhat of a prude.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I think the time is right for a re-appreciation of Pictorialism, and I must admit, I love it. I myself prefer the broody atmospheres of early Edward Steichen and the smoothly used romanticism of Alfred Stieglitz (slightly more smoothly and naturalistic then William Mortensen). But I love Mortensen's wild fantasies, and I am pretty sure he would have loved the possibilities Photoshop offers for 'building' an picture.

    The funny thing is how the present is mimicking those days. Back in the early 20th century, photographers were getting annoyed with the popularisation of photography, with the Kodak box camera and the 'You Press the Button, We Do the Rest' roll film. Photographers were not to happy about more and more people taking their own pictures and started to look for ways to differentiate themselves from the clicking masses. The result was more artistic, more emotional and moody work.
    The complaints from photographers in those days can be heard again since the rise of digital. Digital has reached the point where a good, shapr picture is very easy to make, anyone can do it. I think the camera-phone has pretty much the same impact the Kodak box once had.

    So delve into your dreams and break out the digital Vaseline, its time to picture the inner world again!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Mu-43 Regular

    Not a name i have heard before, thanks for the heads-up.

    I remember reading that Ansel Adams had said the minimum shutter speed for sharp photo`s was 5 x the lenses focal length, so make of that what you will.

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