Gallery of Fine Art Photography - Atlanta GA


Ansel Adams – Extract Over Abstract

A Blend of Philosophy and Technique to Create Majestic Photographs

Meticulous. Premeditated. Studious. Considered. Designed. Projected. Predetermined. All synonyms for the word deliberate. Ansel Adams just might have been the most deliberate photographer to traverse the American West. Adams crafted his exacting approach to photography by employing both technical and philosophical processes.READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

In terms of technique, Adams literally wrote the book. In the late 1930’s working with Fred Archer they invented the zone system. His heralded prints were the culmination of this film exposure and development system combined with his darkroom wizardry. Adams shooting credo included the ideas of previsualization and extraction.
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

The zone system is a process where the photographer understands and controls every tone, from black to middle grey to white to their best advantage, based on a numbered system of 0 to 10. The artist decides what tonality they want to assign to a specific part of the scene. This gives the photographer the freedom to interpret what is before them, rather than merely plugging settings into a camera based on what a light meter alone says.
Though the Sierra Club and other organizations (as well as the photographer himself) used his majestic images to promote conservation and protection of the wilderness, Adams did not consider himself a documentarian of nature. That category is too narrow to encompass all the ideas and skills Adams brought to the medium.
He extracted photographs from what he saw as an act of creation, not an act of recording. “When I’m ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I’m interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without,” Adams said.
Monolith Face of Half Dome, 1927

Monolith Face of Half Dome, 1927

When a viewer suggested that one of Adams’s photographs looked abstract, Adams corrected him. “I prefer the term extract over abstract, since I cannot change the optical realities but only manage them.” This distinction is important and ties in with Adams’ idea of previsualization. Adams always imagined how the final print would be created while he was still out shooting.
In the opening lecture for Ansel Adams: Before & After, at the Booth Museum, Michael Adams, Ansel’s son, projected an un-manipulated image (Monolith Face of Half Dome, 1927), by his father and the same image after Ansel has worked his zone system magic. The difference was astounding. Not so much because it proved Adams’ technical prowess, but because viewers could see that Adams was able to imagine something completely unique in that scene that most people would miss.
This approach is more significant than it may appear to 21st century eyes – Adams’ approach was a break from the past. Early landscape photographers such as William Henry Jackson are referred to as “survey” photographers, because that is exactly what they were doing, making a document of the land, often for the US government on official expeditions.
Afternoon Thunderstorm, Garnet Lake, 2010

Afternoon Thunderstorm, Garnet Lake, 2010

National Geographic photographer Peter Essick, who has photographed extensively in the High Sierras, now called the Ansel Adams Wilderness, puts this shift in perspective. “That was Adams’ huge leap forward in landscape photography. Back in his day the equipment was so heavy and cumbersome that most photographers just did survey photography. They weren’t thinking of it as personal expression or art, they were simply documenting. Adams, though, captured just a section of a landscape. He used to say that nature is made up of shapes, and the artist’s job is to make form out of them. The way you do that is by including your own emotional response as a photographer. He revolutionized nature photography by bringing in the feeling of the extract.”
Some critics have suggested that Adams’ impact remains so pervasive that modern day visitors to Yosemite experience this large and diverse national park through the prism of Adams’ photographs – an extraction of enormous proportion.
This is the forth article in a series of four providing a Deeper Look at the work of Ansel Adams.

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3 hours ago

John Gutmann was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) on this day in 1905, the son of prosperous Jewish parents. Showing early artistic talent, he studied at Breslau’s University and the Academy of Arts and Crafts, a student of leading Expressionist artist Otto Mueller. Following his graduation, he moved to Berlin to pursue his painting career while also teaching art. In 1933, as the Nazi regime consolidated its power, it issued the Professional Services Restoration Act, denying employment to “Non-Aryans.” Gutmann formulated a plan to leave Germany permanently. With minimal photographic experience, he secured a contract with Press-Photo in Berlin and charted a course as a foreign correspondent based in San Francisco, California. Traveling on a Norwegian freighter from Rotterdam via the Panama Canal, Gutmann arrived in San Francisco on January 1, 1934 to begin his new life.

Quickly mastering the technical requirements of the medium, Gutmann’s early artistic training is clearly evident in his photographs. The images shown here are from this dynamic period in his career, exploring America’s culture. There were subjects that would continue to catch his eye on a recurring basis including automobiles and American “car culture,” Depression era protests, and street portraits. His documentation of signage in the landscape and the written word in the street, was perhaps driven by his personal need to acclimate to a new language and culture.

A quote from Gutmann from a 1989 San Francisco Examiner profile states: “I photographed the popular culture of the United States differently from American photographers. I saw the enormous vitality of the country. I didn’t see it as suffering. The urban photographers here took pictures that showed the negative side of the Depression, but my pictures show the almost bizarre, exotic qualities of the country… I was seeing America with an outsider’s eyes - the automobiles, the speed, the freedom, the graffiti…” — John Gutmann, 1989.

A major exh#lumieregallery #johngutmannK#johngutmannphotographyt#bremanmuseumu#cultureshockwn Atlanta.

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2 days ago

Born Dorothea Nutzhorn in Hoboken, New Jersey on May 26, 1895, she was the daughter of Joan Lange and Henry Nutzhorn. Dorothea developed polio in 1902, at age 7. Like many other polio victims before treatment was available, she emerged with a weakened right leg, and a permanent limp. When she was 12 years old, her father abandoned her and her mother, leading her to drop her middle and last names and adopt her mother’s maiden name.

Lange was educated in photography in New York City, in a class taught by Clarence H. White. She was informally apprenticed to several New York photography studios, including that of the famed Arnold Genthe. In 1918, she moved to San Francisco, and by the following year she had opened a successful portrait studio. She lived across the bay in Berkeley for the rest of her life. In 1920, she married the noted western painter Maynard Dixon, with whom she had two sons.

With the onset of the Great Depression, Lange turned her camera lens from the studio to the street. Her studies of unemployed and homeless people captured the attention of local photographers and led to her employment with the federal Resettlement Administration (RA), later called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). In December 1935, she divorced Dixon and married agricultural economist Paul Schuster Taylor, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Together they documented rural poverty and the exploitation of sharecroppers and migrant laborers for the next five years. From 1935 to 1939, Lange’s work for the RA and FSA brought the plight of the poor and forgotten to public attention. Distributed free to newspapers across the country, her poignant images became icons of the era. After Lange left government employment, she photographed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, in an attempt to bring their plight to public opinion. At the end of her life, Lange traveled throughout Asia and Europe photographing the people and cultures she en#lumieregallerym#dorothealangeo#blackandwhitephotographye#borntodayy#FSAr#fsaphotographyaphotography
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I treasure my original print of Migrant Mother.

One of my all time favorite photographers!

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4 days ago

Continuing the celebration of National Photography Month - Today presenting 8 images focused on Street Photography that features SIGNAGE - written words within the landscape.

Often these images are a complex mix of culture, environment and advertising - amplified by the viewpoint and perspective of the photographer.

Photographers featured in order of appearance: John Gutmann, Berenice Abbott, Rondal Partridge, Peter Sekaer, Arnold Newman, Ruth-Marion Baruch, Alexander Rodchenko, Richard Pare and Al Weber.

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