Ansel Adams “Eloquent Light” at Reynolda Illuminates Adults & Teens Alike

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Note: Although this post is sponsored, all opinions and observations are my own.

What: Ansel Adams “Eloquent Light” Exhibit
Where: Reynolda House of American Art, Winston-Salem, NC
When: through July 17, 2016
Tickets: Purchase online

Our visit to Reynolda to view the Ansel Adams “Eloquent Light” Exhibit is part of my family’s year of experiences. We are already off to an excellent start and our trip to Reynolda to view a special exhibit of Ansel Adam’s photography was a welcomed experience as we wrap up March.

Ansel Adam’s “Eloquent Light” Exhibit

The exhibit was amazing, even our teenage daughter and her friend were sufficiently occupied for the better part of hour viewing the forty photographs in the exhibit. We learned theses photographs have never been on view together, and that Reynolda House is the exhibition’s only venue. This was a special exhibit.

We appreciated that the photographs were arranged chronologically and we found the larger prints quite stunning. The movie in the center was fascinating showing Adams processing prints and his techniques for dodging and burning to bring more dimension to the finished print.

I was surprised to learn (among many things) that Adams intentionally set his print prices to be accessible to a larger audience. This drew sharp criticisms from fellow artists. It was also interesting to learn how much of the natural elements Adams endured to capture his images. From mosquitos to rain and mountainous terrain Adams overcame much to present us with his stunning photographs.

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My History with Ansel Adams

Back in the 90’s some of Adams prints were exhibited while I was attending Valencia Community College (now Valencia College). The exhibit was of perhaps 12 prints. Much, much smaller than the exhibit at Reynolda. Back then, I was taken by the detail, depth of field, composition and the pureness of the black in his photographs.

Experimenting with “Previzualizing” Photography

Before we even arrived at the museum, I was thinking of trying a new way to present our family in connection with the exhibit title wall. As we drove, I got a spark of an idea and discussed it with my family and our daughter’s friend who graciously agreed to be the volunteer photographer.

Touring the exhibit we learned about Adams ability to previsualize the finished shot. In a more modest way, I had previsualized the shot that appears at the top of this post. But, we actually took two shots.

In this shot I used photography and the many new ways of taking a photograph to show a connection to the “Eloquent Light” photography exhibit. My daughter graciously improvised a selfie shot with some embellishments that she tells me are a nod to last years posing. My wife and I take a more traditional approach to a pose but, we are using a cellphone. This is in contrast to Adams “browine” or, other large format camera.
Some adjustments were made from the original to improve color, and rotate to make the image a little more level in appearance.

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Ansel Adams Eloquent Light at Reynolda Illuminates Adults & Teens
My previsualized family shot in front of the title wall to the Ansel Adam’s “Eloquent Light” exhibit.

As a precaution we took another, more traditional photo seen below.

The "safety" shot of my family in front of the title wall.
The “safety” shot of my family in front of the title wall.

Some Notes on the Exhibit’s Marketing

Eloquent Light brochure and t-shirt
“Eloquent Light” brochure and t-shirt by Device
Eloquent Light title wall
“Eloquent Light” title wall
Photo by N.A.
Photo by N.A.

The impact of the exhibit from a marketing perspective was not lost on me (or, my wife). In fact, when we purchased my souvenir t-shirt my wife commented about how well done the t-shirt was. I was struck by the design of the t-shirt and water bottle along with the integration of the exhibit brochure and the main title wall. But, wouldn’t you expect that observation from someone who majored in marketing? In an interesting (and helpful) PR move, Reynolda presents the backstory of the brand in a blogpost with credit to their partner Device. This is a brilliant way of bring the story from behind the scenes and sharing it with Reynolda’s fans and benefactors.

“Eloquent Light” is on exhibit through July 17, 2016 at Reynolda House of American Art in Winston – Salem.

Have you seen Ansel Adams prints in person? What do you think of his photography? Let me know in the comments below.

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