Monday, November 2, 2009

Shades of Ansel Adams: Gregory Hunter @ Reflective Image Gallery

The devotees of Ansel Adams are legion--and not just among those of us who own coffee table books or poster versions of his legendary photos of Yosemite.

They include many who emulate him in their own work as well, and the latest example of this at the Reflective Image Gallery is Gregory Hunter.

Barraged by images on the web, mostly produced by pocket digital cameras costing less than $200 and shot as quickly as possible, many people have lost the patience to absorb photographs, to study their detail, and to appreciate the powerful impact of compositions in black and white.
Similarly, few understand that far more time and effort goes into creating them than one could possibly imagine: scouting locations, selecting the right time of day, struggling with the elements.
And then...even after capturing images on film, the laborious process of printing an enlargement, coaxing the right amount of exposure on photographic paper, and engaging in a process of trial and error that consumes both time and materials, until perfection is achieved (or nearly) in the final print.

Gregory Hunter's images of Yosemite, Death Valley, Orange County seashore and other natural locations often produce puzzled first impressions--like abstract paintings or Rorschach blots. Upon further examination, the subject matter is clear; but whether reality appears slowly or in an instant, there is no doubt that its content is artistic.

The exhibition ends November 29th, and the gallery is open Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Admission is free and parking in front is ample and free.

Incidentally, an exhibition earlier this year featured another photographer inspired by Ansel Adams: Steve Dixon. But Reflective Image Gallery director Ludo Leideritz told me that the December exhibition is a juried show that will reflect a high degree of variety, and that two other upcoming exhibitions are also more eclectic in their subject matter--one depicts post-war Japan and the other contemporary Guatemala--and color photography joins the mix as well.

No comments: