It may be obvious to some by now that I love to take photographs. I am by no means even a serious amateur, most of the time photography is just a support for my other work. But, getting behind the lens is a wonderful creative experience all on its own. I watched a documentary on Ansel Adams late this evening. No doubt, his images are some of the finest landscape images ever caught on film, however, it was not so much the images that struck me in the recounting of the life of this legendary artist. It was the fact that he had an emotional breakdown.
Ansel Adams went through an 18 month period of depression. He felt his life as it had been, up to the early 1930’s, was overwhelming him. He escaped to Yosemite to settle himself and in so doing, created the body of work we are so familiar with today. Essentially, he found his center, his muse. When we travel too far from that center – especially as artists, our bodies, and our spirits rebel. He had to tear away everything else to find himself again. For him – and for me for that matter – the landscape is a powerful outer reminder of who we are. Its moods and character are so often a reflection of our own, on a scale which continues to remind us how insignificant we are – and at the same time, how powerful. To ignore who we are, we do so at our peril. The art we make is the translation of the world through the lens of our Spirit.
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. ~Ansel Adams
I have replaced the top image of the blog with a photograph that I shot at Lake Superior this past summer. I completely overlooked it when I was looking for images to post for my travel journal. It had a bit of a wintry feeling and a mood that, for me, represents the mood of the great Lady herself. She was quiet that day. She visits us here, filtered through my lens and my imagination.