Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How the seemingly ordinary can be extraordinary

Robert Adams, an American photographer, is the latest winner of the Hasselblad Award. Here's a story and some of his pictures on NPR. Adams photographed the "New West" as it was described in the 1970's when suburban sprawl started to become a dominant theme in previously sweeping landscapes and gas station signs began to compete with cactus. His images are a mixture of man made and mother nature's adornment to the landscape.
The award is from the Hasselblad Foundation,based in Sweden and a collection of his works will be on exhibit there this summer. Previous American winners include Ansel Adams, Richard Aveden, and Cindy Sherman.
Hasselblad's fame is in producing high quality medium format cameras that are a favorite of nature photographers, including Ansel Adams. Medium format negatives are 600 cm wide (compared to the 33 mm film size familiar to most). Advantages are images with great detail and little noise, but the cameras (and film if non-digital) are very expensive.

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