The natural landscape is full of rhythm. It is in the ripples of sand dunes, waves and cirrus clouds or the modulation of a receding mountain ridge. The quest of the nobel photographer is to articulate that pervasive rhythm into an intelligible Form, to give it an edge. The same could be said of musicians who take singular notes and order them into a harmonious composition. Ansel Adams himself made allegorical connections between the worlds of photography and music. Specifically, he made the comparison that the print was analogous to the performance of a composer’s score, that aesthetic decisions about tonality, contrast and cropping via the negative would act to impress a more captivating and emotional quality in one’s photographs. And if the photographer is aiming to relate their finished work in such a fashion, isn't it of value for the audience to respond in kind?
To say that landscape photographs exhibit a synesthetic potential may be a bit hyperbolic. But at the same time, when viewing a photograph, it is hard not to hear a corresponding soundtrack that is a response to the modulation of tone, color and detail of the image in front of you. Like Ansel Adams, photographer Charles Cramer was originally trained as a classical pianist. With his background in music, Mr. Cramer has further emphasized the correlation between the two art forms, relating that a negative or a piece of music played ‘straight’ can give it a ‘dull’ rhythm. Instead, the artist needs to emphasize the core emotion (or intent) and deemphasize the busy accompaniment to develop a refined edge — or melody — to the specific performance. Perhaps this is telling about the potential musical properties of the visual image, and why nothing about Charlie’s imagery registers as dull. In his work, patterns of cypress trees on a still morning are rendered at a pianissimo of detail that is soft, but still clear. In another image, the accents of ten aspen strike with a fortissimo of color while a sea of spruce set the tone from the background. Even sand dunes and fluted rock showcase a repetition of crescendo and diminuendo. In the end, by choosing which notes to favor in each image, Mr. Cramer emphasizes the ideal edge to the desired rhythm which is easy to see and hear.
We hope you take some time to look and listen.
As part of our ongoing winter series of online exhibitions, we are please to present The Rhythm’s Edge, featuring photographs by Charles Cramer. Included in this exhibition, will be one of our Unique Fine Print Offers for which Charlie has graciously set aside “Glowing Canyon Wall, Lower Antelope Canyon” & “Autumn Snow, Black Oaks, Yosemite.” For one week, starting on Monday, February 16th, these images will be 25% off their normal retail price. Never offered for sale prior, The Ansel Adams Gallery is thrilled to present them to you now. To purchase these prints, or find out more information, you can click directly on the image below, or visit: www.anseladams.com/unique. Each image will be offered in the nominal sizes of 16x20 and 20x24. After the close of business (6:00 PM Pacific Time) on Sunday, February 22nd, both prints will return to full price. Each photograph is printed by Mr. Cramer, and is mounted and matted to current archival standards. Once the offer has expired, we anticipate a fulfillment time of four to five weeks to ensure the quality of each individual order. This inaugural printing offer is available for a very limited time. You may also email gallery curator Evan Russel at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Thanks for listening.
The Ansel Adams Gallery