The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Classic Images

Friday, January 6th, 2012 in Illinois
Classic Images

Planning has its time and its place, but sometimes it’s all about serendipity. Today I spent my lunch break at Lakewood Forest Preserve where I enjoyed a short hike along the shoreline of Taylor Lake. I finished my walk in less than ten minutes—the lake is much smaller than I realized—so I was at a loss for a way to fill the remainder of my lunch hour. As I wandered back to the parking lot through a scattering of forest preserve buildings (including the gorgeous old brick silos pictured at the top and bottom of this entry), I noticed a banner for an exhibit at the nearby Lake County Discovery Museum. I had to read the banner twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, it read:

Classic Images: Ansel Adams

Well heckfire, that’s just right up my alley, I thought.

Photo of Ansel Adams c. 1950 taken by J. Malcolm Greany. Public domain photo.

I high-tailed it over to the museum, paid my $6 entry fee (quelle bargain) and spent the next hour wandering the gallery, drooling over print after stunning print. I soon realized how compelling black and white images can be.

Church, Taos Pueblo by Ansel Adams c. 1942. Public domain photo.

For years, I’ve been bedazzled by color images. I’ve overlook the stark complexity one can achieve with a simple grey scale. But I suppose the grey scale is far from simple. Although I’ve read about the zone system developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer, I can’t say that I’ve truly gotten my head around it. So I made the following goal for myself this weekend: to learn more about black and white photography and the zone system.

Brick silo, Lakewood Forest Preserve.

I wanted to browse the exhibit longer, but sadly it was time for me to return to work. I had already blown past the end of my lunch hour and I had several documents to deliver to a client. But the exhibit runs through Sunday, so I may sneak back for another peak.

Brick silo, Lakewood Forest Preserve.
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