Fallen Log and Pond, Ducks, Sentinel Meadow, Yosemite
Tree, Frosty Morning, Derwentwater, England
Sidelit Silver Birches, Lakes District, England
Backlit Icebergs, Sunrise, Iceland
Charles Cramer and Ansel Adams have a lot in common, both have called Central California home, and early in the arc of their careers, both pursued music as a profession. Ultimately though, both would be lured away by the artistic promise of photography. Both men fully embraced the landscape as a muse, which was not surprising given that the Sierra Nevada Mountains were in their backyard. But there were differences, most notably in their degree of intrepidness. In his younger years Ansel Adams was a menace on the trail, hiking long distances, high into the rugged mountains, oblivious to dangerous situations that would daunt many seasoned backcountry enthusiasts. Later in life, Ansel crisscrossed many states while on photographic assignments, but his adventures kept him mostly in the West – providing sustenance to his personal artistic vision as well as untold benefits to the world of photography and the environmental movement.
Charles Cramer, on the other hand, avidly photographs the landscape of the West, and also finds inspiration and discovery farther afield – exploring unique light and lands from Iceland to Antarctica. On these journeys he channels the same spirit that guides him through his photographic journeys in Yosemite, resulting in a harmonic body of work representative of the diverse world we live in. Each photograph speaks for itself, and to the next.
Intrepid Light, Photographs by Charles Cramer will open at The Ansel Adams Gallery on July 8th and run through August 18th. Included in the exhibition will be photographs from Charlie’s wide-ranging travels, as well as those made locally here in Yosemite National Park. We hope you find some time during your own travels to stop by and see them for yourself.
About Charles Cramer
Charles Cramer is a photographer who revels in exploration and craftsmanship. A masterful artist, his career broadly parallels that of Ansel Adams: an early focus on music, finding inspiration in Yosemite National Park, and exploring the developing medium of photography. Charles has worked in the darkroom for many years, mastering the complex Dye Transfer process. He was also one of the first landscape photographers to work with the “digital darkroom”, recognizing the computer as an unparalleled means to control color and realize his artistic interpretation of the scene.
“I studied piano for 20 years, ending up with a degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. This conservatory was endowed by George Eastman, who also founded the Eastman Kodak Company. This connection between music and photography can be seen in the lives of many photographers. I gradually turned to full-time photography by 1980. The end goal of my photography has always been to make beautiful prints. I have spent a large part of the last 30 years refining my skills not just photographing the natural scene, but learning how to make the best possible prints from these images.
“When venturing out into the field, I am drawn to photograph primarily by the ‘light’ and only secondarily by the subject. I search for that special kind of light that can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. This brings me out at seemingly odd times – sunrise, sunset, during storms and snowstorms. The weather can be onerous. But when everything comes together for a photograph, all that is quickly forgotten. Many of my photographs are from the Southwest. The light there is unique, especially when bouncing off canyon walls and enveloping a scene. I enjoy photographing in the canyon of Yosemite Valley for the same reasons, the warm, glowing light is spectacular.”