The Ansel Adams Gallery is thrilled to offer its collectors, friends and fellow art lovers, a chance to participate in a unique opportunity. From time to time on our website, we love to feature hand-made gelatin silver prints from our family of distinguished Gallery artists at a special price.
Successful fine art photographs are generally those which evoke a reaction based on how they render light. It can be about the subject matter as well, but a lyrical luminosity is a wonderful core of any photograph. Anne Larsen and John Sexton have defined their influential bodies of work by seeking out such instances. Their innate sense of light pushes familiar subjects to become singular and precious as landscapes and still life arrangements always seem to be in a state of tiffany grace.
This month, as part of our Unique Fine Print Offer series, we are excited to feature two photographs, one each from Anne and John, as The Ansel Adams Gallery continues its longest standing relationship with any contemporary photographer. These images, “Bottle No.2, Copenhagen, Denmark” by Ms. Larsen, and “Merced River and Forest, Yosemite Valley” by Mr. Sexton, both represent superb examples of their style, vision and meticulous technique.
While Anne’s original 6×8″ silver prints normally sell for $450, with John’s original 11×14″ silver prints starting at $1,000, you can now add one to your private collection for 25% off the retail price. Each photograph is hand printed in their personal darkroom, signed, as well as mounted, matted and ready for framing. The time to purchase will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, June 19th and will expire upon the close of business, Sunday, June 26th at 6:00 PM. Once the offer has expired, we anticipate an order fulfillment time of approximately four to five weeks to ensure the quality of each individual order. This printing offer is available for a very limited time, after which, the print will return to full price.
Email our curator, Evan Russel, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions about the prints or shipping.
About the Images
In the fall of 1983 I was working closely with Eastman Kodak Company in the product development of what would be known a year later as Kodak Elite Fine Art paper. My good friends at Kodak, Bob Shanebrook and Gordon Brown, had flown out to Carmel for a week of darkroom experimentation. Once I learned what they wanted to accomplish in the darkroom I realized, if we worked incredibly long days, we could get through their agenda in a shorter period of time than a week. Then we could all head to Yosemite to make photographs (Bob and Gordon are both passionate photographers). We worked in the darkroom together, running experiments, from early in the morning until the wee hours of the following morning for three days in a row. I remember coming out of the darkroom and finding Gordon asleep on the floor of my studio.
Once we completed our work, we loaded up our gear and headed for Yosemite. I, unfortunately, made one significant error. I brought along my empty film holders, rather than the ones I carefully loaded the day before!!! I was mortified when I realized my error. Fortunately, I became aware of it before we went out photographing and, having access to the Ansel Adams Gallery darkroom, I was able to use my backup film to load my film holders.
On our first evening we headed to one of my favorite locations in Yosemite Valley – Happy Isles. There isn’t a lot of fall color in Yosemite Valley, but this particular tree on the other side of the Merced River had donned its autumn plumage. I used a Wratten #12 deep yellow filter on my 120mm wide-angle lens. I used the back tilt on my 4×5 view camera to exaggerate the scale of the foreground boulders. The image, Merced River and Forest, which was made in the dim but luminous light of dusk, required an exposure of five seconds at f/32. To increase the contrast of the soft illumination in the forest, I selenium intensified just the forest area of the negative. I included this image in my first book “Quiet Light,” and has been reproduced in a number of publications, as well as in advertisements by Eastman Kodak, over the years.
This handmade silver gelatin, selenium toned, print is approximately 10-3/8 x 13″, personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and over matted to 16×20″ on 100 percent rag museum board.
When I began my career as a photographer I worked for a large, and highly regarded, commercial studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their specialty was photographing food and beverages – though they also did other types of commercial work. I loved my job! At times, it was very stressful, but one of the things I enjoyed most about working there was that I often had complete freedom to create my images exactly as I desired.
Over the years the studio had collected items that could be used as props in photographs. These props were nicely organized in a very large room. There were rows and rows of plates piled high – in all colors and shapes – along with, water and wine glasses, bottles, silverware, fabric, as well as interesting objects like weathered wood doors with peeling paint, rusted refrigerator doors, chairs, tables, corrugated metal, picture frames, and much more. You name it – virtually everything was there waiting to be discovered.
As photographers at this studio, this is where we would go to select the plates that would compliment the food we were photographing. We would pick backgrounds, napkins, and whatever else we would need to set up for a particular assignment. Among the many items in the room there was one particular bottle that always fascinated me. It was a dark green triangular shaped bottle that I absolutely fell in love with! The bottle was not perfect – it was slightly crooked and the neck was chipped.
One day, after I had completed all of my assignments, I decided to spend some time with this intriguing bottle. In most cases, as photographers we want everything to be sharp in our photographs – but in this image, Bottle No. 2, I wanted everything to be out of focus – EXCEPT the very tip of the bottle’s neck. I used my 4×5 view camera, and with the help of my tilts and swings, I made sure that everything else was out of focus. The tilts and swings also altered the shape of the bottle and created what I felt was a more painterly interpretation. I actually had to focus above the top of the bottle so that just the very rim of the bottle’s neck was in focus. The photograph was made with the lens absolutely wide open.
One of the things I enjoy most about photography is that we all see things differently. That old green crooked bottle was beautiful to me, and still is today. Sometimes, what appears to be “junk” to one person can become a “treasure” to another. I hope you enjoy this image.
This handmade silver gelatin, selenium toned, print is approximately 6×8″, personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and overmatted to 14×17″ on 100 percent rag museum board.
About John Sexton
John Sexton was born in 1953, and is known worldwide as a photographer, master print maker, workshop instructor, and lecturer. He is the author of four award-winning books; Quiet Light, Listen to the Trees, Places of Power, and Recollections. Sexton is best known for his luminous hand crafted traditional silver gelatin black and white photographs of the natural environment.
He is director of the John Sexton Photography Workshops, and has conducted hundreds of photography workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Sexton served as Photographic Assistant and Technical Consultant to legendary photographer Ansel Adams from 1979 to 1984. In addition, John has served as a consultant to major photographic manufacturers including Kodak. His finely crafted large format photographs have appeared in numerous
exhibitions and publications, and are included in permanent collections and exhibitions throughout the world.
Sexton has received numerous awards and honors during his forty-year photographic career. In 2005 Sexton was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association, and in 2014 he received the prestigious International Award from the American Society of Photographers, as well as being a recipient of the inaugural George Eastman Award in Beijing, China.
John still finds magic in exposing and processing film, and making silver gelatin prints, by hand, in his traditional darkroom at his studio in Carmel Valley, California which he shares with his wife Anne Larsen—a talented photographer in her own right.
About Anne Larsen
Anne Larsen worked as a successful photographer for one of the largest commercial studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1994 she moved to the United States to pursue a career in fine-art photography.
Anne’s intimate still life images and delicate photographs of the natural environment, all made with a 4×5″ view camera or medium format camera; share a common luminosity and elegance. Her hand made silver gelatin prints are distinguished by their impeccable execution and tonal subtlety. Anne has assisted and taught on workshops instructed by James Baker, Morley Baer, Ruth Bernhard, Charles Cramer, Philip Hyde, Ray McSavaney, and John Sexton.
Her prints are in numerous private and public collections in North America and Europe. Her images have been included in exhibitions at the Susan Spiritus Gallery and the Alinder Gallery in California. In 2007 she was awarded Third Place Fine Art Still Life in the Pilsner Urquell International Photography Awards.
Legendary photographer Ruth Bernhard said this about Anne Larsen’s photographs: “Anne Larsen has the ability to transform the commonplace into the unforgettable. Her beautiful photographs are made from the heart.”
Anne lives with her husband John Sexton in Carmel Valley, California.
Anne Larsen’s photographs are represented by The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park, California, Sun to Moon Gallery in Dallas, Texas, and Timeless Gallery in Beijing, China.