MacWorld SF 2002 and Ansel Adams

Thursday at MacWorld didn’t bring any additional surprises. As I said in my previous entry, MacWorld SF 2002 seemed smaller than the ones I’ve previously attended. Unless you signed up for the workshops and presentations, you could easily cover the entire show in one day.

Something that’s always fun at MacWorld is people watching. The Mac faithful is indeed an interesting cross-section of society. I wonder how many of them I’ve passed by in previous MacWorlds. Before I launched my personal web site, I could go pretty much anywhere without being recognized. Today, I had two people approach me out of the blue! Dennis H. called out my name as I was walking through the South Exhibit Hall; he’s a professional photographer who read some of my posts from Rob Galbraith’s site. Steve H. called me out from the Nikon booth where he was working. He also came to my site from Rob’s site; he got a kick out of my Ultimate Dislocation photojournal.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was roving the floors of MacWorld this afternoon. I noticed him rather quickly, as did most everybody who was nearby; Tyler does have a face that is rather memorable after all. From my experience earlier in the day, I can understand how he must feel when walking around in public. For me, it was flattering to be recognized, but I imagine that it might be suffocating for him (unless he enjoys the public spotlight). He did have his entourage of security guards and PR bunnies to protect and keep him company, though.

I also ran into a few people from my past, including Sasha and Naum (Palm), Jeff (Newton), Jim (Newton and Palm), and Bob (Stanford). It was good seeing these people, some of whom I haven’t seen in years!

Ansel Adams at 100

The Ansel Adams exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened on August 4, 2001 and closes this Sunday, January 13, 2002. Its next stop is the Art Institute of Chicago from February 20 to June 2. While the line wasn’t quite as long as that which typically snakes out of the Louvre’s pyramid entrance, it was rather long. After about a 40 minute wait, I found myself among another throng of people, jockeying for position to see Adams’ prints.

The gallery was separated into seven sections, each detailing one segment of Adams’ life or work: Context, Crux, Learning, Motive, Reconsideration, Responsibility, and Further Possibilities. I found the Learning and Reconsideration sections to be the most fascinating. Learning detailed Adams’ artistic development in the album of prints he made from 1925 to 1936. These books record how Adams learned and honed his photographic skills in taking pictures of the same scene using different framing techniques, vantage points, and varying exposures. In Reconsideration, we see how Adams revisited his early negatives in the latter part of his life, reinvorating them with darker, more melodramatic tones.

There were photographs from other artists in SFMOMA, but I found Adams’ prints to be especially moving. I wonder if it was because of the name or if the images really were that much more powerful and moving than the others. I wonder if any of my work will ever grace the walls of a museum in the future. No artist wants to be copycat of another. I see myself at only the beginning, still learning the tools and techniques of the trade and too early to stake my artistic claim.

Final Thoughts

I remember purchasing a PaperPort Visioneer scanner a number of MacWorlds ago. It was the thing to buy during that expo; I got sucked into buying it and discovered that it wasn’t very useful after all. This year, there wasn’t anything that stuck out as the thing to get. The XTremeMac folks seemed to be making a bundle out of selling their iPod cases, which makes me think that I’ve gotten into the wrong business — the future is in cases!

All in all, I enjoyed my brief stay at MacWorld. It wasn’t as groundbreaking as it could have been, but it was by no means boring like a JavaOne or Linux conference can be.

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