Saturday, August 29, 2009

Avedon

As I mentioned a week or so ago we went to a bunch of museums, but still had the Avedon exhibit at SFMOMA. Well, we managed it - managed to keep the baby from eating some art once again. I was really impressed - huge, massive prints and just stunning. With a lot of photography it really helps to see an actual print instead of the usual crappy web-sized or book reproductions. It's like the first time you see The Birth of Venus and realize that it's this huge painting and you've never really seen it before. Sure, you'll get the broad compositional stuff in a smaller version, but it's not really the same experience.

It's also fun to see people who have shot digital wonder how you can have a four foot tall print with perfect detail. None of this "Oh, with larger sizes the viewing distance increases so it's OK that you don't actually have full resolution." That's kind of true, but if you look at the way people look at photographs in a museum they pretty much get as close as they're allowed - often closer to the print than the height of the print. (Avedon shot with a large format camera, so you can do remarkable things with them.)

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