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Ansel Adams:Trees and Snow, 1933

Ansel Adams:Trees and Snow, 1933

Masterworks of 20th Century Photography at The Hyde

By Mirror Staff

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Exhibitions featuring the work of the greatest photographers of the 20th century opened at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls on January 25.

“Ansel Adams: Early Works” and “Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of Turn-of-the-Century Photography,” are both derived from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg and both will be displayed in the Wood Gallery.

Ansel Adams: Roaring River Falls, ca. 1925

Ansel Adams: Roaring River Falls, ca. 1925

“Ansel Adams: Early Works,” offers a fresh look at key images by Adams from the 1920s through the 1950s.

“Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of Turn – of – the – Century Photography” features masterworks from an international circle of painterly photographers known as the Photo-Secession. The American ‘triumvirate’ of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Paul Strand are represented along with other key figures in pictorialist photography from both sides of the Atlantic, including Clarence White, Gertrude Käsebier, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Frederick Evans.

“Ansel Adams and the photographers from the Photo-Secession represent a philosophical turning point in the history of photography,” said Charles Guerin, director of The Hyde. “These photographers considered themselves artists first; artists who used the camera as a tool of creative expression rather than simply as an instrument of documentation.  They transformed the complex and expressive medium of photography, and pushed it to a level of sophistication and perfection, both technically and esthetically, that its acceptance as an art form was assured.  As works of art, many of the photographs in these two exhibitions are as well known as any masterpiece of the 20th Century.”

The Hyde Collection is located at 161 Warren Street. Call 792-1761 for more information.

Karl Struss:Flatiron Building, Twighlight, ca. 1915

Karl Struss:Flatiron Building, Twighlight, ca. 1915

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Adirondack Sportswoman: Shooting With My Camera

By Melanie Houck

Monday, January 24, 2011

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Just like that, they were coming out one right after another.  My heart started beating fast and my breathing picked up.  Four.  Five.  Six and seven came out fighting a little.  Each one that came out got bigger and bigger.  And then out came number eight.  ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,” I started mouthing the words quietly, over and over.  The second most beautiful buck I had ever seen slowly made his way out from the edge of the woods into the field.  I counted ten points, all swathed in smooth, white velvet.  Young bucks danced around him, fighting in a playful way.  There was this aura around him, as if all of the setting sun’s rays were directed at him, acknowledging his beauty and dominance.   Slowly I aimed, arms shaking and hands sweaty and…click.  Many rapid clicks followed.

Surprised?  Perhaps you thought this was just another deer hunting article?  With the deer season now officially over, I want to focus on another enjoyable area of deer ‘hunting’ that doesn’t involve a gun or bow.  I will just say that I am sad to see the season over.  I still am waiting for a chance at a dream buck, but I am grateful to have gotten a doe and my husband got a few so the freezer is full.  The adventures were great and the memories were many.  Next year’s season seems far away but will come all too quickly!

Ok ok, as I said before, this is NOT another deer hunting article.  I always have a camera in my pack, whether out hunting, or hiking, snow shoeing, or even driving.  With the deer season over I now set my sights (so to speak) on viewing deer and wildlife through that of a lens.  The encounter with the thirteen bucks is one of my recent moments captured on digital.  This past August I went out to visit my family on their farm at the other end of the state.  One beautiful evening I decided to sit along the hedgerow between two fields.  Not even ten minutes later thirteen bucks in velvet came out and fed for over a half an hour.  Thank goodness for digital, as I took well over 100 pictures.  The sun was setting and there was a warm glow covering everything.  During the summer, the coat of a deer is more of a rich reddish brown, and they appear striking against the green of the clover and alfalfa mix field.   I will never forget that evening and I am grateful I have the images to remember it by.

A lesson learned the hard way happened two  summers ago when my husband and I were trekking through the woods near our house here in the mountains.  It was a spontaneous decision on a lovely August evening.  We cautiously approached a small clearing that had old apple trees.  As the field came into view, movement caught our eyes.   We stood stock still in awe as THE biggest and most beautiful buck I have ever seen was blissfully feeding.  A massive 12 point buck stood before us and with no wind, he was clueless to our presence.  While I still yearn and hope to have such a buck in front of my sights in the hunting season someday (it would truly be an honor and unforgettable experience), I will forever treasure that memory and God given moment.   My one huge disappointment was that I had not brought my camera.  I have not made that mistake again.   And because of a lesson learned, I was able to get pictures of all those bucks on my parents’ property and countless other wildlife.

So whether I happened to ‘stumble’ upon a field filled with a herd of bucks of all sizes, witness a doe with newborn fawns, two owls or a porcupine in our backyard, twelve loons on a lake at once, or a litter of baby raccoons by the side of the road, I’ve had my camera on hand and am grateful for the photos taken of these awesome encounters.  These are just a few of the many with hopefully many more to come!

Deer season lasts about 3 months out of the year up here in the mountains.  It’s longer than anywhere else in the state.  There is no season for your camera.   Whether you have a fancy or simple digital, or even film camera, getting out and into the woods all year is a great way to see capture wildlife.  As with hunting, you never know when that moment will come when you will witness, and capture something truly amazing.

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Rockhurst Bridge, circa 1894

Rockhurst Bridge, circa 1894

Growing Up at Cleverdale

By Richard K. Dean

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An excellent British book concerning the study of photography prefaced each chapter with a short quotation from Alice in Wonderland. In chapter one, Alice has arrived in Wonderland and asks the Mad Hatter where to start. The Hatter replies, “Alice, you start at the beginning.”  Thinking this approach is logical, I will mention I will start at the beginning.

I was born on July 6, 1913, in Brooklyn where my father had a drug store at the corner of Bushwick and Dekalb, in a mostly German neighborhood, with a trolley car on Dekalb. My early recollection, at about age 4, is of being taken by my mother on hot evenings in the open air trolley car to the Brooklyn Bridge and back. A similar car is now displayed at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake.

A good German doctor suggested that I be sent out of the city, so I was sent to love with an aunt and uncle in Glens Falls for several years until Dad sold his drug store. Originally the dean family had a farm in Kingsbury. My father had four brothers and two sisters. Dad worked at area drugstores until finally starting his own in Warrensburg.

In the summer before entering my senior year in high school, I caddied at the Sagamore Golf Club, staying in an old farmhouse nearby. At summer’s end, I picked up a severe sinus infection and was barely saved by a specialist. Recuperating and taking a year off from school, I began hiking with a Kodak box camera, and pursuing serious photography with an old 4 x 5 plate camera.

After graduation the following year, I learned of a photography course with top grade instructors at Rochester Athenaeum (now Rochester Institute of Photography) in a new department funded by George Eastman. I enrolled in the two-year course.

I was hired by Rochester Defender Co., first to do film testing, and then a new color print process called chromatone. I was given the task of demonstrating to professional photographers the process of producing color prints from color separation negatives. At the start of World War II I was transferred to the sensitometry department, with the job of testing photography products supplied to the armed forces.

After the war, Defender Co. was sold to DuPont photography products. Not wanting to be transferred to Wilmington, I returned to Glens Falls and started Dean Studio on the late 1940s. I mainly photographed dude ranches and resorts in the greater Lake George region. In the early 1950s, I started a wholesale post card distribution business.

Many cottage owners at Cleverdale became adjusted to reaching their cottages by crossing on the “causeway.” This was a dock-style series of platforms that traversed the swamp reached from upper Ridge Rd., of varying uneven heights that were continually being rebuilt. This one-way transit required waiting at either end while others came across. Turtles basked on logs along the sides.

The late Dick Dean with longtime friend Walter Grishkot

Our cottage was next to the tennis court that was part of the Pine Rest boarding house. Lucille Mead and I often practiced on this court when it was not being used by guests. An annual Kattskill Tournament was held when the owner of the Rockhurst Hotel came over. Mead’s Gifts & Ice Cream was located south of the court.

My brother Harold and I envied the boy across the road who had a fireworks stand, so for the next year, we ordered a variety of fireworks. These sold quite slowly, so we had to carry them over to the next summer, much to our dad’s concern.

Our dad bought an old rowboat for the cottage that we used when we went fishing, catching mostly bullhead and perch of Long Island. I made a sail from old awnings and used old cupboard doors foe leeboards and an oar on the stern for a rudder.

Our usual amusement during the summer was watching the steamboats land at the dock near the north end of Cleverdale each morning and afternoon; it was fascinating to see the passengers. When the Mohican pulled out, Harold and I would jump on the stern and dive into the foaming wake while the deck hands would try to catch us. One boy would climb to the second deck and dive.

We learned the difference in time between sight and sound. When the steamboats blew their whistles at Trout Pavilion across the bay, we could see the steam from the whistles before we heard the sound.

There was a nice path running along the east shore of Cleverdale. It extended from near the point and steamboat dock, in front of the cottages to Sandy Bay and a long dock. One day Harold and I walked to the Sandy Bay dock and found Alger Mason and his brother working on an old motorboat they had just bought for $1.50.

There was an old motorboat in the yard when Dad bought our cottage. We boys kept teasing him to put it I the lake, but he didn’t think it as in very good condition. Finally, to silence our teasing, Dad sawed up the boat, and much to his surprise, he found the hull to be in good shape.

We did have an outboard boat with a four-cylinder Sea Horse motor, which had lots of power. I decided to build a surf board to use behind the boat water skiing had not become popular yet). The materials I used did not make the board water-tight and I made the mistake of making it hollow. Consequently, it pulled very hard because of the water seeping in and it was slow to surface, but it could be ridden.

Our uncle Will Dean bought a used outboard, modified sea-sled, quite flat and with a four-cylinder Johnson Sea Horse motor. Starting was made easier by releasing compression with a lever on two cylinders. This was a fast boat, but very hard riding if you hit waves of any size.

The steamboat Sagamore created very long, low waves that were fun to ride at high speed in the outboard boat. One time I took some relatives out for a ride and came down hard off a wave, cracking a plank on the bottom of the boat. Fortunately it was a slow leak and we made it back to shore safe and sound.

A long sail cruise! Harold and I wanted to sail around Long Island, from the south end b Assembly Point, along the west side around the north end and back to Cleverdale. Unfortunately the wind died to a breeze so we were a very long time sailing around the island. Meanwhile, our mother was making repeated trips to the north end of Cleverdale searching for our sail.

I missed having my bicycle at Cleverdale, so I decided to ride it up from Glens Falls, on the Ridge Road. At the time, the road was gravel north of Oneida Corners, which made for very slow going.

Box Ball Alley, located near Scott Henderson’s boat yard, provided a break from the usual pastimes of swimming, fishing and boating. This was a rather short bowling alley with pins hung on a rod which could be re-set once knocked down by pulling on a lever at the front.

Most cottage refrigerators were ice-cooled. We would stop at Howard Mason’s ice house at Sandy Bay when arriving at camp, placing an ice cake on the car running board. Howard had installed a fresh water system for some Cleverdale cottage owners. The pumping station was near our cottage and whenever we heard the motor break down, we immediately grabbed pails and brought home fresh water for our home use.

Many years later, on our honeymoon, my wife and I climbed Pilot Knob Mountain on a nice clear day. I had a good German camera with me and I hoped to take a panorama shot over the south end of the lake, including the bays and points where I spent much of my youth. The Voigtlander sheet film camera came with separate holders, but I had a limited number. I took tree shots and had to re-load. In the meantime it became cloudy, so the last two images in the panorama did not match.

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