The Artipelag museum, near Gustavsberg in the Stockholm archipelago, is currently running a photo exhibition called “Land meets water”. I’ve been wanting to see this, so we picked a rainy day and went there. I actually hadn’t even seen the museum before and it turned out being very impressive. It’s an interesting building out in the archipelago. If you’re in the Stockholm area, i highly recommend a visit to this place. You can get there by boat or by bus if you’re not driving.
The “Land meets water” exhibition shows european and american photography from the 1860’s to present day. We took the guided introduction and it was very interesting to get an insight into how the early landscape photographers worked. With large plates, on-site dark tents to process the photos and cameras the size of a large suitcase, it was a lot more difficult than today.
I was really interested to see some photos by legend Ansel Adams and sure enough they were very impressive. It was amazing to see his photography from the unexploited Yosemite area. The prints are fantastic. Having worked in a darkroom myself long ago, i know how difficult it can be. His photos have such depth that they almost look three-dimensional.
I also liked the photos from Greenland by Olaf Otto Becker. Gorgeous large color prints with fantastic sceneries that really stood out.
The museum had commissioned american photographer Stuart Kipper to take a series of images to show the beauty of the Stockholm archipelago as an introduction to the exhibition. Kipper was also represented in the actual exhibition with some really beautiful panoramic photos, but these introduction photos of the archipelago were mediocre at best, in my humble opinion. The way they’re placed, they become the first impression of the exhibition and i guess Mr Kipper can’t have been too happy with those photos. One of them in particular, stood out like a sore thumb. This one.
Apart from being a “meh” subject and composition and the photo taken in boring daylight, it’s unsharp from edge to edge. And it’s not a depth of field thing. There is not a sharp area in the whole picture. It’s like one of those images you delete in Lightroom after importing it from your camera because it’s not sharp enough to use for anything. Here, it made it all the way to a huge print (about 1×4 meters) and i don’t see how the photographer or curator OK’ed that.
But apart from that little glitch (maybe they posted it for the photo geeks as a tongue-in-cheek joke) – great exhibition and a great museum. If you get a chance. Go see it.