Inside this issue
Thomas Peck’s Critiques
The real pleasure of photography is that it forces me to slow down and really look. That’s never easy in our rushed world, so a chance to stop, look and see is truly valuable.
There has been a lot of debate about the Sublime recently – in this publication and others. It is clearly in vogue. So I make no apologies for focussing on Marc Adamus in this article. A photographer who, in every sense of the word (awe, majesty, grandeur, fear etc), makes Sublime images. His style is hugely dramatic, intensely colourful, razor sharp. Describing them as ‘spectacular’ doesn’t quite do justice to his images. Take, for example, Fearless, Grand Canyon. This is more than drama, it is Über-Drama. Words feel slightly inadequate. We could say the image is bold, gripping, exciting, amazing, but these adjectives are still lacking; it feels more real than real. Like a 4k super definition TV screen - it sees more than the eye can see. It’s almost surreal, or maybe a better expression would be ‘hyper-real’. Standard superlatives seem too mundane… There is a sensory overload in terms of colour, saturation, form, subject matter. It is biblical in ambition, and for this particular image, almost Biblical in subject matter.
The biblical reference is quite deliberate. There is a strong analogy between Marc’s photographic style exemplified here and the artists of the late Sublime period of painting. Fearless, Grand Canyon reminds me, for example, of the apocalyptic visions of John Martin: The Great Day Of His Wrath, 1851-3.