Sunday, March 29, 2015

Adams Memorial Statue by Saint-Gaudens - And Connections

Adams Memorial Statue, by Reed A. George
Nikon Df, Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AIS Lens
iso 100, f1.2, 1/2000 sec.
My friends Charlie and Bill introduced me to this beautiful piece of art in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. It was made by Saint-Gaudens in memory of the wife of Henry Adams, Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams.
The first connection with photography is the fact that Mrs. Adams perished after drinking potassium cyanide, which she normally used to process photographs. Another photographic connection is that the statue was inspired by the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kannon. Kannon (Kwannon) was the namesake of the Japanese camera company Canon.
Adams felt very strongly that this statue should never be named. In fact, he cursed anyone who names it. (Click Here) to read his wishes, and the full history of the memorial.
I am pleased with the way my new 50mm f1.2 AIS lens rendered the statue. I used out of focus regions resulting from the very thin depth of field the lens produces wide open to bring attention to the shrouded face. The hand also serves as a compositional element that leads to the face.