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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media

William Adams

Visual Arts Department

​William "Bill" Adams was born in Walnut Creek, California, in 1964, and grew up in Santa Cruz. He received a BA in Politics from Princeton University, and an MA and MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico. His work has been reproduced in Exploring Color Photography (Editions 2-5) as well as Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age. He was recently featured in the journals Exposure and Copper Nickel.

At the University of Colorado Denver Adams teaches: Introduction to Photography; Color and Studio Lighting Dynamics; Photography: Theory and Criticism; History of Photography; Advanced Photography; as well as Photography, Optics, and Perspective in Italy, a study-abroad course in Florence.

Adams makes large, humorous color photographs of elaborately staged scenes in which he plays numerous different characters apparently interacting with each other. Most of the “people” are actually photographs mounted on cardboard, and in some images there is one real person surrounded by life-sized photographs. The final images are photographed with a 4x5” or 8x10” view camera, enlarged optically, and developed in a chromogenic processor.

The apparent interaction of the figures makes the viewer alternate between viewing the image as a straight photograph, and considering the process--the planning, staging, posing, shooting, printing, cutting, taping, etc. There are thus two narratives: the ostensible story told in the picture, and the story of the making of the picture.​​