Showing passion inside and outside the classroom
Sitting down to speak with Bill Adams in a room full of computers was a stark juxtaposition to his classes that deal exclusively with photographic film. Everyone who has been under his tutelage knows he is an enigma with the ability to recall obscure knowledge about photography lore with ease.
He can be found in the photography lab in the Arts Building and rarely has a soda out of reach. His education in photography came from the University of New Mexico where he obtained a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degrees.
He now lives in a suburb of Denver with his wife, Carol Golemboski, and their two children. Golemboski is a fellow instructor in the photography department and shares Adams’ love for historical photographic processes over the new digital sensors.
In his nonacademic life, Adams chooses to create extensive miniature environments. There is an example of his work hanging in the photography lab titled, ‘Deadeye 3.’
“It’s a point-of-view shot of a point-of-view shot seen from the perspective of a man who’s been killed in the movie, and showing the cameraman staging a simultaneous point of view shot from the perspective of his killer,” Adams explains. “It’s set at the beginning of the ‘talkie’ era (ca. 1928), when sound in movies was often recorded simultaneously, so there is a violinist in front of a microphone alongside the set.”
In order to create this piece of art, he photographed himself with color film in various outfits and painstakingly matched each character to the environment he built inside his studio.
Once this real-life collage was complete, he composed a final shot, which is not to be confused with the one hanging in the photography lab. The level of effort and understanding needed to craft this photograph reflects Adams’ dedication to this art form.
Over the summer, he and his wife, Professor Golemboski, each taught a class in CU Denver study abroad program in Florence, Italy. This program, which occurs biyearly, is open to all students and is not just limited to photography majors. The program will likely return during the summer of 2021.
Adams and Golemboski started this summer excursion in 2004 and have returned to Florence biyearly since, excluding 2006 and 2008 due to personal reasons. The couple decided on Florence due to its presence in the evolution of photography.
“Florence is perfectly tailored to my classes,” Bill said in reference to “Photography, Optics, and Perspectives in Italy,” the course he teaches in conjunction with Golemboski’s course ,titled, “Historic Photographic Processes in Italy.”
Students who travel with them are exposed to first-hand experience with processes that Adams and his wife are keeping alive.
Adams often has pithy philosophical quotes about photography mixed into his lectures and although he doesn’t have one himself, he does enjoy saying, “A photograph is an image that resembles a photograph” and that perfectly sums him up.