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| p.2 #18 · What did Ansel Adams actually do? |
ben egbert wrote:
want to go see the real deal.
Yup, that's the point. That's the "message he wanted to convey to his viewers."
Sometimes we make images that are surreal to what we see in person ... Antelope Canyon colors for instance. They are VERY REAL as the color of the light graduates and separates, but in person, you just don't see them (limitations of adaptive sight) the same as they can be captured and presented. If you present AC "straight" ... it doesn't have as much conveyance that "you gotta come experience this, it is a photographic phenomenon" ...
Conversely, we make images that are sub-real to what we can experience in person. We do the best we can to maximize the conveyance to our audience for the same message of "you gotta come see this"
In both cases ... neither are "faithful" to what one will "see" when they get there ... but they are "faithful" in that they are not a "fabrication" of something that doesn't exist. To that point, I get "faithful" ... and I likewise subscribe to that being an aspect of faithful.
But, in that regard ... I don't see anything special at all regarding AA. He and millions of others capture what the lens saw without adding fabrications (i.e. double exposure, etc.) Having the tenacity, resolve and patience (also time & money) to reach those places and watch & wait for the beauty and power of God's handi-work ... is a blessing that few (likely none) of us will ever be able to fulfill in the magnitude that AA's life allowed for. But, in that regard, AA's life was his. Yours, mine &ours will vary. What made AA special ... was what he did with it post-capture ... combined with the foresight of his vision to make a capture that would best facilitate his post-capture methods.
AA cherished that which he shot. I do as well, and assume others to do the same ... be that Suzy or HSB. To me, the photographic medium is no different than a painting ... it is a two dimensional visual medium for communication. A scientist delivers a speech (message / communication) with exacting detail allowing for little interpretation by the audience ... while a poet "waxes poetically" with vague and nebulous words that allow for a grandeur of interpretive imagination ... or with words that paint explicit imagery and emotional stimulation.
How each of us chooses to use our visual medium for communicating our message, can range from the technical to the interpretive to the emotive. AA was a technician to be sure, but he used that technical talent and expertise to foster the conveyance of his message, in his own interpretive way. Others may be even more technical, more interpretive or more emotive.
It was likely, his "blend" of the technical and interpretive that captured the hearts and minds of so many. As to "faithful" ... I'd suggest that AA aspired to faithfully convey the feeling / experience / emotion of being where he had been ... without being bound by a faithfully accurate presentation of the same.