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RustyBug
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Re: What did Ansel Adams actually do?


Here's a couple of links you might find interesting.

The first one is pic of AA's notes he made relative to Moonrise Over Hernandez ... illustrating the amount of control he imparted in postcapture.

The second one is from the National Archives ... many of these look to me to be much closer to a "straight print" than what we associate to AA. Many of these wouldn't pass for anything close to what we associate to AA.

Compare and contrast a thorough review of these 200 or so images he was commissioned to take for the National Park Service, with those images that are iconic ... and it kinda reveals the "imperfectness" of much of his work.

Not to take away from AA ... just to put his work in perspective regarding the volume of "not masterpiece" that came en route to his better known pieces. You'll also note that some of his famous pieces came from this commissioned body of work, while others ... well, not so much. You may also recognize that in some cases the NPS may have the original "straight print", while the "iconic" print is processed rather differently.

Granted ... the NA website may not optimally show off his work ... but the compositions are essentially in tact and I think it illustrates the powerful difference @ relying on "in camera" and thinking that somehow AA's camera work was of such superiority that we should all emulate the same. I once thought that of AA, till I found out how much "he cheated", as well as how often he "missed" ... i.e. kinda like the rest of us.

Since seeing his work as closely as I have ... I can appreciate both the amount of work that occurred out of the camera ... and the fact that we typically only see the best of his best. My respect and admiration for his prolific body of work, his technical/scientific approach, his artistic interpretation and his role in fostering the development of our craft is abundant. Yet, I now refrain from the once held aspirations to emulate him or his work. Rather, any homage to him would come in the form of embracing all that is available to you in conveying the message of your image to your viewer as best you can ... regardless of the technique(s) or tool(s) involved.

AA couldn't take the masses to his beloved mountains, but he did his best to bring his beloved mountains to the masses ... as best he could. So it is for me when I aspire to "take you there" ... wherever "there" may be.

http://notesonphotographs.org/index.php?title=Sexton,_John._Moonrise,_Hernandez._Ansel_Adams_Printing_Notes_%E2%80%94%E2%80%9CTranslation%E2%80%9D

http://www.archives.gov/research/ansel-adams/



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM



  Previous versions of RustyBug's message #10936959 « What did Ansel Adams actually do? »