I've turned comments back on. Held out for four days, but I'm back online.
Here are two articles from my old Luminous-Landscape days. That was a lot of fun. All the old columns are still online here. My favorites are probably "Give That Cat the Boot" and "Key Thoughts and the Zen of Fishing," although two Old Reprobate techie columns, "The Glow" and "The 50mm Lens and Metaphysical Doubt" still remain popular too.
Let's face it, though, the latter two are getting, um, anachronistic now.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Paul: "This is my take on #6 (fully inspired by it). It's Irish and Cape Breton musicians from Boston. It was an epic failure in a lot of ways but has come to mean something for certain people (it's been on top of a couple of coffins for wakes for some of the old guys). Just wished I'd focused the camera...."
Featured Comment by Semilog: "Re 'Tenaya Lake,' I've seen variations on this view many times. The rock formation that dominates the left half of the frame is, at least by climbers, called Stately Pleasure Dome. My first technical rock climbing lead was right there, on a route called The Great White Book, which follows the diehedral scribed by the very long bright diagonal in the photograph. On another climbing trip we camped at a site that could not have been more than 40 meters from where Ansel planted his tripod, and Adams's view was the view from our tent door. I have wondered whether he camped in that particular site, too.
"What astonishes me about Adams's photo is how perfectly he understood the place, how light falls on it and the substance of the topography. And I have seen this same penetrating insight over and over in places that I've visited that he photographed.
"I'll make a strong statement now, partly in response to some comments left at the original post. Those who say he had no feeling, or that he was a mere technician, have (most likely) never loved the land; or at least the landscape of the American West; have never themselves fully grappled with its substance or been immersed in its geology, its vegetation, its vastness, its light. For if they had done so, it surely would be impossible to say that Adams's photographs were sterile.
"Seen from this perspective, Adams's work is entirely about love. Indeed, this is the basis of my major criticism of his work: he was sometimes blinded by his passion. His photographs, if they were more dispassionate, would have harbored more darkness, more foreboding, more banality, more decay. The very things that drove The New Topographics and so much landscape that followed, in fact. But to call Adams's work sterile or unfeeling is an admission that neither the work nor its subject has really been engaged by the viewer."