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Tuesday, 21 December 2010


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I turned it off after hearing him prattle on for over 3 minutes about all the wonderful photography competitions he has judged. I give a book 50 pages and a speaker about 3 minutes. He failed to interest me, I assume it got better, otherwise you would not have posted it.

I think that the problem people have with wildlife photography is twofold--one, a lot of it is romanticized and static, and two, a lot of the body language and behaviors captured are incomprehensible to most people. They see a shot of a spider looking at the camera. Someone with a little entoknowhow sees a male Phidippus audax engaged in a game of bluff (possibly leading to actual combat) with his own reflection in the end of the lens.

As someone who likes to take pictures of animals, I have to say that good wildlife photography is _really_ hard to do.

Allas youre right about that, nature is changing all to rapidly and is not as romantic as viewed by wildlife photographers. Most wildlife photographer would agree with you Mike, but do you know the key scene from Soilent Green? Maybe, Mike in a not so distant future these pictures will be all that is left to us. And before then let them remind us about what we are carelessly and almost casually distroying in our greed for ever more resources. Sometimes sheer beauty conveys more impact on people then the uglyness of wanten destruction. For instance Heike Odermatt's picture of the Haller forest was taken 16 km's south of Brussels and the forest is a tiny patch of green between the towns of Beersel, Halle and Waterloo. Now I have seen a few pictures of it but non as beautiful as her's. Such pictures are vital to display the beauty still left in the heart of Europe and to open up hearts and minds of people to protect these. Remember Mike, for instance in The Netherlands the government is using the current crisis as a reason to attack nature conservation as a leftwing hobby (and to cut on funding and open up the countryside for industrial style farming, roads and industry even more then it has allready been put up for grabs).

Greetings, Ed Kuipers MSc (biologist)

I feel he same way about it And though it's a different medium I get much more from the BBC's natural history programs, they are second to none. I also feel that way about most landscape photography. I've many books by Robert Adams but nothing of Ansel Adams. I can appreciate the mastery of Ansel Adams work and I know he was a passionate conservationist but he romanticized the landscape in his pictures while Robert Adams chose to confront it. Robert Adam's work just asks more of you. I've never thought anything other than that's a very pretty picture when I see an Ansel Adams.

"I never made a creative photograph that related directly to an environmental issue"

Ansel Adams.

"Unspoiled places sadden us because they are, in an important sense, no longer true"

Robert Adams.

Those wildlife shots are very pretty.

Sean, you made Robert Adams take the words right out of my mouth. I looked at his pictures (knowing Ansel's work by heart) and I must admit, I like the son better then I like the father. But Ansel's work for the Sierra Club cannot be mentioned enough, I wonder how many redwoods owe their lives to this man.

Greetings, Ed

[Editor's note: Just so as not to cause any confusion, Ed means "son" and "father" figuratively. A. and R. Adams are unrelated to one another.]

Mike: I seldom spend 16 minutes watching on-line videos. This was worth the time both esthetically and educationally. Thanks for the link.

I admit that I did not have the patience to sit through the video/slideshow presentation. It was coming across very slowly and, like Kurt, I just didn't give a care about listening to the narrator self-pump after a minute or two.

Instead I simply walked through the gorgeous images. Zowie!

There was a time 30 years ago when I fancied a future as a professional wildlife photographer (whatever the hell that is). It was during that mania that I learned just how damn hard ...really hard... nature and wildlife photography is. So looking through these images I suspect that there was some luck involved in some. But such results are overwhelmingly produced through education, imaginative vision, patience, tremendous persistence, and mastery of the camera.

Curiously, those are precisely the missing ingredients that make so much of the results of general amateur photography so dreadful.

"I've never thought anything other than that's a very pretty picture when I see an Ansel Adams."

You just aren't looking at the right Ansel Adams photos. He's better when he's angry.


I think Ansel Adams’s photographs of japanese-americans in the Manzanar internment camp are his strongest. I always wondered why the boulders in front of mount wiliamson was so much more emotionally charged than the rest of his landscape work then I found out about the rest of the Manzanar work and I knew why.

If he had let himself be a little more overtly political in his later work it would have been stronger in my opinion.

Without Ansel Adams, maybe we wouldn't have Kings Canyon National Park. And trust me, when you hike into Kings Canyon National Park, you can see with your eyes mountains in the same state as when Adams photographed them for "Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail". The truth is still there for those who want to see it.

Thanks Mike, I assumed both were related, since talent tends to seep through generations...but as a colleague of mine once told me, "to assume makes an ass of you and me" in this case I take both roles :-) and graciously bow to greater wisdom.

Greetings, Ed

"Without Ansel Adams, maybe we wouldn't have Kings Canyon National Park"

Hiking's one of my great loves. It's truly good for the soul but I have yet to find an unspoilt place or not be reminded of our encroachment on the land. National parks bring tourism and jobs, they bring us. Like it or not we are part of nature, the landscape can't escape that anymore than we can.

"I think Ansel Adams’s photographs of Japanese-Americans in the Manzanar internment camp are his strongest"

Funny you should post that as I was only watching a documentary about the camps the other night. Actually Ive seen them and prefer them but I've seen Cartier-Bresson's landscapes and IMO he was no more a landscape photographer than Adams was a documentary photographer.

Nice to see CPN mentioned. One of my photographs was selected in September 2009, for the 3rd edition of Editor's Choice. It's at number nineteen of twenty-two pictures. http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/yourspace/editors_choice/barbara_stauss.do

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