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Friday, 11 February 2011


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So much for 'film is truth; Photoshop is cheating' ...

@ 01af

No, film is still truth - it's just whatever truth I happen to pick.

I mentioned something similar yesterday, from the Adams video where he talks about his first visualization of Half Dome.

It was his truth.

That particular example was printed after a fire damaged the top of the negative. Weston was with him and helped him re-wash the one that could be saved.

No cheating here... AA is perfectly true to his very soul!

Mike, it might please you to know that "Monolith, the Face of Half Dome" was made on the same negative format as your Single Use Device. If the print hanging behind Ansel appears a bit more square, that's because it's a later sample made after his darkroom fire damaged the negative's top quarter inch.

Hey Mike,

That photo was made with one of AA's Whole Plate camera. A Korona, I think.

I saw a contact print of that photo at an exhibition in Los Angeles. Plenty big for hanging on a wall, by the way. I have also seen a larger version at a John Sexton workshop. Each version is, as AA might have said, "satisfying."

As I think further, I remember John Sexton telling us that one day, AA asked Sexton if he could have any one of AA's photos, "which would he choose?" Sexton thought about it and told AA that he would like to own Monolith. My recollection is that AA seemed pleased, and told Sexton it was a good choice.

That is how John Sexton came to own his example of Monolith.

The best definition of art I ever read was: Art is the emotional interpretation of nature. For Adams, this was his defining moment when he reached that creative moment that infused his creative emotions and intent into a finished art he felt was worthy. Maybe I will find that point someday in my creations.

Interesting phrase "my other filter".

Thinking of my (now probably superceded, but still more than adequate for me) Nikon D200, I probably have a round 1000 more exposure choices than AA had (in-built ISO, creative effects, bag full of filters, WB, etc), with 1/1000 of his talent. That's purely at the point of exposure. Maybe another 1000 choices should I choose through PP software.

I have never made an exposure and seen it through to final print that even begins to compare to AA's body of work.

I follow a philosophy of cooking at home (originally from Italy, now well known in Europe, called "slow cooking") that emphasises basic ingredients, and a very relaxed preparation that is totally at odds with modern life. Maybe I should practice some"slow photography" using only basic equipment while I wait for my 16 hour casserole to be ready.

I'm no Ansel, but I can relate to that feeling, after years of taking photos, when I saw the image before I pressed the shutter. That aha! moment stays with me to this day!

Sean Murphy

In that very same 1978 book he used forms of the word "previsualize" several times as shown on that other blog post and also at least once in his 1963 book. Maybe he thought it redundant yet still used it occasionally.

Ever get the feeling as you're looking at the shots you've made that perhaps you could also have taken the photo this way or that way? That would be postvisualization :)

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