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Saturday, 23 February 2019


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“I stand supine” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Reminds me of Blazing Saddles: Can someone translate this authentic frontier gibberish?

What is the Word for "Full of Yourself"?

^^^ What he said!

Actually, what did he say? (scratches head)

Reminds me of Louis Prima’s “The Lip.” There’s a great recipe for high note grease in the song.

I think he was explaining the zone system.

Wonder why we remember him as a photographer and not as a writer.

That letter does not sound anything like Addams based on all the books I have seen and read of his.
Than again we all have our moments when a cosmic bolt from the blue hits us...

Ha! Correspondence, or tone-poem? LOL.

But I am afraid my initial knee-jerk reaction was uncharitable.

Then again, I often think that folks don't really understand their own creative processes well. At least not in the if-I-understand-something-well-I-can-use-words-to-describe-it-succinctly sense. Adams seems to be saying the same thing in a roundabout way.

Funnily enough, the sense of Adams' words couldn't be further from the emotional impact of his images on me. While his nature photography is abstract to the degree that all black and white images of the three-dimensional color world are abstract, they always seemed to be models of clarity.

Then again, his vision of the world was so established by the time I started really seeing photographs that I may too easily discount any revolutionary or impressionistic qualities that they had when first created.

I find it interesting to encounter an unfamiliar expression from a man whose work I thought I knew, at least in passing. Thanks for that . . .

I have started a small project on the inscrutable art speak Daniel Clements cites. I photograph the placard, then re-type the text and, finally, edit it as if it were a college English paper. So far, I’ve done an Eggleston and a Jacob Gil’s, which you can see here: https://islerphoto.zenfolio.com/critique.

I can't help thinking that he wrote it not as a letter but as a cod-'statement' for 'Dick Miller'. It isn't structured as a letter. But I side fully with the 'it's taking the urine out of such gallery show statements' school of thought. After all, it certainly doesn't chime with his work! Nice to know he had such a funny side - even gurus take time off!

Create your own hard-to-understand block of text: http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/ - hit the "reionize electrons" button at top to make up your own.

It reads like a humorous Zen koan. I love it!

"When I am out with my camera, I am in with my libido." Can you say that on a family blog?

I think he was “in his cups” when he wrote that.

Maybe he was channeling his inner spirit guide, Stephen Dedalus, and cogitating on the ineluctable modality of the visible. Or maybe it was just some other "spirits".

"...descending into levels of non-comprehension, ornamented with the pangs of perverse euphoria...."

Seems rather prophetically to sum up photography on social media.

I don't know what he's talking about. But I can understand the photographs that he takes.

My cynical side says that while the dedication is probably authentic, someone else has added the (badly) typed piece. Probably whilst 'under the influence'.

[To your first point, I don't think so...I've read other bits and fragments written by Ansel in this mood. He had a high-spirited side. --Mike]

'You won't find that in an ebook.'
The last few days have had (rather strangely) frequent instances of 'print vs digital', so when I saw this, the thought was instant.

Back in the 90's, I was browsing a used book store in the Bay View area of Milwaukee, and ran across the Danny Lyon trade paperback book of Merci Gonaives. Bought it for virtually nothing and took it home, eventually to find a hand-written letter from Lyons to someone at the Milwaukee Art Museum on "Bleak Beauty" stationary (or it might have even been a local collector of photography, I knew who it was at the time, but the name escapes me now).

Liked a lot of early Danny Lyon, but really did not care for this book. When I ended up "deaquisitioning" most of my book collection in the 2007's (thankfully right before the next housing market plunge), this went on eBay, for a tidy sum, but really not what is was probably worth with the letter...

I love finding odd objects like this...

Ooo! TOP scoop!

Can't force myself to like the guy. I bear a grudge against him and his F64 drones for destroying pictorialism.

[Except they didn't. Pictorialism was already declining as a serious mainstream style as early as 1915, well before Group f/64 came to be in 1932, and it survived well into the 1940s among serious amateurs, in camera clubs, and in publications such as the Camera Annuals, and of course among individual artists who had practiced in that style and who didn't abandon it as it went out of favor.

The great pictorialist Alvin Langdon Coburn destroyed most of his negatives and gave up photography, but that was in 1930, two years before the formation of Group f/64. I think you're ascribing to them much more influence and power than they really had. They were more like the flag that flew from the masthead rather than the wind that blew. --Mike]

I stand supine ... with coffee exiting my nostrils due to an unexpected snort/guffaw.

He HAD to be kidding.

My wife and I recently visited the Brandywine River Museum for the last day of an exhibit re Winslow Homer and photography. Any real connection was tenuous at best. The printed placards were an exercise in mental contortions ... reflecting nothing tangible.

Like a Christmas goose, love it, love it,love it!

Interesting, relative to your comments on the need to print for specific lighting, to see Brett Weston doing a "print showing" in photo 11/33 of the Richard Miller Weston Centrefold set. He appears to have made an effort to set up specific lighting, and it looks like considerably more than 100 Lux museum level...

Charis Wilson mentions being shown Edward's prints on an easel specially set up in his studio to take advantage of sunlight, so maybe it's a family tradition. Do (or more did) other photographers do this type of show?

Californians do know how to have fun. He and his contemporaries were an ongoing, never ending party... what a time and place that must have been to be alive.

Many years ago, when I was a very serious collector of vinyl LPs, I bought a vintage opera box set on a whim. It was priced right and produced by a record label I admired (RCA Living Stereo), so why not?

When I got home, I examined the contents of the box more closely and to my surprise, discovered 14 naughty polaroids tucked inside the libretto.

Based on the woman's beehive hairdo, they must have been taken during the 60s and either forgotten about thereafter or the owner died and the box set was sold without being thoroughly examined.

A friend once found seven $100 bills in a used box set he bought. While I've also found money hidden inside sleeves over the years, the amounts were nowhere as large as that. (sigh)

P.S.: The polaroids are still tucked inside the libretto, so someone else can discover them after I have passed on and my collection is disbursed. 8^)

My take on Ansel's letter.....he was having fun at the Minor White type of photography that he saw around him......and at the guru personality......(while I acutually prefer Minor's work to Ansel's).....the way certain photographers talked about image making did,and does boarder on being pretentious.

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