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  1. #1
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    ... and while the photos were breathtakingly beautiful, the experience was ruined by a bus tour director This woman was shouting out all kinds info on Ansel to her group. Fine, I can deal with that. Maybe I'll learn something new about Ansel. The kicker was half the crap she was saying was flat out WRONG! I tried correcting her twice on some things and finally gave up when one of the tour members asked when Ansel was born. She answered that he was born in the mid 1920's. What makes it even funnier as she said this while standing next to "Monolith, Face of Half Dome" which had a plaque right next to it clearly stating the photo was shot in 1927 :mad2: Too bad today was the last day for the exhibit. I knew I should have gone earlier
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    I guess Ansel was a child prodigee' then. Couldn't have been more than 3 yrs old.
    Must have been difficult for him to handle those heavy cameras.
    Keep Shooting!

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  3. #3
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Heavy cameras? What heavy cameras? "He used a Kodak Brownie for a lot of his work." Again... :mad2::mad2::mad2:
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  4. #4
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    I saw a very nice AA exhibit in Austin a couple of years ago. Those big prints are just amazing. Makes you want to get a view camera, doesn't it?

    Too bad about the tour director.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    You aren't kidding! Those prints were amazing I spent about 45 minutes there. Was just a small exhibit, like 15 prints. Don't need a view camera necessarily though. "Moon and Half Dome" was shot with a Hassie. Makes me want to set-up a dark room more than anything I really want to get at least a reprint of one of his works. Been eying the Yosemite Special Edition Photos from the Ansel Adams Gallery. They're prints made by one of his assistants from the original negatives. Not the same but, not $5,000+ either
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    There's just no way to describe what real prints from the masters actually look like. Amazing, isn't it? I was lucky enough to see the 100th anniversary of his birth exhibit (which is apparently 20 years too early ) and am glad I made the trip. Monolith..., born in the 20's... hoo boy - how would she explain the beginning of his autobiography remembering the 1906 San Francisco earthquake? Some people are more qualified than others, I guess.

    I'm not an AA expert, or any other kind of expert for that matter - but I think a lot of his magic was with his technical expertise over printing. That expertise led to figuring out the best way to meter a scene (Zone System), how to expose the film and develop it (all well before printing, obviously) to make sure the negative could give him the print he wanted. And we complain about waiting for a digital image to record so we can check the histogram! The darkroom magic could be done with a 2-1/4 negative but there are other tricks like perspective control and increasing or decreasing depth of field that would really need a LF camera.

    The one time I saw real AA prints for sale in a gallery, they weren't even close to $5k... Now of course I wish I would have bought an HCB print that they had for that amount.

  7. #7
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    True. Didn't he say like 40% or 50% of the job was the darkroom? Either way, the prints were amazing. One interesting thing was seeing how some of his prints were a little different with his later printings. Most of the prints they had there were done in 1980. Like the sky was burned a little different in "Moonrise, Hernandez". The cloud line was a little higher than in versions I have seen in some of the books I have. I was bummed that they didn't have "Aspens, New Mexico" (the horizontal version) or "Rose and Driftwood" though. Those are 2 of my favs. I was really hoping to see the textures of "Rose and Driftwood" up close.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  8. #8
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Moonrise, Hernandez is an interesting one - I thought the print of this at the gallery I mentioned (Oswald in Austin TX) was more "lively" than the one in the 100th exhibit. I didn't see them together, it but it was a couple of months apart and I studied those prints for awhile. Can't remember which I saw first - think it was at the gallery (think it might have been about $35k). He talks about it in his Autobiography and I remember that he only had a moment to set up and shoot. No big deal with a DSLR, but putting an 8x10 and huge tripod on top of his truck was another story.

    I don't know for sure but would guess higher than 40-50% darkroom magic, including the techniques he adopted for exposure and developing. And people talk about manipulation as though it was invented with Photoshop! Ever heard of Dan Anderson? He's a northern WI photographer who is in Photo Techniques magazine occasionally. I talked to a gallery owner near his home and she understood thru conversations with him that AA's negatives just couldn't be straight printed. Dan Anderson is very skilled in B&W work himself, although I think he's gone to scanning and digital prints.

  9. #9
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Dan Anderson? Never heard of him. I'll have to look him up. Thanks

    There was a big thing about Moonrise, Hernandez in a PBS documentary DVD I have. Something about how he had a moment to set-up and also his light meter was broken. They said he calculated the exposure in his head because he knew the formula for lumen output from the moon or something crazy like that...LOL I found an interesting thing about his work that gives a pictorial progression of that shot over the years. Go to http://www.sfmoma.org/adams/ and click start program, then click on Moonrise, Hernandez and it will shot how the shot has changed over the years. Pretty interesting.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  10. #10
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Ansel Adams was born in 1902.
    Check HERE, his trust's site, for a short bio on him.
    Like a lot of photographers he was inspiration of sorts to me. Just check the quote I have from him in my signature.
    I have read is autobiography several times and have seen two or three exhibits.
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  11. #11
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke
    because he knew the formula for lumen output from the moon or something crazy like that...
    Well, it is a constant value assuming that the sky is clear. Light of a full moon measured on the ground is about 0.1 footcandle and 30 footcandles is just about 7EV off the top of my head. I'll let you go from there...




    (Somewhat useless knowledge collected through life working with commercial lighting projects - I recently forgot my lightmeter that measures footcandles one day and had to use my Sekonic, googled and found a conversion from FC to EV - that's how I know...)

  12. #12
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    Ansel Adams was born in 1902.
    Check HERE, his trust's site, for a short bio on him.
    Like a lot of photographers he was inspiration of sorts to me. Just check the quote I have from him in my signature.
    I have read is autobiography several times and have seen two or three exhibits.
    Brian
    Thanks Brian I've got about 13 or 14 of his books now in my collection but, for some reason still haven't picked up his autobiography Have to add that to my list. Have you seen the documentary that PBS did on him? If not you should really pick up the DVD. The guy was amazing. Seeing those prints today just solidified my decision to stick with film.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  13. #13
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Went to my first Ansel Adams Exhibit today...

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Well, it is a constant value assuming that the sky is clear. Light of a full moon measured on the ground is about 0.1 footcandle and 30 footcandles is just about 7EV off the top of my head. I'll let you go from there...




    (Somewhat useless knowledge collected through life working with commercial lighting projects - I recently forgot my lightmeter that measures footcandles one day and had to use my Sekonic, googled and found a conversion from FC to EV - that's how I know...)
    Not useless at all...LOL Excuse while I go look up the conversion...
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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