Iconic, American Landscape Photographer Ansel Adams Was Born This Day 116-Years Ago.

by Anura Guruge

Though not well known, Ansel did shoot in color.
See text below.

Click to ENLARGE. A color photo by Ansel Adams.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansel_Adams

I wrote about Ansel Adams, quite recently, in my latest books.

So, I am going to reproduce ‘chunks’ from that, since that will also give me a chance to air this text and see what typos I have. {Smile}

He definitely was not a ‘straight out of the camera’ photographer. He treated his exposed negatives as canvases to be worked on. He manipulated and worked with the original image captured to get the picture he wanted to project – particularly when it came to its tonality and dynamic range.

He is best known for his black-and-white masterpieces. He, however, did shoot in color – often so when he was doing work on commission. In the 1940s he was hired by Standard Oil (now Esso and once Exxon) to shoot a portfolio of color images, per the theme ‘See Your West’, that were used in a giveaway promotion at gas stations.

Ansel, given the grandiose scale of the subject matter he preferred, opted (as did other professionals at the time) for large format cameras – usually capable of producing 8” x 10” ‘plates’ or negatives.

Ansel worked hard to get his iconic images. Sometimes when optical filters alone would not provide him with the light contrast and gradations he sought, especially when water was involved, he would use pieces of card, he held in front of the lens, to achieve the desired exposure. Then, he would work on the negative.

Ansel was known to be a darkroom maestro, who knew and employed every trick of the trade when it came to ‘doctoring’ negatives and controlling the images obtained from negatives. He predated ‘Photoshop’ and the magic that can be wrought from the RAW data available from medium- to high-end digital cameras. The options for ‘post processing’ digital images that are available today are likely to exceed Ansel’s wildest dreams. It is, however, possible that Ansel’s best, pre-digital and in b&w, cannot be photoshopped to be any better!

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by Anura Guruge

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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

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