Report Of Experts On Authentication Of Adams' Lost Negatives To Be Released Soon.

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by apeter, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. apeter

    apeter Subscriber

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    I am the entertainment attorney who has been working with a group of experts for the past three years to once and for all prove that over 60 glass negatives purchased at a Fresno garage sale were in fact created by Ansel Adams. Our experts included two court qualified hand-writing analysts, the former Curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and a meteorologist who was engaged to examine an authenticated Ansel Adams print and one virtually identical negative among those found at the garage sale. The task of this expert was to determine whether by looking at the cloud formation, shadows and snow drifts, it was possible to determine if the two images were captured on the same day and at the same time. Last but not least, on our team was Mr. Patrick Alt who I had the pleasure to work with and learn from. His expertise in this area is beyond reproach. After obtaining written reports from these experts, we asked a former FBI Agent and Section Chief and a former Assistant United States Attorney and Legal Commentator on ABC News to tell us if the evidence was sufficient under the highest standard used in US courts (beyond a reasonable doubt). In essence, we put the negatives on trial. We anticipate releasing the final results of our investigation later this month. If you are interested in being notified of the results and findings, please register at www.ricknorsigian.com. As an added inducement, those individuals who register on the website will have the opportunity to view before anyone else in the world 15 never before seen photographs we believe were created by Ansel Adams.
     
  2. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    Seeing as you're Mr. Norsigian's attorney and you've been working to "prove that over 60 glass negatives...were in fact created by Ansel Adams", it's not hard to guess the results of your "trial". I have no idea on the veracity of your claims, but you're trying to prove an assertion for your client. Since there's a clear conflict of interest, it's hard to review your claims without thinking of that bias. Competent attorneys have little problem finding experts to bolster their cases. I'd say the same thing of any claims by the Ansel Adams estate.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I have always adhered to the axiom . . . 'The best way to prove something to be correct is to try your best to disprove it.'
     
  4. apeter

    apeter Subscriber

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    I see your point and would very much welcome your feedback and reaction to what we have gathered. I will be sure and post the actual report and results here.
     
  5. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    That would not prove that they were taken by the same person.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    apeter is telling us that the decision and the report are being made available to us. We are asked neither to approve or disapprove of the report. We can choose to read the report or not. How about not shooting the messenger and read the message first?

    Steve
     
  7. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    If they were captured on the same day and at the same time, they would not necessarily be taken by the same person. I'm not shooting the messenger, but just noting an assumed conclusion which is not logical.
     
  8. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Join a forum, and this is one of the first posts with a link to a site where one has to register for updates. Hmmmm. I could just read the news :smile:
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    If they compare these negatives to other negatives made by Adams at these locations it could be done. The holders would have a tell-tale signature. The shadow length and direction could comfirm date and time. Perspective could confirm location. Analysis of the condition of the negatives due to chemical reaction could conclude likelihood of similar process.

    We will never know for sure, but I would love to have them for myself nonetheless.
     
  10. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I can't envisage Ansel letting 60 plates out of his possession. In early days he often travelled with others such as Cedric Wright.
    If I wanted an opinion I would ask his assistants.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    stranger things have happened over the years ...

    eugene atget's work was rescued from a dumpster ...
    not to mention john garo's ( karsh's mentor ) work has
    been missing since he died...

    i remember an article written in the late 1980s about
    an old woman who passed away ...
    when they were going through her "stuff" afterwards
    they found work ( paintings ) in her basement
    that were missing since the 1920s ...
     
  12. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    All caps headline in my eyes is an indication that theres something not quite right with that. Somehow reminds me of Nigerians with difficult international money transactions ;-)
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Yes. In fact I'd expect none less than a report as detailed as this:
    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/photos.txt
     
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  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Also, If they really are Ansel's negatives, then they are, of course ANSEL'S NEGATIVES and unless there are receipts, the only conclusion that I can draw is that they were stolen from the fire wreckage and belong to the ADAMS ESTATE.

    If I were in charge of the Adams Estate what I'd is say I don't want them.
    This will ensure an appropriate market value.
     
  16. tac

    tac Member

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    I am also a lawyer (criminal defense) and an ex-pro photographer, and I have to agree with Mr. Walrath; we can never really be 100% certain, but that's why we use the 'beyond a reasonable certainty' standard in criminal cases, where a very high standard is necessary before we take someone's liberty or life. I will be more prone to believe the claim if e.g., scientific and microscopic analysis shows that AA's film holders were used, if perspective and other analysis shows his lenses were used, maybe even chemical analysis on process, the exposure range, D-Max can be compared to known examples, etc.

    Similarly, other types of evidence would lead me to DIS-believe the claim.

    In other words, let's wait and see the evidence, what it says, what it doesn't say, and how thorough an exam is performed, then draw our own conclusions.

    This 'registration' thing is suspicious to me; my guess is that they just want a list of potential buyers of said plates, after they 'find' them to be authentic.

    There is also the little matter of provenance.

    apeter: to verify your bona fides, what is your CA bar #?
     
  17. apeter

    apeter Subscriber

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    Thank you for all the questions and comments. We will issue a press release this Friday, July 23 with the results and conclusions of the experts. Many of the questions raised here are directly addressed by the experts we have engaged. I particularly appreciate the comment of my attorney colleague who brings up an extremely important point. There is no way to prove with 100% certainty the provenance of the negatives to Ansel Adams. I recently saw a documentary on the History Channel regarding the Shroud of Turin where one of the experts stated that from a point of science there is no way to prove that the artifact is the shroud of Jesus Christ but that in his opinion a jury using the highest evidentiary standard would say that it in fact was. We have the same issue here. I believe that our analysis was extremely thorough and exhaustive which we then asked asked a former FBI agent and former Assistant United States Attorney with a perfect jury win record to evaluate and tell us if in their opinion the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the negatives were in fact created by Ansel Adams. My California State Bar Number is 120091 and my firm's website is www.prslawyers.com. I very much welcome your continuing feedback especially after the results are released.
     
  18. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Not if it had to be unanimous and I was on the jury. I'm a forensic chemist specializing in trace and microscopy.

    In this case, I agree with tac. There needs to be scientific evidence with actual testing. There's still likely to be questions no matter what the report states. And FBI agents were not chemists, despite being the ones to sign reports at a time in the past.
     
  19. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    This is a very interesting thread, in that it shows different mindsets for proof - the scientific, requiring absolute proof, and the legal - requiring substantial evidence. It will be interesting to see what evidence is available. I'm not sure what testing could be done beyond age testing of the glass and emulsion, if that is possible. Are Ansel's plate holders available for testing against the plates? If so, would years of use following the exposures in question (provided they're his) have changed the characteristics sufficiently to make comparison impossible?
    juan
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    juan:

    There are a whole bunch of different standards of legal proof. I would argue as well that there are different standards of scientific proof (e.g. "statistical proofs").

    Most likely the legal standard involved with these negatives is a "balance of probability" standard, but just as in scientific questions, one entirely inconsistent piece of evidence may very well be sufficient to block the proof.

    I agree though, this thread is interesting.

    I doubt that anyone would be able to prove any of my negatives are mine.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I couldn't take it anymore. Apostrophe in the title fixed.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    David:

    If you fixed each and every error of spelling, grammar or diction in the APUG thread titles, and posted each time, you could easily keep ahead of PE in the thread count derby :smile:.

    Please feel free to start with mine.
     
  23. tac

    tac Member

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    Good questions, Juan; that is the sort of thing that needs examining.

    I would love to have winger look at the plates! She can tell us what is feasible and what is not, I wager.

    apeter Thank you for the response. As a pro photographer and a lawyer, I am really interested in this situation!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
  24. tac

    tac Member

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    I promise you Mr King, I could get a whole trainload of "world renowned experts" to swear under oath that you did in fact make these negatives. And another trainload to swear that you didn't!
     
  25. apeter

    apeter Subscriber

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  26. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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