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Bill Burk
09-02-2012, 07:40 PM
If it comes up all the time, then it is worthy of debate. However, it is the easiest thing in the world to criticize an image, but another thing entirely to be there and take it.

Usually when it comes up, OP is a troll. Clearly not the case here.

Cliveh, is it this particular image? Or the body of work that escapes your grasp?

In general, whereas HCB captures the essence of a place in a moment in time, AA captures the essence of a place without time.

When you attempt to capture a place, I think it helps to use a tripod and LF... Because then a print can bring a dimension of illusory reality. The closer you look, the more you see. It satisfies the eagle-eye.

Sirius Glass
09-02-2012, 08:34 PM
I cannot speak for Cliveh, I do not get excited or "moved" by Moonrise Hernandez.

c6h6o3
09-02-2012, 09:34 PM
I cannot speak for Cliveh, I do not get excited or "moved" by Moonrise Hernandez.

Nor do I. Clearing Winter Storm doesn't exactly drop my jaw to the floor either. Some things by Adams nearly bring tears to my eyes, but not his calendar art.

cliveh
09-03-2012, 02:33 AM
Usually when it comes up, OP is a troll. Clearly not the case here.

Cliveh, is it this particular image? Or the body of work that escapes your grasp?

In general, whereas HCB captures the essence of a place in a moment in time, AA captures the essence of a place without time.

When you attempt to capture a place, I think it helps to use a tripod and LF... Because then a print can bring a dimension of illusory reality. The closer you look, the more you see. It satisfies the eagle-eye.

Bill, please don't take my OP out of context, as I have no problem with the MO of landscape work, or AA in general. It is just this picture and one or two others that I have a problem with. But as has been said it is probably because I haven't seen the original.

Leigh B
09-03-2012, 03:04 AM
I doubt that any single picture exists in the world that would be universally liked.

Why should this one be any different?

And why is it worthy of a thread, or even of comments?

- Leigh

Poisson Du Jour
09-03-2012, 03:46 AM
Moonrise isn't a particularly enthralling image and would, by modern standards of aesthetics, attract criticism for the vast black swathe of nothingness and a ordinarily inconsequential (albeit detailed) moon. I don't think Adams had it visually in terms of visual-spatial symmetry, though there is no question about his technique and depth of processing execution. Of very few, one image stands out and resonates with me: Aspens, Mexico on p218. Horses for courses, there will be still others who do not like this image.

Ghostman
09-03-2012, 04:19 AM
Quite an interesting little video showing AA's mastery of the print, specific to Moonrise.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2cPfjBPTOA&feature=player_embedded#!

georg16nik
09-03-2012, 06:33 AM
Ansel Adams was raised with 19th-century transcendentalists' core beliefs, the inherent goodness of both man and nature.
His work as a photographer is much deeper than the imagination of the average person..... especially in 2012,
hence You often see threads of the kind "I don't get Ansel Adams".

markbarendt
09-03-2012, 08:15 AM
Ansel Adams was raised with 19th-century transcendentalists' core beliefs, the inherent goodness of both man and nature.
His work as a photographer is much deeper than the imagination of the average person..... especially in 2012,
hence You often see threads of the kind "I don't get Ansel Adams".

Actually, I just think AA became really good at his craft; business.

He worked very hard to develop a salable high quality product (pretty obviously based on something he enjoyed) and market it well with a great story. He refined that product over time and he was also a good teacher of process.

To me though, most of his work seems to be simply variations and refinements on his original ideas. This is not a bad thing, it is typical of most businesses and crafts; the big leaps of imagination come early while getting things started, followed by many years of formulaic production, maintenance, and refinement.

Bill Burk
09-03-2012, 01:08 PM
I think it is because it is a very gentle and poetic form of memento mori.

This could have a lot to do with its wider appeal. Wider because church symbolism means a lot to people, and those who appreciate it don't necessarily have the same strong feelings for nature symbolism.

Church for me, as I was influenced by a Boy Scout upbringing, means rocks and lakes, rivers and trees. For my wife, influenced by a Mission San Carlos Borromeo upbringing, crosses and saints, Jesus and Mary mean more.

In my own home I have only a few prints on display. Two nature shots, two shots of my kids, and five shots taken in and around missions.

I don't even "get it" in my own work, why shots that include religious symbolism are more popular with my chosen audience. I much prefer the nature shots I have taken, they move me directly and personally.

Klainmeister
09-03-2012, 02:45 PM
No I have not, so that is perhaps why I don't get it.

The only reason I mention that is that I also didn't understand the image until I finally, after many years of seeing it reproduced, got to see one in person. It's a remarkably simple, yet captivating image in reality.

markbarendt
09-03-2012, 02:48 PM
I don't even "get it" in my own work, why shots that include religious symbolism are more popular with my chosen audience. I much prefer the nature shots I have taken, they move me directly and personally.

This is an interesting point.

We don't necessarily need to "get it" (like it) to make photos our audiences like.

semi-ambivalent
09-03-2012, 04:39 PM
This could have a lot to do with its wider appeal. Wider because church symbolism means a lot to people, and those who appreciate it don't necessarily have the same strong feelings for nature symbolism...I don't even "get it" in my own work, why shots that include religious symbolism are more popular with my chosen audience. I much prefer the nature shots I have taken, they move me directly and personally.

Very likely. The cross is of course a potent Christian symbol but for myself (an apostate) the crosses are simply a reminder of death and I key them against the moon's permanence. And I like the black. Much of Adams's work is nothing to me except brilliant craftsmanship but Moonrise touches a nerve. I have an on-going, rather shallow, tourist's romance with that part of the country and that certainly plays into my response as well. I have a faded bouquet of silk flowers from that cemetery (from a trash pile) in my darkroom. Can't explain that, but, there it is.

s-La-Chosa-will-do-a

mike-o
09-05-2012, 07:07 AM
Can someone explain to me why Moonrise Hernandez is a good photograph, as I donít get it.

Are you saying you don't like it? In that case, the only response to your post is "de gustibus non disputandum est." Or, the more updated "that's why Baskin Robbins makes 31 flavors."

If you think that the photograph lacks aesthetic merit, then I would be interested in hearing why you think that. If you're unable to articulate the reason for your judgment, then the problem lies not with the photograph but elsewhere.

In other words, I am making a distinction between your subjective reaction to the photo, which is legitimate in all cases and needs no explanation, versus an objective assessment, which, if truly objective, requires an explanation.

If you have no opinion and are simply wanting to understand what others see in it, there's no shortage of discussion of this photograph. Try this:

http://www.hcc.commnet.edu/artmuseum/anseladams/details/moonrise.html

or this:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?57477-Why-Moonrise-over-Hernandez

I personally like the photograph although I have not spent a whole lot of time thinking about it, so I haven't got any hard formed opinion as to its aesthetic value. Like most people, however, my automatic reaction is that since I like it, it must be good.

mike-o
09-05-2012, 07:14 AM
In a Capitalist economic system money is the only metric.
s-a

The only metric of what?

I suspect the answer is a tautology.

semi-ambivalent
09-05-2012, 08:06 AM
The only metric of what?

I suspect the answer is a tautology.


The only metric of the value of an object, act or condition. It's hard to promote something like parks (my example), even though people want them, love them and use them heavily because we have a hard time placing dollar values on the things that parks offer their users. It's why news reports like to include cost of damages from storms or crime even though the greatest loss is often non-material. It's how capitalist societies appear to work. I took if for granted people would know what I meant because I use the dollar filter too.

s-a

Dali
09-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Can someone explain to me why Moonrise Hernandez is a good photograph, as I donít get it.

Beyond the technical aspect, does this picture mean something to you?

BrianShaw
09-05-2012, 01:39 PM
Beyond the technical aspect, does this picture mean something to you?

Yes, that is the question. For me (one who "doesn't get it") the answer is that the technical qualities are quite obvious, and the story that goes with the image is quite interesting. Having seen originals as well as reproductions I think I understand the technical virtues and the reasons why it is a masterpiece. (If anyone has not seen an original Ihighly encourage doing so!)

But, no... the image doesn't mean much to me beyond the technical aspects. That's the problem I have with it, I suppose: it looks much like a lot of what I've seen in the SouthWest (albeit mostly without a moonrise) and aside that technical quality and the story of how it was captured the image does not "speak to me". Even the crosses don't cause me to feel any more spiritual or religious than I normally do.

The image speaks volumes to others and for that (and them) I feel quite happy. I get more from Snake River and Tetons myself. Go figure.

pbromaghin
09-05-2012, 02:12 PM
Last autumn, I spent several minutes with my nose pressed up against the glass of a Moonrise print in the Gallery collection (owned by Ansel's daughter). I had seen several reproductions from magazines and books but they did the original no justice at all. This was printed late in his life and so was probably more to the dramatic style. I thought the crosses were a bit blown out, but the sky was wonderful in the delicacy of the clouds. It is not among my favorites, but seeing the straight print now for the first time, I am amazed at the skill that went into the final print.

DREW WILEY
09-05-2012, 07:31 PM
"Moonrise" never really turned me on. I've seen several vintages of the print (before and after sel
intensification), and have even had my work displayed side by side with mural-sized versions of this
and numerous other AA classic images. I understand its historic importance, and find the anecdotes
about its capture to be a bit of spice to the history behind it. Maybe it's just that I'm from the Sierra
and respond more to how AA captured the essence of light in the mtns than in the desert. Who knows. To each his own.