It is hard for me to put into words what I feel when viewing AA photographs. After a showing of his work there is a lump in my throat. To me this image is great on two levels; technical, and emotional. I don't care when he took the image nor do I care what the circumstances were, what I care about is what it says to me. To me this image says "Yep, God exists".
Folks can go on and on about who AA was and what he was. I won't try. I just know how I feel when I see many of his images.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Last fall I had the pleasure of attending Per's Owen's Valley Workshop. While in Lone Pine, the wife and I visited this exact spot because I love this image so much. It's located a bit behind the cemetery at the Manzanar Interment Camp. As luck would have it the lighting and the clouds were very much like this. However, the boulder field is now overgrow with lots of scrubs and grasses. I ended up taking pics of the cemetary monument with Mt. Williamson in the background. Reminds me I need to get in the darkroom and print those.
AA to me represents the magical age of photography that is now lost in our rush of life and materialism (and digital). His dedication, his craftmanship, and his images will never really be dupicated. Some may be better now, but for his time he "was" the photographer's photographer. His example (amoung others) motivates me to be a better photographer myself.
The soul never thinks without an image.
One of my more favorite AA images. I am drawn in this image to the sunlight as it streams through the clouds. Like a lot of people I found inspiration early on in the works of AA, and while I still like to view his work, I have moved into a different direction and have found inspiration in other places. But, I don't think anyone can argue that AA isn't the father of landscape photography, as it is practiced now.
Originally Posted by mark
You don't think there was a "rush of life" when this was taken? the midst of a new war, women entering the factories, the military industrial complex winding up to full speed, families broken apart, sons, husbands and fathers going off the the Pacific Theatre, the unbelievable shock of Pearl Harbour less than a year before...?
Originally Posted by magic823
Doesn't sound that different from today (in fact I'd say, today is still probably less stressful)
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Sorry but I find this comment rather disturbing, chilling. I know you say you don't care (disturbing enough) but does that imply that if the camera were 180 degrees around, facing the internment camp, that such knowledge would be different?
Originally Posted by mark
A pretty picture is just that -- a pretty picture. What you see is all you get, and to extend "knowledge" further is a very dangerous practice.
As illustration, consider these two TV commercials: one local, one not.
Allah akbar, y'all
I’ve been thinking this over.
I think the more one knows about photographic technique, the less one is likely to appreciate Adams as a photographer. One becomes blinded by the technical aspect, and never looks past the initial impact.
This is hardly Adams’ fault, after all he didn’t invent his technique. He pretty much employed the basic catalogue available to skilled photographers between the world wars.
One can gain insight to his work through music. Listen to great Romantic musicians: Landowska, Casals, Horowitz.
Post-Modernism’s veneer of irony, calculated detachment, and technical perfection often makes the Romantic expression seem hysterical when heard in our frantic and structured times.
Vladimir Horowitz might be the closest reference we can find for Adams. Listen to Horowitz in Moscow, with a book of Adams pictures before you. Let the music guide you through the pictures and let yourself forget all the Zone System stuff.
Casals is a pretty good alternative if you prefer a cello to piano.
And Landowska is good to listen to... just because.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Very well stated. Thank you.
Originally Posted by bjorke
Someone pointed out earlier that his location was near the Manzanar Internment Camp location. Not being familiar with that region, I wasn't aware of this before. Could Adams have taken this photo during the same period he was photographing at the Internment Camp?
Originally Posted by tim atherton
I agree with Tim. I think the stress and pressures of the current era pales in comparison to those of that era. Ever notice how endelible the WWII period is on anyone who lived through it?
I'm guessing they both use the same ad agency...?
Originally Posted by bjorke
"Pretty" is so closely allied the the sentimental and sentimentality - one of the most dangerous of human responses and emotions (Hitler was an incurable sentimentalist and sentimentality was one of the keys to the rise of fascism in Germany in the 30's)
Photography often can play (and frequently has played) a big roll in that