I think technical perfection is vastly over-rated. Not all photographs work when exposed, developed and printed as if Ansel Adams were the darkroom technician supervising their production. And photography would be unutterably boring if all photographs looked that way. Do I think photographers need to know technique and craftsmanship so that they can consciously choose what they're doing and can control their output? YES. Do they have to swear a life-long allegiance to the f64 School? No. Not everything in life is sharp, not everything is grainless, and not everything fits in the Zone IV-Zone VIII tonal range.
When comparing several well known AA prints of certain negatives made in different decades, it's evident that his aesthetic evolved over time to amplify "impact and interest" to some extent over "technical perfection"* whatever that is. John Szarkowski includes a number of these photographs in "Ansel Adams at 100", and the differences are dramatic with nearly featureless dark areas that were open and detailed in earlier prints. "Moonrise" itself evolved that way, and the last prints are emphatically so. To ask if it's a 'great' photograph is to wonder why the woman I think is beautiful is unattractive to you. Kinda pointless....
*For me, technical perfection is what occurs when I have made a print that exactly meets the goals I set for it.
I don't think that is exactly what jovo meant. Technical perfection being a print that satisfies the photographer and achieves the desired aesthetic for the image. And this is not something absolute or static. It can evolve over time.
As for Adams, yes his prints - particularly from the late 60s onward and characteristic of the 70s - are more "dramatic" than his earlier versions. He himself acknowledged this using the term Wagnerian.
I thought Van Gogh (sp) was a hack until I saw one of his paintings in person. Seriously. I think this is the nature of any photographer/artist whose images were not meant to be displayed on the digital screen, but hung on a wall.
Many of us really appreciate being well hung.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
I had the privilege of seeing a print of both Moonrise over Hernandez and the clearing winter storm in Yosemite in person as part of the "Western Exposure" exhibit. Truly amazing to see in person, though I preferred the clearing winter storm print. Interestingly enough there was another photograph he made not far from the clearing winter storm photo (I forget the name). The positions were remarkably similar, right down to the two tall trees in the lower right corner of the photograph.
Western Exposure also showed some of his color work, but most was B&W. If you get the chance to see Western Exposure, do so. You won't regret it.
Shoot more film.
There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.