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View Poll Results: I am a....

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  • Ansel

    13 18.06%
  • Weston

    59 81.94%
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  1. #21

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    I am Tom Stanworth, haven't you heard of me? OK may be not!

    I am not sure that you can say too much about the relative depths of the person by their differing work. Poeple can be deep in different ways. It seems somehow that depth has become associated with more emotional and perhaps more fluid approaches...at the extreme, even with the flamboyant (not that weston was!) and the frivolous. Restraint or formality have become associated with a lack of emotion. I dont think this is so. A persons insights might be tethered more in the literal and logical almost, but this is a depth, it just resonates as a different note, thats all. Take for example a naure lover...a zoologist that has a deep emotional connection with the land and nature and spends their working live amongst it, absorbing its energy......this person can have a deep spiritual connection at the same time as understanding nature from a scientific viewpoint That is a depth that exists independent of any artistic expression. Who knows what sort of photography they would produce. The depth of the person would be fixed before the production of their photography if you know what I mean.

    I personally don't think I am either as their work is not something that is 'me'. It is someone else's language. For some time have been able to see in my head the work that I intend to produce. I have just not been able to do it yet, for many reasons; both oportunity and ability. I hope to get there, maybe I wont. One thing I am sure of is that whilst I can love another person's work, the only work I will be able to procduce is mine. The break I have had from serious image taking/making is the most constructive time I have spent.

    I love some of Adams's quirkier work, such as Pinnacles, Alabama Hills and think some of his less popular work possibly says far more about him. Some of his portraits hurt me to look at tho. I am still learning about the Westons and certain images are growing on me.

    http://www.anseladams.com/Pinnacles-...-P843C231.aspx

  2. #22
    burn1138's Avatar
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    neither. i admire both men and their photography. however it is very clear that they had completely different veiwpoints on photography. adams wanted to show us beautiful things. weston wanted to show us how beautiful everything was.

    i greatly admired adams early in my photographic eduication (still do just not to the point i once did) gradually i realised that his methods of working were not for me. i took the technical knowledge gleaned from 'the negative' and filed it away. i use some of his techniques to meter high contrast scenes and my methods of development control are based on his, but thats were the similarity stops. i mut say that these days prefer adams' 35mm candid people work to his landscape stuff, that candid took of alfred stieglitz is stunning.

  3. #23

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    Yet another stupid, meaningless survey. Who cares! You may like one's subject matter more than the others. But, they are both great photographers.

  4. #24
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Respectfully, it's about HOW they worked.
    "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"

    -Bertrand Russell

  5. #25

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    Let me start by saying I like both of 'em just fine. I generally like looking at Weston's stuff more, but that's about content - you want to talk about technique. In that case, all content, inspiration, and motivation aside, it seems that you'd want to emulate Adams.

    Weston got so good at what he did largely by doing it so many times - experience. Adams had lots of that too but his technique was to try and get it rightl in one shot using previsualization, Zone System, etc. How many shots did Weston take of the famous pepper? Hmmm ...

    So there, have I stirred the pot enough?

    Nathan

  6. #26

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    When you don't know where you are going, there are basically two ways to get from point A to point B. 1) Get out a map and follow the straightest most expeditious route... or 2) Get in your car and drive until you find your way there. Both ways work... only one's quicker. Now, who's happy to see your face when you get there... that's a different story.

  7. #27
    Ole
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    Or 3) Find out where you are, and why you are there. Maybe you weren't supposed to be anywhere else?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #28
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    I find that in many artforms, persons of very different methodology have a great deal of admiration for their opposites. What I mean is that a lot of the time you find people thinking "I just can't do that... I wish I could, but I can't" while the other person is thinking the same thing, only about their own methods. Even in personal life I find that friends of mine whom I admire greatly for their ability to organize and be very thorough and systematic almost to a man admire those mutual aquaintances who are spontaneous and impulsive. And vice versa. I have a hunch - and this is pure "literary license" - that if you asked either man he would tell you that deep down he wishes he could do what the other does - but simply cannot and has to use his own approach. The reason I say that, is that as thought out and technically perfect as Mr. Adams' work is, I dont ever find it sterile or mechanical - the massive intricacy of his techical knowledge seems to be a very obedient servant to his creative passion - which I believe is simply amazing.
    Hmmm... sorry about the phiosophy discourse - I hope I am not too off topic - these were just some of the thoughts the discussion sparked. Personally, I would love to be a master of all the knowledge that Mr. Adams has made palatable to mere mortals like I - but I would never want to sacrifce on its altar the part of me that became fused to a Holga for a week and once swung a Lubitel by its straps with the timer on jst to see what would happen.
    And if ever, ever at all, my name and either one of these staggering talents is combined in the same sentence, it will be along time before I can correct whoever speaks, as I will need to be peeled off the floor and reanimated

    I just can't vote on this one... I think I'd feel waaaaaaay out of my depth and slightly blasphemous by choosing either. This is not false modesty - its just a blunt self-assessment of my abilities.

  9. #29
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    Ansel or weston?

    I'd have to say it depends on what I'm shooting; if I am using my TechIII handheld, HP5,grafmatic, no meter, sunny F16, I'm a Weston(I wish) but with my 5x7 or 4x5 monorail I try to very carefully think through the scene and take as many meter readings as possible and plan developement accordingly. The only variation is I meter what I visualize the most important area of the subject give it a zone placement according to my visualization then meter the other areas, make notes and adjust my technique(pre-exp, filtration,dev) from there.
    To the Gent who lost respect for Weston after reading his day books: I too have read them along with other biographical material and I must say I would have a hard time feeling good about myself had I done those things. I would love to be able to be a student of his(his early death and my late birth make this dream) but I think i would restrict myself to learning the photographic process and making coffee and leave the rest alone. However I could use some rumba lessons.
    No escaping it!
    I must step on fallen leaves
    to take this path

  10. #30
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Coming back round to the premise: are we logical, methodical, and reliant upon a formal approach to translate a scene to a picture ? Or do we see the picture and have an instinctive response that makes the picture ?

    This might be the most important issue in photography today. Does the approach suit the photographer ? For Adams, the System was liberating. For Weston, it would have choked him.

    For Adams, having a hundred ways of making a picture gave him enough choices to get him close to his vision. Weston learned one way of working and rode it hard his whole career, bending and flexing it as he needed, supporting his growth throughout his career.

    So. Are you driving yourself nuts trying to get great lanscape shots with the whole zone system thing, the spot meter, densitometer and film graphs ? Are they technically wonderful but boring ? Maybe a more intuitive approach, simpler and more direct, would free you up.

    Are the pictures adventurous but technically unsound, do the emotions get lost in the process ? Maybe a more methodical approach would help.

    The idea of looking at 'creative lives', how artists met the challenges they faced, and how their work evolved, is a time honored way of learning about one's art. But it has slowly vaporized in photography. Today, it's (too often) all about the gear and technique.
    "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"

    -Bertrand Russell

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