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  1. #11

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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 ...

  2. #12
    phaedrus's Avatar
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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 ;-)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath View Post
    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.
    Yes. In fact I'd expect none less than a report as detailed as this:
    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/photos.txt

  4. #14
    ic-racer's Avatar
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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.

  5. #15
    tac
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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 #?

  6. #16

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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.

  7. #17
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    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.
    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.

  8. #18
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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

  9. #19
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan View Post
    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.
    ...

    juan
    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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #20
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I couldn't take it anymore. Apostrophe in the title fixed.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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