Despite AA's open-mindedness to the dawn of dramatically newer technology, his own darkroom was
hardly state of the art even back then. Then when we reivew those moments of ephiphany in his
personal history, like when he discovered how a simple red filter used for "Monolith", the face of Half
Dome, would forever change his own way of looking at things, it puts things in better perspective.
He learned to look and (correctly termed or not) "previsualize". Many so-called photographers today
don't even known how to look. How one interprets the shot is a related by distinct subject. Ansel was really attuned to the quality of light and how it defined real scenes. ALL photographs are some
kind of manipulation - just pointing the camera a certain direction means you are taking something
and turning it into something else, within a new context. But some illusionists are quite skilled at it,
and making it convincing, and then there's a considerable number of wannabees who show their clumsy hand.
So you are saying the tools used are more important than artistic vision?
Perhaps the tools used alter the artistic vision?
Mr. Pixel - anything tangible evidence of "vision" has to be some kind of marriage with a specific medium. A potter requires clay. A fresco painter requires plaster. The two grow together. And having
some kind of restraint actually greases the wheels, so to speak, because it gives one a direction.
In the hypotethical argument, What would Ansel do today - maybe he would shoot and print digitally.
But then his legacy would be something completely different, and possibly even a bellyflop. It's one
thing to reproduce things digitally - either prepress or by inkjet etc. But the learning curve itself,
and how one get to a vision in the first place, is just as important. For me, the hunt is just as important as the kill. And the darkroom is a real nice place to finish the chase. If someone prefers
other methods, fine. No problem. And maybe they can mimic what I do. Good luck. It ain't that easy! But better to let each media do what it does best.
I can imagine the same sort of comments from portrait oil painters as daguerreotype portraits became popular.
"It's only real if it's done in oil." ;-)
Ah, yes, Moonrise Hernandez... her parents were hippies, you know.
I can imagine that the printerís skill is very akin to a painter who is working from a sketch. The sketch in this case being the negative.