Thank you for your reply. I see so many comments along the lines of those I've outlined and guess I've been looking for a solid way to refute them. They seem to be part of the basic defense used by digital people to "justify" their "craft." They seem to be saying in the same breath that Adams would have been a fan of Photoshop, as inane a comment as I can imagine.
Edited to add: I see most of the comments I mention on the popular Nikonians.org site which of course is dedicated primarily to "digital photography" (something of an oxymoron).
But see, I am gonna risk the wrath of the Mods on this one, but we all scorn digital photography as not being true photography. Just as photography could not be an art to be compared with painting when it was new in the 19th century. The opinions of people change with time. I WILL ALWAYS PREFER FILM PHOTOGRAPHY. Digital photography doesn't take cool stuff like acid to coax a latent image into being, however to those that dedicate as much of themselves as did the film-using greats, they are true photographers in their own right. They use their own medium, their own canvas, their own method of capture. They use silicon instead of silver. Their process is electronic instead of chemical. It is true that digital photography can be made to be all about instant gratification and putting a quicky camera into every hand in the world, it has been taken to the masses, a perversion of the hallowed realms of film photography. But, after all, isn't that what was said about 35mm when the first Zeiss's and Kodaks and Leicas started popping up on the scene? The large format 'purists' howled then and the ringing continues even today. It is merely aimed in a somewhat different direction.
It is the creative eye behind the viewfinder/groundglass that makes photography an art and a craft, regardless of the mode applied. All an artist can do is to be true to his or her own vision and let history decide if the body of work is important or otherwise.
Just thoughts. Thank you for the kind words and the reads, folks. I truly appreciate it.
I know it's anathema here but I tend to agree with you. In fact, in his book "40 Examples" Adams mentioned that he indicated his excitement for the future "when we shall be capturing images electronically." Digital, (sorry - d@#$*&l) has its uses - particularly in some commercial photography for which it excels - and I use it in those situations. However, for the more evocative work I admire just doesn't match up in digital - particularly in B&W. About a year ago I printed a 16x20 from a 4x5. I then had that neg drum scanned and a 16x20 gyclee print done from it. Matted and framed it like the real one and hung them side by side. EVERYONE (that saw it at least!) preferred the silver image. There was no area in the digital print where I could say I saw more rendered detail but there was a depth and a presence in the silver print that the digital just didn't have.
I have decided that I'll switch to digital the day a film photographer tells me: "See, it's as good as digital!" I suspect the temperature will never drop that low however!;)
A definition of "God" from the Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:God-a person or thing of supreme value.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
As stated before AA is a God to photograph. His value to the past, present, and future of photography is so large that it can't be quantitatively measured. There have been many great great photographers and there will be many many more great photographers to come--but none will have the influence and add to the knowledge base like AA did. IMO
I agree. He gave so much to all of us that we could never repay him, even given the chance. Thanks for the reads again. Have a great day, all.
I agree. I'm not a huge fan of his work, but I cannot deny his technical skill and impact on 20th Century photogrpahy. But, I do tire of the endless digital imatators (who come nowhere close to his level) that parade their latest "Ansel Adams'" pic from their summer vacation in Yosemite on various photo UG's.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
Amen to that!
I happen to like many of AA's photographs - but certainly not not all. I do admire his commitment to technique, however; and there is no doubt that he has inspired many photographers. Adams himself however, points out that his technical approach should be taken as a point of departure for the serious photographer. Dogmatism is a tough to take - any any form. I call these individuals "Photo Phundamentalists":D
There are some of his images that I don't recall viewing even though I know I did because I have read his books over and over. They just don't strike me. I got 400 Images for Christmas and there is one image in the 40's section of a meadow below Mt Ansel Adams (fitting) that is the most impactful new image (to me) that I have seen from AA's vaults in a long time. Amazing. His work can still move me to building a cabin in the wilderness of my mind just to be there. (You all know what I mean.)
Thanks for the words and the reads everybody.
It's been a month since there have been any new comments on the article so I would like to wrap it up a bit.
First, I really appreciate all of the comments and reads. I never dreamed that this article would be read by nearly 20 percent of those who have ever even been a member here at APUG. And even though most didn't take the time to respond, which was by no means compulsary, I would like to think that I have struck a common chord with most of my fellow photographers here at APUG.
Secondly, a great deal has been mentioned of other historically great photographers. For instance, Minor White, John Sexton, Galen Rowell, and others. Consider this a tribute to all of our photographic heroes, the icons that have gone before EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. Without their pioneering we would all be in a drastically different place creatively.
Thirdly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sean. This forum is the greatest opportunity for we film photographers to air our concerns, bond with fellow craftsmen and display our knowledge to the benefit of they who will follow US.
It has been my privelege and honor to be a part of such a great and grand undertaking, this users group for analog photographers. I have made many new friends here and hope to develop (no pun intended) many more.
Thank you all.
Christopher A. Walrath
(1.) Christopher, thank you for showing us something of your mind and thinking. I also applaud your writing.
(2.) It is interesting and surprising to find Galen Rowell mentioned here also. I did not expect that from the title. I remember my initial reaction of; "Huh?" that slowly developed from shock into disbelief and then a feeling of loss when I heard that Galen and Barbara Rowell had died in a chartered airplane while approaching the Bishop field after a vacation cruise up to Alaska. Ironically, they were passengers; Barbara was not the pilot that night. Climbing had lost a friend who could show the world why we climb.