He was The Master. His combination of artistic ability and technical knowledge was just off-the-scale ridiculous. For me, the defining bit of Adams on Adams is in his book The Negative, Figure 6-2 on pages 126-127 (in the edition I have, anyway), where he describes the making of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. In the very lengthy caption to this figure, he explains how he knew off the top of his head the luminance of the Moon (at the particular position it was at that moment) in absolute units of candles per square foot, and computed an exposure in his head, and remembered to include a filter factor. Mind you, all this after scurrying frantically to set up this shot with a cumbersome 8x10 before the scene changed, and exchanging the front and back elements on his Cooke lens, and dialing in a focus-shift adjustment. I read all that and just thought "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING. How does one ever match that!?!?!" It sounds like a minor miracle to have got a shot fired off at all, never mind well composed, yet he did it all flawlessly and ended up with this absolutely epic, famous, incomparable picture. Bow to the master...

--Dave