Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
Why was the scene not beautiful? how do you know it was very different to the photograph?

What has Ansel done that has changed it so? How is this "emotion translated visually" so that it differs from the real scene (in ways other than tone, contrast, selective composition etc)?

I agree about the emotional effect (some of) his images have but would argue that the relative serenity/beauty/tranquility imparted into this image was simply a product of his being able to experty take control of harsh lighting (which bear in mind our eyes have little trouble with it is only film that struggles with this sort of brightness range...)

I would be hard pressed to expect the average person to look at a boulder strewn field and see 'beauty'. In fact, if I were facing some imposing mountains with 'god rays', I'd probably either visually ignore the boulders, or move someplace else to include a less problematic (and I say that because AA discusses the making of this photograph, and as I recall, it was a very difficult one to print.) foreground. But, AA, through his skill in 'making' a photograph found power in the boulders that he (in my opinion anyway) was able to relate to the majesty of the mountains by control of the process. I don't see this as a scene of "relative serenity/beauty/tranquility" but a unified expression of natural power and strength that required the vision of an artist to reveal. It's a whole greater than its parts.