Chris: I too learned much of my photography through the work and writings of Ansel Adams - though, I suspect, many years before you. I have always believed that the craft of photography is as important as the art. One without the other is like love and marriage - though we all know it happens but it's not a pretty sight! You don't have to like his subject matter to appreciate him and I almost defy anyone with a soul to look at an original print and not be moved. His robotic disciples are another matter, of course. I'll never forget a visit to Yosemite and the sight of a bunch of photographers jostling to get their tripod legs where they thought Adams had placed his! It's THOSE people who give Adams a bad rep.
Thanks for the thoughtful and well written article. Keep it up!