Quote Originally Posted by ehparis View Post
Also, isn't it true that, per The Negative, many of the photos he took were not "in camera" but extensively modified in the darkroom.
I hope you are not a troll and so I'll respond. I believe this is gross misconception. I imagine that AA, like all b&w photographers who do their own processing and printing, had to work some prints over pretty good to achieve his visualization at the time of the exposure. He was not perfect! And, neither are any of us.

However, in his words, "What is important to visualize may be summed up as follows: The basic compositional aspects, -- The basic tonal values and the emotional values of light and darkness, and -- The style (the personal quality of the photographer's "seeing")."

I think it is accepted that the Zone system is meant to bring the visualization full circle i.e., from the mind's eye to the physical print. Again, in his words: "Our problem is one of visualizing the desired print, and then exposing and developing to get a negative which will yield such a print without complex manipulations (reduction of the negative or fussy adjustments in printing)."

So, IMO, there is no escaping tonal adjustments in the printing process. It remains true, I think, that the better the quality of the negative, the easier the printing process will be and that was what Adams strived for, IMO. And honestly, I think that's what we all strive for (using whatever exposure/dev system or no system at all) that do b&w work.

JMO.