- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Each of Adams 40 photographs presented here is accompanied by an engaging narrative that explores the technical and aesthetic problems presented by the subject and includes reminiscences of the places and people ...
Each of Adams 40 photographs presented here is accompanied by an engaging narrative that explores the technical and aesthetic problems presented by the subject and includes reminiscences of the places and people involved.
Posted May 21, 2001
An essential book for all photography fans! In 1983, Ansel Adams picked 40 of his most memorable and diverse black and white photographs as examples of his work. For each one he wrote a brief essay that described the circumstances of deciding to photograph the subject, how he came to prepare for the photography, his companions, special challenges that occurred along the way, how he selected the composition, tricky light and shadow conditions encountered, technical details of how the image was captured (equipment, film speeds, settings, filters, lenses, etc.), technical details of printing the image, and the surprises he experienced. In the midst of all this, he shares his philosophy of life, nature, and the art of photography. It's like attending a master class with a genius. Even if you know nothing about photography, this book will open your eyes to new ways of seeing and experiencing the world around you. For those who love these images, the stories that accompany them will broaden and deepen your appreciation of what Mr. Adams accomplished. If you are not a technically-oriented photographer or fan, realize that only about 20 percent of the material is primarily technical. The technical parts are very interesting, but the rest of the material is even better. Mr. Adams did draw the line at one point though. 'Absent from these pages [is] a statement of what the photograph 'means.'' His reason: 'Only the print contains the artist's meaning and message.' In other words, the work should speak to you for itself. He does point out some limits to his essays that you should keep in mind. He often doesn't remember when he made a particular photograph. Friends would remind him that a certain print was published in a certain publication in 1934 and he had dated it as 1936 elsewhere. He also did not keep notes of how he made the image after the negative was developed. So all of the technical notes and dates are probably off a little. That's all right in many cases. You are not a historian, and you are probably not going to use glass plates. Modern equipment is much different from what Adams used, so you will be making major adjustments anyway. His style of photography was one adventure after another. You'll be climbing with him through snow-clad forests in freezing weather, and suddenly he's down to his last exposure. Which filter should he use? In fact, in many cases, Adams was gambling on how the image would turn out because he would not get a second chance. It's like reading a detective story, in which the story begins with a flashback sequence of how the mystery ends, like Sunset Boulevard, because the finished image is there is its duotone beauty. In other cases, the experiences of Edward Weston helped him avoid mistakes. As a result, you get to see his delightful, dramatic images of dunes in Death Valley. As usual, the Little, Brown pages are often too small for the images. Despite my annoyance at this limitation, I did not grade the book down since the essays are so wonderful (of more than five-star interest) and are the real reason for reading and examining this book. I wo
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.