Ansel Adams equated a photograph’s negative
To a musical score and
The print to the performance
Let’s see what he meant by that
Click to enlarge
Moonrise Hernandez (late afternoon, October 31, 1941)
Ansel Adams’ most popular image
Here we see the score at the bottom and
One of over 1300 performances at the top
“During my first years of printing the ‘Moonrise’ negative, I allowed some random clouds in the upper sky area to show, although I had visualized the sky in very deep values and almost cloudless. It was not until the 1970’s that I achieved a print equal to the original visualization and that I still vividly recall.”
Below is the evolution of his Moonrise print from 1941 to 1975.
What he visualized and what he captured – especially the sky –
were vastly different
(a degree of alteration that would be disqualifying in some competitions 😉 )
Over time this image changed from the low light, late afternoon photo that it was
To a surreal night scene
The blacks kept getting blacker & the whites whiter
Click to enlarge
The techniques that Ansel Adams used to work his magic were mainly
Dodging (lightening) and Burning (darkening)
Apart from chemicals and paper selection
there wasn’t much else available
Wow! He’d have loved Photoshop.
This particular image was very demanding and labor intensive
Tomorrow’s post will demonstrate how “Ansel did his thing”, except
Translated to digital post-processing
Subscribe (see sidebar) and don’t miss anything. New posts daily.
- No sidebar? Click the blog title at the top of this page.
Another option – Click on the “Follow” button at the bottom right of the screen.
- Or – “Follow” in your admin bar, displayed at the top of the screen, for logged-in WordPress.com users.