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Author Topic: How to Pre-Visualize like Ansel Adams  (Read 14458 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 03:03:57 AM »
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Maybe we should all have listened to George E. and just used a Box Brownie and handed in the film.

That way, it would have remained a more honest and less subjective pastime, devoid of pretence.

;-)

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 12:10:03 PM »
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But the stuff Ansel did made it very clear that a photograph no less than a painting is a "picture," not truth.

I think the different uses of photography already were clear -- Photography has been so multifarious...

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What impressed [Harry] Callahan the most, though, were Adams' photographs: "Ansel put his pictures up and that was what did it for me. That just completely freed me. They really had tone and texture with no monkey business. ... They were all beautifully sharp." p34

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RSL
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 06:38:29 PM »
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"I am constantly amused by the notion that some people have about photographic technique – a notion which reveals itself in an insatiable craving for sharpness of images. Is this the passion of an obsession? Or do these people hope, by this trompe l’oeil technique, to get to closer grips with reality? In either case, they are just as far away from the real problem as those of that other generation which used to endow all its photographic anecdotes with an intentional unsharpness such as was deemed to be 'artistic.'”

Henri Cartier-Bresson: from The Decisive Moment
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2013, 07:13:30 PM »
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Ah, another battle of quotes.

Just goes to say you can't prove anything with quotes, as there is always something that someone said in favor or against practically anything under the sun. Quotes, at best, could help illustrate one's position, perhaps more eloquently.
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Ed B
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2013, 08:05:34 PM »
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"You're going to need a bigger boat."

Chief Brody
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2013, 10:17:17 PM »
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Just goes to say you can't prove anything with quotes.
May I quote you on that, SB?   Grin
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RSL
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2013, 08:16:21 AM »
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“You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason---if you pick the proper postulates.” (Isaac Asimov)

A quote that should be on the cover of every copy of Das Kapital.
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Isaac
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2013, 01:01:11 PM »
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Ah, another battle of quotes.

In this instance, Russ's quote is appropriate (although it doesn't seem to help the "stuff Ansel did" point he previously wished to make).

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As part of his campaign to liberate photography from the hidebound aesthetics of pictorialism, Adams traveled extensively during the 1930s and 1940s speaking to camera clubs and other organisations, urging photographers to adopt a style that respected and exploited what he felt were the inherent qualities of the medium -- its objectivity and precision, as well as its ability to render detail, texture, and tone. In August and September 1941 Adams conducted a workshop at the Detroit Photo Guild that Callahan attended. p34
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 02:49:05 PM by Isaac » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2013, 06:24:28 PM »
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As part of his campaign to liberate photography from the hidebound aesthetics of pictorialism, Adams traveled extensively during the 1930s and 1940s speaking to camera clubs and other organisations, urging photographers to adopt a style that respected and exploited what he felt were the inherent qualities of the medium -- its objectivity and precision, as well as its ability to render detail, texture, and tone. In August and September 1941 Adams conducted a workshop at the Detroit Photo Guild that Callahan attended. p34

Strange. I thought Stieglitz already had pretty much pushed pictorialism into the background in the teens and twenties. The Steerage, in 1915, certainly wasn't pictorialism.
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Isaac
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 07:49:46 PM »
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Perhaps the message hadn't quite percolated from his NYC gallery to the Photo clubs of America.
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NancyP
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 04:06:20 PM »
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Er - Planning? Working the scene? Thinking? Definitely AA had to do more planning than the modern day digital shooter, simply because he was shooting 8 x 10 view cameras with expensive plates. Working the scene must have consisted of walking around until he found the right vantage point and right framing, then setting up that big-a** camera, then waiting for the desired light.

The medium required more up front from the photographer than the current digital medium does, aka spray and pray.

Getting an eye like AA's - can't help you there.
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Isaac
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« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2013, 02:12:17 PM »
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The medium required more up front from the photographer than the current digital medium does, aka spray and pray.

Yes, we need to remember that Ansel Adams worked with tools from a bygone era, and those tools shaped his working methods.


aka spray and pray

:-)

"In summer 1954, Cartier-Bresson was therefore the first western photographer to obtain a visa for the Soviet Union since the thaw in the Cold War 15 months after Stalin's death. ... He took 10,000 photographs in ten weeks."

p203-4 Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Biography.


More seriously, "spray and pray" can be a practical way to push the boundaries. Hand-held photos I take at 1/15th and 130mm are mostly too soft because of camera movement -- say 1 in 4 are good, so remember to take 6 in a burst.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2013, 02:18:18 PM »
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... "In summer 1954, Cartier-Bresson was therefore the first western photographer to obtain a visa for the Soviet Union since the thaw in the Cold War 15 months after Stalin's death. ... He took 10,000 photographs in ten weeks."...

How appropriate... after all, he was in the country that invented the best "spray" (with bullets) and "pray" (for victims) tool: AK-47 Wink
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2013, 03:05:18 PM »
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Spray: don't confuse a high professional film usage with being anything similar to high digiital usage.

A typìcal calendar shot over ten days to two weeks could run me around 50 - 60 36-exposure Kodachromes; that's nothing for a digital hobbyist on a similar length holiday shoot.

Different concepts.

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2013, 03:56:17 PM »
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don't confuse a high professional film usage with being anything similar to high digital usage. ...that's nothing for a digital hobbyist

And maybe that's nothing for a current accredited photographer holding camera at full stretch above the photog mob, pointed in the general direction of the subject :-)
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cjogo
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« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2013, 03:07:05 AM »
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I learned to pre visualize ... mainly from AA's Zone system & a Wratten B/W filter.   When I carried around my 4X5 > I could actually visualize the final print.  I knew where the Zone 7 highlights would fall and the detail in Zone 3 would be expected.  After being in the darkroom with AA and walking by a wash tray > I could see 4 identical prints all masterly seen and perfectly exposed & printed.  It was a science that worked.

 Brett could also pre-visualize .... he lived so many years , behind every size camera & a family that lived for the image ... he could work quickly without a meter in the field.  The film in the holder or roll in his back > would just gel perfectly with the chemicals and paper he had in mind when he got home ,,,  & after a drink Cheesy

Its a new world with digital >  so many leave so much to the post work >  I still shoot manually and with a meter > with the screen flipped over on the  Canon 6oD.. old techniques follow you around. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2013, 04:07:08 AM »
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I learned to pre visualize ... mainly from AA's Zone system & a Wratten B/W filter.   When I carried around my 4X5 > I could actually visualize the final print.  I knew where the Zone 7 highlights would fall and the detail in Zone 3 would be expected.  After being in the darkroom with AA and walking by a wash tray > I could see 4 identical prints all masterly seen and perfectly exposed & printed.  It was a science that worked.

 Brett could also pre-visualize .... he lived so many years , behind every size camera & a family that lived for the image ... he could work quickly without a meter in the field.  The film in the holder or roll in his back > would just gel perfectly with the chemicals and paper he had in mind when he got home ,,,  & after a drink Cheesy

Its a new world with digital >  so many leave so much to the post work >  I still shoot manually and with a meter > with the screen flipped over on the  Canon 6oD.. old techniques follow you around


And when they work, why not?

Rob C
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Gulag
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« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2013, 12:37:54 PM »
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Or how about previsualizing in post Ansel Adams American landscape school like Joel Sternfeld?

http://www.artspace.com/joel_sternfeld

http://youtu.be/lNzr7g8FQgk
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 12:41:24 PM by mshi2008 » Logged

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cjogo
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« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2013, 02:49:01 PM »
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You are driving along in  your vehicle.   Something catches your eye.  You pull over and start to walk around and find the best spot. Then you reach in the back of your car and start to pull out your gear  > large tripod ... view camera ..etc  

Now you hope you have a variety of lens ( I was fortunate to have at least 3 ) > you have to select a lens to capture what the eye sees .  Maybe a 135mm on your 4X5 format. Now what film for the characteristic of scene.  This is all part of the pre-visualization.  Do I need a certain filter to open up an area or definition to those clouds over head ...


A huge a check list before the exposure is even thought about.  Bellows extensions --- reciprocity -- filter compensation --- dof -- etc. Then you have to start framing > up side down ~!   Now metering and marking your holder for development  >> just where will that foreground fall in the paper >> will the highlights have detail > the middle tone on the hillside may fall into Zone 2 BUT I need it at Zone 3 . I can see it all in easily with the naked eye but how do you pre-visualize that for the whole process that entails to the final print ??  

Today you might venture out to shoot artistically with your digital --- bring back 50+ shots in afternoon. With a view camera I might bring back 3 holders > 6 images.  The time factor made for a easy visualization  == The image wasn't captured in a flash.

 You worked those movements on the view camera > loupe to the screen for critical sharpness  > under that dark cloth was your canvas.  Sometimes you would spend a half hour just looking in just a few feet perimeter & then pack-up and move on.  You made those 6 sheets of film worthy  Grin
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 10:04:19 PM by cjogo » Logged
ripgriffith
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2013, 02:12:34 AM »
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In street photography, which to me is a lot more significant branch of photography than landscape, the kind of pre-visualization Ansel was pushing is impossible. You visualize a street photograph as the scene unfolds. Now! If you have some preconception of what you're after you're going you miss the shot.
I'm surprised this statement has been left unchallenged.
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