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Author Topic: …contending with such vehement antagonists as Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall  (Read 2820 times)
Isaac
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« on: April 28, 2014, 12:59:20 PM »
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Nudity Warning!

pdf A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft: William Mortensen, 1897-1965.

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…the approach to the medium that he advocated, under the rubric of “pictorialism,” included practices central to photography of the past four decades: events staged for the camera, image text combinations, photomontage, “alternative processes,” and more.

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"If he were resurrected today, almost 50 years after dying a marginalized and maligned figure in his field, photographer William Mortensen would surely have no trouble finding work or creative kindred spirits. … Techniques he pioneered for manipulating photographic images--a practice for which he was once disparaged--now have digital equivalents that are widely employed and accepted in photography. A few decades of hindsight reveals him as a visionary and a consummate artist ahead of his time."
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WalterEG
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 05:05:49 PM »
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I am surprised that the AA quote that Mortensen was the "Anti-Christ" of photography.  A pretentious statement for one who held delusions of intellect.  And a revelation of the fool that he truly was.

Read Charis Wilson Weston's book "Through Another Lens" to get a realistic insight into the character of Saint A.

Thanks for raising this curious topic Isaac.

W
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Isaac
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 05:48:41 PM »
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I am surprised that the AA quote that Mortensen was the "Anti-Christ" of photography.  A pretentious statement for one who held delusions of intellect.  And a revelation of the fool that he truly was.

My guess is that you intended to complete your first sentence with something like "was not mentioned"?

All your name-calling shows is your personal dislike of Ansel Adams: not that he "held delusions of intellect" nor that he is revealed to be "the fool that he truly was".
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 11:30:10 AM by Isaac » Logged
WalterEG
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 05:57:50 PM »
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Oh, Isaac,

Why do I break my golden rule to ignore you?

W
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Isaac
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 06:03:02 PM »
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My irresistible charm or your need to express yourself?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 06:09:58 PM »
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Oh, Isaac,

Why do I break my golden rule to ignore you?

W

 Grin Grin Grin
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Slobodan

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WalterEG
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 06:14:26 PM »
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My irresistible charm or your need to express yourself?

So, you are deluded in addition to all your other psychoses.

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amolitor
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 08:11:16 PM »
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The Newhalls DO seem to have been central to the damage done to the reputation of pictorialism. This doesn't come just from Ansel Adams, or f/64. Beaumont literally wrote the history, and he definitely skewed it, to the detriment of American Photography. It took decades for the Americas to recover from the fetishistic stuff f/64 and the so-called "straight photographers" espoused. This manipulation is OK, that is wicked and sinful, etc.

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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 10:55:29 AM »
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So, you are deluded in addition to all your other psychoses.

When you do no more than make snide remarks about me, it suggests there's nothing more to your comments about Ansel Adams than your pleasure in making snide remarks.
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Isaac
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 11:07:36 AM »
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The Newhalls DO seem to have been central to the damage done to the reputation of pictorialism.

iirc One of the anecdotes told in "Through their own eyes: the personal portfolios of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams" was of Beaumont Newhall taking "straight" photographs while visiting Edward Weston and being baffled that they were so unlike Weston's photographs -- and then Edward Weston took him into the darkroom and demonstrated the dodges.
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Isaac
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 07:32:26 PM »
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"Having followed the arguments between the pictorial and purist schools of thought, and knowing Edward's assertion that he could see the finished print on the ground glass, Beaumont assumed that Edward would never do anything but expose the print straight, with no manipulation of any kind. … There is a real difference between burning and dodging to bring out more clearly what is on the negative and the  kind of manipulations that Mortensen and his follow pictorialists did, and that added, removed, or significantly altered what was captured on the negative." p225 Through Another Lens
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Isaac
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 07:58:05 PM »
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Read Charis Wilson Weston's book "Through Another Lens" to get a realistic insight into the character of Saint A.

What particular insights do you wish to draw to our attention?

  • That "…Ansel played a Bach concert, appearing remarkably lighthearted for a man who had just lost what he later estimated to be a third of his work up to that time"?

  • That "…Saint Ansel appeared with cigarettes and beer, which he had captured on a quick run to Mammoth Lakes while waiting for [Edward Weston and Charis]"?

  • That Ansel proposed to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names that they should "give the official name of Weston Beach to a small cove on the south side of Point Lobos"?

« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 11:13:59 PM by Isaac » Logged
DF1
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 10:49:50 AM »
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Whatever one may think of Adams' work (and I don't count myself among his acolytes), I'm amazed that anyone would rise to the defense of Mortensen. I mean, if there's a body of "serious" photographic work more pretentious, mawkish and technically mediocre than his I've yet to see it. It's so relentlessly trite in its conception and so amateurish in execution that it merits the coveted status of "it's so bad it's good". Of course, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, if camp happens to be your thing.
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Isaac
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 05:10:51 PM »
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…technically mediocre … amateurish in execution…

Do you mean you can make pictures like that with Photoshop Express now?

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"Controversial in his own time and even now… His celebrated differences with the Group f.64 clique … centered on Mortensen's unwillingness to accept that a photograph was sacrosanct, not to be tampered with. Mortensen, on the contrary, utilized elaborate methods, such as abrasion tone and Metalchrome, to create images, usually figurative, sometimes fantastic."

page 423 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 05:15:12 PM by Isaac » Logged
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