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Indecisive? Moi?!

Ansel Adams, only human after all..

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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I've read a small amount about Ansel Adams over the last few years and he has always come across as the master technician of landscape photography. His teaching of the Zone System and his considered 5x4 and 10x8 work was an aspirational example of the master craftsman personified. So it was with a small amount of relief that I read an article about the making of "Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite" and discovered that he wasn't quite the perfectionist he is made out to be.

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Now I have to admit it's an "awesome" shot (ahem), the way that the shadows balance one another and the sunlight creates wonderful textures on the face of half dome are beautiful. However, my inner acolyte tells me that Ansel must have composed this perfectly and his knowledge of exposure would have allowed him to capture this masterpiece in a single frame! Sadly not. If we take a look at the contact sheet for this roll of film (for yes, Ansel did use a medium format camera; a gift from Victor Hasselblad in 1950) we'll see a different side of the master.



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