Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Douglas on Adams

My favorite fool has brought to my attention, AC Douglas' blog on Ansel Adams. As I've mentioned Adams several times before in this blog, I could not refrain from linking this posting.

Douglas is absolutely spot on. His assessment of Adam's skill and artistry and the effect it has on any aspiring photographer is about as good a description of Adam's work as I've read.

"So what's with that photograph?, you may ask It's simply a pretty picture. And indeed it's nothing more than that -- until, that is, one has seen at first hand an original Adams print of that pretty picture, whereupon the pretty picture immediately becomes something infinitely greater; something almost unimaginable for one with no prior experience of an original Adams print. The initial experience is one of aesthetic shock; or better, aesthetic arrest, to use Joyce's language. One even has some difficulty seeing the print as a photograph so physically different does it appear from an ordinary black-and-white photographic image. The blacks are impossibly deep; the whites, impossibly radiant; the gradation of tones from deepest black to most brilliant white, impossibly rich, subtle, and delicately detailed; and the lambently luminous whole so seemingly three-dimensional one imagines one could reach one's hand beyond the print's surface and deep into the image itself."

Adams teaches us that to complete Artistry you need technical skill, but all the technical skill in the world will not make you an artist.

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