These comments are very relevant today with the universal use of digital cameras and Photoshop. The saying that “photographs never lie” is not true. It is the opposite. In the past darkroom techniques such as, cropping, burning, dodging, masking, retouching where commonly use to manipulate photographic images. In most cases this was done by the photographer to enhance the photo, not to deceive. In fact, taking the photo was only half of the job, the processing and printing was an equally important second part to complete an image. So from the start of photography, photographs have been manipulated. For many years now the darkroom has been replaced by the desktop computer and Photoshop. While the image capturing tools and process has changed, the photographer’s goal has not. Taking a digital photo is still the first step in producing an image, followed by post processing and printing. So to answer the above question – Would I prefer an original Adams print over a negative - absolutely!
The thread below is quoted from DPReview:
Rsn48 wrote: “Even if the negatives are Ansel's work, they aren't that valuable, I know I'm one of the few, if only on the planet to think this, my reason is simple. Ansel often bragged about how much time he would put in the darkroom to bring a negative to live in a print. Ansel was really one of the original photoshop freaks of his day.
His prints were more about the darkroom than about the negative; he'd burn this, dodge that, etc. Ansel was about creating a "feeling" about his images, the drama of the sky [which on print may have not been dramatic], the tones of the mountain as it recedes into the valley, etc. Owning an Ansel negative is kind of like discovering all the paint tubes Picasso used.”
Jon Rty wrote: “Well, that's oversimplifying it a bit. As I've understood it Adams went to great lengths to ensure the best possible result he could get. This of course included much work in the darkroom, but also incredible care and technique when exposing and processing his film. Developing individual sheets based on notes he made while taking then, the zone system and what not. He is one of the best known early craft masters, but that didn't include only the darkroom. And then there's the fact that he had a great eye as well.”
Rsn48 wrote: “Ansel was no doubt an excellent photographer and I'm sure great care and creativity went into the negative, but the negative was the starting point, not the end point. So let’s say I have in my trunk a rare Ansel negative a famous mountain in California and I get it developed by professional developers here in Vancouver BC, I still won't have an Ansel print. The pro's I'd employ wouldn't know Ansel's intent for that negative, to evolve the image into one of his prints.”
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Humans don’t have the ability to govern themselves adequately (and never will), but creating and inventing, at these we excel. Chris
Anderson’s enlightening talk on TED.com explains the collective creative power
of humanity. We have always had this power, but have lacked the means to
For example, earlier ways to learn Photoshop were either struggle
through a 4 inch thick “PS for Dummies” manual or attend an expensive PS course
at a local college and hope the instructor is any good.
Then we had how-to blogs on Photoshop techniques to help
make learning this big program easier and photo sharing sites like Flickr to provide
a format for millions of examples of good and bad photography and forums to discuss
Now add video, a voice and a moving image, and learning and exchanging
ideas improves infinitely. Millions of YouTube videos freely and easily walk us though
every function and tip of PS. With the ubiquitous video enabled camera, we are
seeing glimpses of what our human mind is capable of.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The folks at Canon labs have been busy.
Aug 24th was the
press release for Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor with approximately 120 megapixels.
120 megapixels! Some top pro digital cameras have 21 megapixels. This is just
nuts. In a good way.
What is the benefit? Examining a fashion model’s skin pores? Actually
there are many. For example it enables cropping images and videos with
relatively no loss of resolution.
The press release states, “Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor also
incorporates a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video output capability. The
sensor can output Full HD video from any approximately one-sixtieth-sized
section of its total surface area.”
Imagine a wide view video of a soccer match with the ability to
zoom in on any one player and still maintain HD.
31st press release is also notable - an 8 inch x 8 inch CMOS sensor
with ultra high light sensitivity.
- Full Daylight is about 10,000 LUX
- Cloudy day is about 1,000 LUX
- A lighted parking lot at night is about 10 LUX (average)
- A full moon is about 1 LUX
This sensor can record shooting with a mere 0.3 lux or half the
light of the moon!
“The sensor makes possible the image capture in one one-hundredth
the amount of light required by a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor, facilitating
the shooting of 60 frame-per-second video with a mere 0.3 lux of illumination.”
Have you ever seen a beautiful moonlit mountain range or
valley?Imagine low light underwater
photography in lifelike detail and clarity. These beautiful scenes can now be
captured in a large, large format. Think “Ansel Adams already has one on order”.
But on another note, this mad rush to capture images that are
“lifelike” has what motive? Because we can? Or because the beauty of this world
will soon be gone?
time ago when cameras used film, I was a wedding photographer. When shooting an
afternoon wedding we often had a photo session before the dinner. By that time the
wedding party had had a few drinks and everyone finally started to relax.
evenings in Vancouver are magical. The sun bathes everyone in a golden glow and
light breezes caress like fine silk. But it is at this fleeting moment that
wedding photographers have to work as fast as possible, burning through film and
profit, hoping to capture 2 or 3 truly memorable moments. I can remember daydreaming
about a digital camera that could capture in a few seconds hundreds of images
of a glowing bride. Then afterwards pull an image from this brief “video” (or
series of images rapidly taken) at the exact moment everything was perfect. All
that time I was shooting formals with a Bronica 6x6 SQ system and my candids
with a Canon EOS 1n and L lenses. Generally we shot 20 rolls of 36 with the
Canon and 10 rolls with the 6x6. At a pro lab, this cost about $300 for processing
and print proofs.
news, but guess what, pro-series cameras can now do just that, rapid shooting
and HD video. Engadget reported that the last season of the TV series “House”
was shot with a canon 5D Mark ii. The 5D Mark ii can also shoot 30 frames a
recently, this has come at pro price of about $3000.
watching the 2010 US Open tennis (http://www.usopen.org/en_US/index.html ) an
Olympus EP2 video ad caught my eye, it stated that this little camera was used
to film the ad in HD video. It can be bought for about $550. Amazing stuff. My
dream came true quicker than I thought.
Here are wise words you should not forget: Buy the cheapest digital
camera that will do what you need and the most expensive lens you can
In other words, put your money
in the lens. Entry level cameras made by the big companies are all pretty good.
But we can’t say that for all entry level lenses. In fact many kit lenses are
very poor. It’s all in the “glass”! For a well developed argument and longer
explanation follow the link. (20/09/08 Entry) http://lyndersaydigital.com/brain/pix_files/lens_primacy.html
September is almost here, and this year is especially
interesting. Two great camera companies have released upgrades to two
fantastic compact cameras. We have the new S95 (was the S90) and
the new LX5 (was the LX3). The battle for the best compact is set to
start in Cologne, Germany at Photokina in September. You can
already hear the saber rattling in the forums, but until these two guns come to
market it will be just talk. Looks to be an action filled fall for camera
The cameras presently
on the market are excellent, almost approaching the perfect everyday
camera. Here is a list (debatable) of 5 compact/smaller cameras
that I really feel will take some great pictures and be small enough to
use keep close by and use everyday.