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Ansel Adams: Visualizing a Photograph

Ansel Adams talks about seeing and feeling photography. Love art? Follow us on Google+. Created by Getty Museum.

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  • leaf orange style avatar for user Jeff Kelman
    What did Ansel Adams take a photograph of here? It looks to me to be the side of a house with some vines? Was there supposed to be any larger meaning here or am I missing something?
    (7 votes)
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    • female robot grace style avatar for user Walks on the Clouds
      Ansel Adams was known for his masterfully lit, intensely detailed photographic nature studies. One might perhaps say that the "larger meaning" of his work was to depict and magnify the subtle beauties and intricacies of the natural world. If you do a Google Image search, and enter the search terms: Ansel Adams close up nature, you'll see some excellent examples of his work of this kind. This short video provides insight into Ansel Adams' vision: he's focusing on a subject (vines/siding) that most people would have passed by.
      (11 votes)

Video transcript

(delicate piano music) - My basic approach to photography... depends on the visualization of the final print before exposure is made. I say this very often, and I don't know whether people realize that's exactly what is meant. When you visualize a photograph, it is not only a matter of seeing it in mind's eye... but it's also and primarily a matter of feeling it, feeling the various qualities that you wish to obtain in the final print. The shutter is operated. And then, the negative is developed. The negative can now be compared to a musical score. It's ready for it's performance, the print. If the negative is properly composed, technically and aesthetically, it can be performed, so as to recreate the original visualized intention... so that finally I can say that I visualized the essence of the photograph to be.