Monday, November 16, 2009

Man's Best Friend: His Camera

One of my early inspirations in the area of photography was Ansel Adams. I bought his series of books on the technical aspects of photography many years ago and read them all. These books consisted of:

The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 1)
The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2)
The Print (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 3)
Natural Light Photography, Series #4 (Ansel Adams Basic Photo Series)
Artificial-Light Photography ( Basic Photo 5 )

I am currently reading Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. It is very interesting to read about all the famous photographers and artists he befriended and the varied experiences he had. One thing that struck me was how determined photographers had to be years ago. Adams said that he would typically carry thirty pounds of equipment and supplies on his back and his tripod in his hand. When on longer treks he had to enlist the help of pack mules. I get tired just carrying minimal digital equipment in a shoulder bag.

When my family and I visited Yosemite National Park back in 2007, we visited the Ansel Adams Gallery. There was much good artwork available there. Several years ago the Huntsville Museum of Art had a show of Adams' prints. They were selling his mass produced prints, which looked surprisingly good, for a very reasonable price. I bought several of them. After matting and framing them, I hung them on a wall in our basement. Here are the images I have hanging.

Half Dome, Merced River, Winter by Ansel Adams

Moonrise, Hernandez by Ansel Adams

Clearing Winter Storm by Ansel Adams

Oak Tree, Sunset City by Ansel Adams

Rose and Driftwood by Ansel Adams

Winter Sunrise by Ansel Adams

If you enjoy photography and have not yet looked at Adams' work, please do. All the photos above and many more can be purchased at the online Ansel Adams Gallery. You won't be disappointed with the superb quality of his work. If you decide to purchase books rather than prints, be careful which books you buy. Many of the books compiled by other people are of very poor quality. Typically the photos in these books are flat and do not show off the quality of a true Adams print. I own several books of photos by Ansel Adams that are of very good quality. They are:

Ansel Adams: Trees
Yosemite and the High Sierra
Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams: Our National Parks
Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs

Reading Adams' autobiography inspired me to write a poem about him. I just added it to my personal Web site.

Below is a photo from my photography Web site that has the look of an Ansel Adams print. I hope you enjoy viewing it and reading my poem.

Capitol Reef by Randy Finch

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