Ansel Adams. Examples. The Making of 40 Photographs

I bought this book a long time ago and loved it. Unfortunately, we had a seriously water leak in the house and this was one of the items that was destroyed during the flood. When this happened, I vowed to replace it quicky. And them promptly forgot.

Recently, while looking for something else on eBay I came across a used copy of the book in very good condition and at a very reasonable price. It didn’t take me long to place the order.

Amazon describes it as follows:


“How did you make this photograph?”

This is a question that Ansel Adams was asked repeatedly throughout his lifetime. In Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Adams shares the circumstances surrounding the creation of many of his most celebrated images. Each classic photograph is superbly reproduced and accompanied by an entertaining and informative narrative that combines his own reminiscences of people and places with precise recall of technical details and aesthetic considerations.

Readers will be fascinated by the personal side of the text, which includes a great deal of history and anecdote, including appearances by Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston, and other notable figures such as Edwin Land of Polaroid. Pondering these essays conjures the sense of standing by Adams’ side during some of the most pivotal and profound creative moments of his life in photography—a master class with the legendary artist.

The specific technical information on camera and lens, filters, exposure times, developing, and printing provided in each example illustrates his approach and methods, and will help amateurs and professionals alike to advance their photography. Through this case study approach, Adams’ philosophy of craft and creativity unfolds; his credos of visualization, image management, and the Zone System are demonstrated; and the colorful story of a lifetime devoted to photography is revealed.

I couldn’t agree more. At times, when it gets into technical commentary on the zone system I was a bit at a loss. But, it’s great to get some insight it what’s going on in the mind of a famous photographer when a great photograph is being taken.

In New York City – The Skylight Diner

By this time in my walk I had been walking around for nearly three hours and I was feeling tired and hungry. So I looked for something/somewhere to eat. I realized that coincidentally I had walked to the largest (I think) photographic store in New York: B&H Photo. It occurred to me that I could find somewhere close by to eat and then after that have a walk around B&H. Then I could return to wherever I found and have a coffee while waiting for my granddaughter to arrive. Looking around I discovered the Skylight Diner, just across the road.

It bills itself as “The Best Diner in Manhattan”, which might be true since there aren’t many classic diners left in Manhattan. I went in and found a very pleasant diner with, to my surprise, a number of nice black and white (i.e. monochrome) prints on the wall. I ordered a full English breakfast. The bacon was American style rather than my preferred English style (less smoky, less salty and more meaty), both other than that it really hit the spot. After I’d finished I went off to B&H. Amazingly I overcame my Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) and didn’t buy anything. Then, as mentioned above returned to wait for my granddaughter.

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS II

Trying out Infrared Photography – A New Photobook

I was now producing reasonable infrared photographs. But this was, after all, coming from a 20 year old camera with an old 8 megapixel sensor. Sure the pictures looked OK on screen, but how would they look printed?

So I decided to make a photobook and found that the answer to the above question was…not at all bad!

So far my efforts have all produced black and white images. My next attempt will attempt to produce the type of false color pictures often associated with infrared photography.

And I’m enjoying infrared photography so much that I’m seriously considering acquiring a modern, infrared converted camera.

Stay tuned.

Interesting video

Back in April I posted about a photographer, whose work I generally respect, but who seems to have a strong aversion to people who use phone cameras (See: A rant). He seems to feel that you can’t be a ‘real’ photographer if you use a an iPhone. In another post (See:You’re a photographer. You’re not a Photographer) I noted that I don’t feel that the quality of your photograph depends on the tool you use.

So I think that this guy should take a look at the above video, which contains some amazing photographs taken with an iPhone.

His website can be found at Eric Mencher Photography.