Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reading Corner: Ansel Adams' Examples

The photography of Ansel Adams is legendary. In Examples, Ansel Adams features 40 of his photographs and lets readers in on the behind-the-scenes story of each one. “As he talks about his work, you'll find Ansel the most informative and entertaining of guides whose insights shed light on the ultimately mysterious process by which creativity and craftsmanship fuse to produce a work of art” (from the inside jacket). As a photography enthusiast, I am inspired by the thoughts that Ansel Adams discloses in this book. Here are some of my favorite quotes from his commentaries:

“I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.”

“Either the photograph speaks to the viewer or it does not . . . . I believe that if I am able to express what I saw and felt, the image will contain qualities that may provide a basis for imaginative response by the viewer.”

“The photographer should not allow himself to be trapped by something that excites him only as a subject; if he does not see the image decisively in his mind’s eye, the result is likely to be disappointing. . . . I drove for many miles and saw much beauty around me, but no photographs.”

“Unless I had reacted to the mood of this place with some intensity of feeling, I would have found it a difficult and shallow undertaking to attempt a photograph.”

“Allow the eye to rove and experiment; I had to make many adjustments in composing the pictures. There is a moment of ‘intuitive rightness’ that clears the way for release of the shutter, but I often examine my photographs later to explore the possibilities of improvement in visualization and craft.”

“The creative process represents a combination of the intuitive and the logical.”
“I always encourage students to photograph everything they see and respond to emotionally.” 
“Immediacy is one aspect of photography; contemplation another.”
“It is impossible to explain or comprehend the miracle of the eye and mind in such feats as anticipating a “decisive moment.” We are concerned not only with a single aspect of the image, but with the complexity of the entire experience, a matter of the moment but also involving the realities of light, environment, and the fluid progress of perception from first glance to release of the shutter.”

No comments:

Post a Comment