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Old Aug 19, 2007, 10:24 AM   #1
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Have you ever wonder what some of the old and now dead top notch photographers would think about digital if they were alive today? What would Ansel Adams think of the digital camera? What would he think of the photos that people take today?

I have often wondered what some of the greatest inventors throughout history would think if they could see where their inventions, processes and efforts ended up today. Would Newton be impressed with what his discoveries helped to bring about? Thomas Edison? Etc.

Some of the stuff I think they might be pretty pleased that they had such an impact on the world even hundreds of years later. Some (the ones who had their work turned in to killing weapons) I think would be pretty pissed off.

Now I know that Ansel Adams didn't invent photography but I think he probably did more to popularize photography and to show what black and white could do. Him, Kodak (they were tops for at least the 60's, 70's, and 80's (not so much now a days)) and Polaroid. I am sure there are others who did as much but when you say Ansel Adams to someone on the street they know who your talking about.

Your thoughts?

Robert
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Old Aug 19, 2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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i think adams would have jumped on the bandwagon with digital. he certainly would have enjoyed the PP part of digital. he worked LONG hours on most shots.
another is W. eugene smith. he mainly shot photo journalism in available light.

roy
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Old Aug 19, 2007, 11:37 AM   #3
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Very interesting subject, Robert! I agree with Roy about Ansel & the PP, he would definitely appreciate the advances that have occurred thanks to the "electronics age" but more so, I was just talking to my sister about how the digital age has gotten many more people interested in photography...from cell phones to pocket digitals to d-slr's. Furthermore, it has gotten folks into the state & national parks that possibly wouldn't have gone because they have seen photos that friends have taken or from the internet. & I think that was what Ansel was going for. I believe he wanted the world to see landscapes before man came along & messed it up so to speak.

As far as other inventors, I wonder what the ancient Chinese would think of modern fireworks & pyrotechnics & how they wanted to ward off evil spirits, if this was so then the US would be a garden of eden for at least the whole month of July.

What aboutsome of great composers...Bach, Mozart or Strauss sitting in withMannheim Steamroller for a Christmas concert?Or Ben Franklin climbing a power pole in an electrical storm to get power back to a subdivision? Or a young Alexander Bell selling cell phones at the mall? Or Tom Edison working forSylvania as a sales rep?

Ok ...I'll shut up now but I guess that how my pea brain works sometimes!:G:G:G

Ron
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Old Aug 19, 2007, 12:36 PM   #4
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Hey Roy, Thanks for getting me interested in W. Eugene Smith. I knew the name (but didn't) & now after researching his name, I realized why you hold him in such reguard. Of course, everyone knows the Truman, Dylan & the South Pacific shots &a few others but ... this man was really a master...what talent! How on earth could he have gotten a shot like "Walk to Paradise Garden"?? I'm sorry but even if it was staged ...still!!! Same with the Welsh miners...WOW!

Too cool for school! Thanks Roy!!!




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Old Aug 19, 2007, 1:11 PM   #5
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I had the pleasure of having an ex Adams assitant be an additional instructor at a Photographic Workshop in Oct of 05. http://www.carlantapp.com/index.html; During the workshop (first days when everyone was being introduced and the instructors were telling a little bit about themselves) this question came up. According to Carlan (he used a Leica M4 exclusively during the workshop) Ansel was asked about digital. To paraphrase - he was sorry that he would not live to see the combination of images and computers come together.

In other words - yes - Adams would have fully embraced the digital revolution. Can you just imagine the color images that Adams would have come up with? During his life - he did not really like color, because he did not have the tonal control that you could get with B&W - speaking from experience in wet color darkrooms - it is hard to dodge and burn on color images - the longer you burn - the weirder the color shifts go. On one of the Adams sites is a book of Adams Kodachome imgaes that have been re-worked using modern techniques - they are astounding - as is expected.
I would love to go to an Adams digital workshop.

Weston - on the other hand - according to his grandson (lives in the same house in Big Sur) would not be so enamored with digital. How about Cunningham, Lange, Curtis - we will never know - to bad too.

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Old Aug 19, 2007, 6:49 PM   #6
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wadue wrote:
Quote:
Hey Roy, Thanks for getting me interested in W. Eugene Smith. I knew the name (but didn't) & now after researching his name, I realized why you hold him in such reguard. Of course, everyone knows the Truman, Dylan & the South Pacific shots &a few others but ... this man was really a master...what talent! How on earth could he have gotten a shot like "Walk to Paradise Garden"?? I'm sorry but even if it was staged ...still!!! Same with the Welsh miners...WOW!

Too cool for school! Thanks Roy!!!
ron,
ck out his Minamata series in japan about the mercury poisoning. a gripping series, so sad..

if you like smith ck out Alfred Eisenstaedt
another master
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Old Aug 19, 2007, 7:05 PM   #7
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Interesting. Very interesting.

I think there would be a lot of people very happy and a lot of people not so happy. You can't please everyone, but hearing their views on such things outside their time would be very very interesting.

Robert
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