Is Half Dome is a joke God played on photographers to teach us humility?
I just read an essay by Mark Citret in which he suggests that man and man?s stru ctures are as ?natural? as anything else in nature and it started me thinking, a s his essays have a tendency to do.
Edward Wesson took photographs of groceries and chemical plants and showed us mo re than we would see ourselves if we had been there. Moreover, once you see a W eston cabbage you will see more, everytime you look at a cabbage, for the rest of your life.
Ansel Adams took wonderful photographs of landscapes but (with exceptions) usual ly conveyed 1/10 (a kind estimate) of the visual experience that being there in person would provide to even the most obtuse observer.
Down deep, I think all landscape photographers know that they are failures. The re was an old movie called ?Hicky and Boggs? with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. T hey played private detectives and the running joke was that they used huge 44 ma gnum pistols. Everytime they missed the bad guys they would turn to each other and say: ?we need to get a bigger gun?. It seems to me that people are packing more and bigger cameras into the wilderness, and coming back with wonderful phot ographs, compared to other photographs and pitiful abstractions compared the sce ne that they photographed.
Isn?t it a much higher calling to show our audience that there is beauty everywh ere in their everyday lives, then to convey the impression that beauty is reserv ed for the affluent that have the wealth and leisure to travel to remote ?unspo iled? places.
When I go to a Museum and look at an Ansel Adams print, and mentally compaire it to simular vistas that I have actually experienced, I feel like if this is the best, why should I bother to even try?