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Thread: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

  1. #211
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern Virginia

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    I think it's time for a moderator to move this one to the Lounge.
    I didn't say what is apparently attributed to me in your post, though I see two open and only one close-quote tag.

    Rick "who was responding to the OP's points" Denney

  2. #212

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Hermosillo, Sonora, MEXICO

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    for me "Moonrise..." has a small lesson I tend to forget, and that is to look not only at the sunsets but at the sides as well...

  3. #213

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Austin, TX

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    Hi Folks,

    I have a couple of points of view on this subject. I've been a working photographer for over 60 years and a genuine expert in b/w photo quality control. I first met Ansel in 1957 or 58 through my teacher/mentor Boris "Papa" Dobro (Brooks instructor) and was acquainted with Ansel until his death. Also, Calumet (my long time employer) sponsored his book on "Large format" photography and I worked with him often on that publication. Needless to say I really love Ansel's b/w photography, not only landscapes, but people photography and architecturals which are less well known.

    For me, visually, "Moonrise" has a haunting quality and for a photographer, especially a landscape photographer, one look tells me how darned hard this was to shoot and to print. The negative was developed by inspection and really significant manipulation was done to it while is was still wet.

    If I had a couple of hours to prepare for that shot, I would have given several sheets with Zone 2 pre-exposure, made 3 or 4 bracketed exposures, and would have processed one sheet at a time in order to get exactly what I wanted to print. However, Ansel saw this with only a very vew minutes to shoot, had only 2 sheets of film, and was aware that his SEI photometer had a dead battery. Ansel could only guess an adequate exposure based on the known brightness of the moon and quickly calculate an exposure.

    He was very, very good at his craft and was and extremely nice man.


  4. #214

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    It's funny to me how little discussion there has been about the "message" in Moonrise.

    What is says to me is extremely positive and compelling. It says that man can be a positive part of the the natural envirnment... that we can add beauty when we live in harmony with our surroundings.

    Moonrise is quite unique in Adam's reportoire because it glorifies both the hand of man and the pristine beauty of nature. Most of his famous images are unpeopled.

    So this one picture says the world is OK with us in it. The many of the rest say the world would be a nicer place without us.

    This difference in meaning suggests to me why the print is so popular.

    Moreover one could argue that this is Adam's most forward looking image. It foreshadows the new topography movement ( Mark Klett, Joel Sternfeld, Laura McPhee, Steven Shore and others) which shows that man is indeed a part of the "landscape".) Another AA photo which does this for me is his shot of Silverton Colorado.

    Of course it doesn't hurt that this photo also has a gleaming cross, a solid church, and a great sense of peace in its creamy stilness. Beyond the meaning above I think it says "sleep comforted tonight, you are in good hands. Do not worry about the night."

    Oh yeah, and all that stuff about his light meter, too.

  5. #215
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    AA took a great number of pictures with manmade elements in view. One of my favorites is of the oil rigs of Long Beach looming behind a cemetery statue. But I don't see anything at all in common between Moonrise and Stephen Shore or Joel Sternfeld, whose own interesting work probably wouldn't have come into being unless Pop Art had come first. The ironic humor of Sternfeld actually reminds me of Larson's "Far Side" cartoons.

  6. #216

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    As far as I'm concerned Thomas Kinkade's"art" is pure commercial TRASH!!!

  7. #217
    Greg Greg Blank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Planet Earth

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    Even more interesting no one has noted that; in Lenswork last issue 84, Rabbi Sinclair states in his interview that One: David Spivak who posts on this forum helped him with producing his book "Seasons of the Moon" And Two that the Rabbi illuminates in the Lenwork article the story that Adams forgot the exact date Moonrise was shot, so Adams had dated it differently in several places. Ansel and a Friend had it dated using a computer to calculate the exact date relative to the moon's position. The date settled on was Oct 31,1941 the date the third Reich decided no more jews could leave Germany.

    Kind of make your hair stand on end, doesn't it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashlee52 View Post
    It's funny to me how little discussion there has been about the "message" in Moonrise.

    Oh yeah, and all that stuff about his light meter, too.

  8. #218

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    SF Bay Area, California, USA

    Re: Why Moonrise over Hernandez?

    I wouldn't read too much into the October 31 date, which was incorrect; the actual date was November 1, as Dennis di Cicco described in the November 1991 issue of of Sky & Telescope.

    The light meter stuff makes for a good story, but it's quite an embellishment of Adams's original account. And in any event, basing exposure for a landscape photograph on the assumed luminance of the Moon is nuts; the luminance of the Moon has little relation to that of the sky and foreground. I know folks who claim to have determined exposure using the technique Adams describes, but their success has been more luck than anything else.

    The image was taken about 20 minutes before sunset, so the exposure would not have been all that tricky. And Adams's original account indicated that he used his Weston exposure meter.

    As the contact print shows, the unmanipulated image is unremarkable (at least to me). What Adams saw was far more profound than what nature provided.

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