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Thread: Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    Does anyone doubt that Ansel Adams or Edward Weston would have embraced digital had they been alive today ?

    How would you speculate the flavour of their work to change ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Frisco, Texas

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    Yes Ron,

    I seriously doubt that Ansel or Edward would have embraced digital, had they been alive today. If both of them were still alive and active, they would certainly realize that digitally produced (inkjet printed) B&W prints do not come up to the high standards that they set with the prints that they produced in their wet darkrooms.

    The future remains to be seen.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ballater, Scotland

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????


    Well yes and no!

    I don’t agree with Eugene here. Ansel talked on many occasions about what the future would hold and when discussing what might be done with his negatives at the Center for Creative Photography thought that they might be digitally manipulated (back to the old score and performance thing again – negative and print, Bach played on an electronic organ!). So my guess would be that old Ansel would be down at Point Lobos with his Phase one back – probably with an 18 year old assistant that knew how to use it! The subject matter would probably be much the same, maybe he’d just tweak it a bit to make the image even more perfect!!!!

    Edward, on the other hand, I guess would stick to good old black and white contacts. He did try out colour transparency that Kodak gave him and impressive results he got too. But he left that for Cole to master.

    The great thing about these questions is everyone is correct, they’re both dead and we’ll never know.

  4. #4

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    The little I know about AA makes me think that he would have. He was a very innovative photographer always experimenting new cameras, films and processes and in fact, he saw the computer era profiling itself with the greatest interest. I think seriously that if he had a computer and the means we have today, he would have dropped B&W and be mainly a color photographer! He said he didn't like color photography because he could not control and master the print the way he did with monochrome prints. Maybe he was a precursor of today's digital photography in this sense.

  5. #5
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    As if this has makes any difference...

    I was at a lecture where AA spoke. It was the '80s. Someone asked what avenue AA would take if he were just starting out in photography and he said he was very interested in the computer/digital revolution that was starting and that he would persue that.
    my picture blog

  6. #6

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    I’m sure they would have, especially in color. As for B&W, there will be a way to make superb digital prints soon.

    By the way, if I remember correctly AA did remark on his interest in digital. He mainly admired the controls available (sorry to some). Although I don’t want to start an argument on this, however, looking at the sharp increase of digital today it is possible that they would not have a choice in a few years….at least not too much.

    And forget the Inkjet. Not everything produced digitally is that, but I realize that it is a good put-down. At any rate, a sensible printer like AA would make his prints the way that they make the most sense. Traditional today (in B&W), digital tomorrow (B&W and Color).

  7. #7
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    Adams tried all kinds of processes and said he was very impressed by what could be done with the scanning and digital technology he had seen in the printing industry.

    Weston used and refined a narrow range of techniques during his entire career so that the techinque became transparent and he could work on intuition alone. Given that he managed to avoid using the enlarger for all those years, I doubt he would be interested in the computer.

  8. #8

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    When try to hypothesize on what someone of yesteryear would use today, then keep in mind that the Three Musketeers would ride motorcycles today and not horses :-))

  9. #9

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    Some would ride horses only even today as a personal choice, and that is fine as well. Still it is hard to know what someone else would do when we do change our minds often. Never say never! Who knows?

  10. #10

    Ansel and his PhaseOne back ????

    When try to hypothesize on what someone of yesteryear would use today, then keep in mind that the Three Musketeers would ride motorcycles today and not horses :-))

    yeah, and they would be called "hells angels" and would probably be in jail....:-)

    Funny Geoffrey, when comparisson like this come up, you ask me to "let it slide" yet here you are as frequently as me voicing your opinion in favor of digital.

    Adams probably would have looked into it and waited until a good output method was created. Weston definitly not, he managed to create beautiful prints with a light bulb and contact paper, nothing ever done with digital has yet to compare to one of his prints.

    Ultimately, who cares?

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