jan_can_too (jan_can_too) wrote,

Ansel Adams and me

I’m sure you will be surprised to find out that I am not, in point of fact, Ansel Adams. I offer the following evidence, two of my photos from Yosemite and two of his. I chose photos with similar subjects so that you can truly appreciate the difference. Maybe any idiot can take gorgeous photos in such a glorious place, but I have proved before that I’m not just any idiot.

My twisted wood:

His twisted wood:

My cliff (sideways, since my quick search of help didn't explain how to make it right side up and Brent is still asleep):

His cliff:

Here’s the thing: I don’t actually want to be Ansel Adams. It would be too much work. I’d have to master all the settings of my camera, do the math on what the light is like now and how that will translate onto film. I let my camera do that for me and sometimes its judgment is better than others.

It is, however, important for me to take photos from time to time and to compare them to masterful photos. Taking photos forces me to see, either in the moment of taking them, or when viewing the result. All the details are captured, frozen, right there. There is no avoiding that giant thumb intruding on the scene. This is one reason that I hate to have my picture taken; it doesn’t steal my soul, but it does confront me with my double chin, my unfortunate hair, and all the rest of the things I don’t have to look at under normal circumstances.

The comparison to great work instructs me in a different direction. I see the difference that patience makes. I see what it means to choose tools well and use them carefully, skillfully. It reminds me that when I’m working on something I do care about that I will need to do the math, to put in the hours on the practice, to crumple up the bad drafts and begin again.

Extra bonus points: I get to look at cool photos.

  • Dog Days

    Summer is here and the living is… complicated. I had been hoping for lazy times, fruity drinks, time in the sun. Not so much. Because Rick has…

  • End of Spring Reading

    Today is T.R.’s last day of school, so it is time to tally my spring reading. Not the world’s greatest totals this time around, but I have…

  • Book Report: Bitterblue

    A friend of mine was having a birthday, so naturally, I headed for the bookstore. A couple of years ago, she borrowed Graceling from me and loved…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.