Saturday, 6 June 2009

Homage to Ansel Adams

As I pointed out a few posts back, April marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Ansel Adams, my favourite photographer. Today's walk was in his honour. Below: the Jeziorki wetlands, taken from the ul. Dumki side.

Whenever asked which camera he used, Adams would always reply, "the biggest I can carry." He tended to use the 10"x8" view camera, always on a tripod. The negative, some 60 times larger in surface area than a 35mm negative, yielded results of the highest possible quality.

Above: Silver birches on ul. Trombity. To ensure the pictures were in as sharp focus as possible, Adams would opt for fine-grain, low-sensitivity film, long exposures and small apertures. Which is what I aimed to do today. All these pictures were taken with the camera on my sturdy wooden tripod, exposures from 1/5th to 1/20th second at f22 to f25. ISO on the Nikon D80 only goes down to 100.

Above: Narrow potato field alongside ul. Nawłocka. I wonder what Ansel Adams would have made of digital photography; whether he would have adapted to it or stayed true to large format film. And if he'd made the jump - when. Would he have been satisfied with 10 megapixels?

Above: view from ul. Nawłocka looking towards ul. Trombity. Adams was a perfectionist. It's much easier perfecting images digitally than chemically!

The Nikon D80 offers the option of shooting in B&W. Why would anyone wish to do that? Well, one thing it can do is in-camera filtering. I had this set to 'red', which darkens blue skies and makes red objects (such as the poppies in the foreground) lighter.


Neighbour said...


It's worth to read this before converting images to B&W:
If you convert to B&W in camera, you can no longer influence the image. Besides, you can only get what camera's B&W conversion algorithm can deliver - above site goes through this in detail.

What a nice morning today - I have seen this heron again, almost above your house while running in the morning.

Happy shooting,

Michael Dembinski said...

Thanks for the excellent link - very useful info for me. I shall return to shooting colour and converting to B&W in the computer.