U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: R.I.P. HDR

Re: R.I.P. HDR

On Sat, 19 Sep 2009, Trevor Cunningham wrote:

I do find one point here a little irksome, and maybe it was touched upon
in other responses. Adams, before he even grabbed a plate, saw (or
visualized) his image in his head, and worked to produce that image.
Thanks for reminding me....

When I first came into photography, I tried to compensate for my total ignorance by reading every bit of current literature, as well as past, especially the "Bible" (or bibles), Ansel Adams on the print, the negative, the something or other of zone system, & whatever else by or about valorizing, glorifying, sanctifying, joy from the heaven of .... what was it, Carmel by the Sea? The system consisted of two parts: first, arithmetic in Roman Numerals and second "previsualizing" the photograph. No, more likely vice versa (first previsualize then arithmetic). Either way, when that sank in: The End.

I knew I was not up for arithmetic in Roman Numerals, but that pre-visualizing stuff really stumped me. If you know what it's going to look like, why bother ?

Unless you're on assignment.

I'd been an illustrator -- in all the annuals (Graphis, Art Directors, etc. etc.), I mention not merely to boast, but to substantiate my point: Every assignment was a 3-day migraine. I hated carrying out other people's "ideas" and vowed, as soon as possible, to unhook my livlihood from my art... ie., NOT work toward a previsualized image. I mean if you already know what it's going to look like, why bother? Whether it's a client's, an art director's, or mine, that's no fun (admittedly good money... tho perhaps not as good as other forms of abuse).

I think it was Gary Winogrand who said, "I photograph to see what something looks like photographed." Perfectly put, IMO.

I also admit (since I live safely out of range... who ever heard of this little berg-by-the-sea?), I thought Adams's images mostly a bore... and the 1000s of others following in his footsteps ???

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