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An eye for Ansel


While watching the National Parks documentary on PBS the work on a photographer named Ansel Adams caught my eye. Ansel spent a lot of time in the Yosemite area in the early 40's. His black and white photography was stunning. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ansel.

This is one of those pictures where I wish that time travel was a thing, or I am reminded that I am quite sure I was born in the wrong era. I could imagine people driving by enjoying their day and seeing Ansel standing on his homemade platform atop the roof of his station wagon. Hauling around pounds of camera equipment, looking for that perfect shot, moment or lighting. Ansel didn't get to go home load the picture onto his computer and manipulate the shot, fixing that over exposure or editing out the vehicle that happened to come around the corner. He had an eye for the shot, a perfectionist knack of the precise aperture to let just enough light in for a black and white. The trick to catch every little detail, shadow and depth of the shot.

Years later my parents took me to the Holter Museum, for an Ansel Adams show. I was wandering through the museum and a picture caught my attention. Moonrise Hernandez New Mexico was the title of the shot. I was moved by the depth, the shadows, the detail in the tombstones in the cemetery. The longer I looked at the picture the more I saw. The detail in the moon, snow capped mountains.


I did a little research on this photo it is said to be shot on October 31,1941, and apparently Ansel almost missed this shot as the lighting was fading fast. I think his timing was perfect.

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