What would Ansel Do?

It is often debated, whether one or the other of the photographic mediums, digital or film, is superior to the other. I've also heard it asked, whenever that particular subject came up, 'What would Ansel Adams (or any other traditional photographic master for that matter) prefer.' Well we can never really know for sure. But perhaps we can sidle up close to the truth by hearing what someone close to the legendary man thinks he may have thought. The following interview of Ansel's grandson, Matthew Adams, transpired in June of 2009 and sheds some insights as to how he may have felt about the new technologies available today. I found it on the Portland Metropolitan Photographic News web site. I hope you enjoy it.

Matthew Adams Interview

Photo credits: Lightart.

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December 08, 2010


There has always been that argument about manipulation or being a purist. The minute the shutter is depressed.. the image captured and the development begins... manipulation begins! Manipulation is in the eye of the creator!

Dodging, burning, vignetting. Even the amount of time spent in the pan. The very fact it is black & white or color.. all manipulation.

Manipulation is done to the realization of the artists vision at the moment the shutter was depressed. There are no purists! Or better yet what is the purist in photography?

I got a chuckle out of AA being on Kelby training. He would have probably loved it!

December 07, 2010


Beautiful pictures, very interesting discussion.

December 07, 2010


Interesting blog :)

December 07, 2010


One thing that people may not know about Ansel Adams is he taught classes and seminars.

Maybe Ansel would be on Kelby Training :)

December 07, 2010


One thing that people may not know about Ansel Adams is he taught classes and seminars. So there are many people out there who worked or studied under Ansel Adams and I have met two photographers who had done so.

Some may be very surprised to learn that Ansel Adams did a lot of image manipulation such as dodging and burning. Many Photoshop functions mimic old-school darkroom techniques.

So while we can't ask, I think Mr. Adams would not have been a strict "Film Purist."

December 07, 2010


Nice article, I have always love the work of Ansel Adams, thank for sharing.
My Ansel image

December 07, 2010


Interesting but the ability to discard 49 out of 50 digital images means we ought to do better than the film generation. David.

December 07, 2010


Thanks for sharing! :)

December 06, 2010


Thanks for sharing!