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Re: Comment on : RE: Lincoln Inks Spectratone quadtone inks



<x-flowed>>Bob, I remember reading that Ansel himself did not like glossy prints.
>(ferrotyped). He was selling his landscapes as fine art prints in 1966


Well and good, but recall that by 1966 Adams had already made almost 
all of the photographs that later proved his artistic gold mine. By 
that time he did print on air-dried smooth papers but his production 
in the preceding decades ranged all over the map. His own writings 
about methods and materials express his diverse interests and 
preferences very nicely.

The Stanford University Museum, now known as the Cantor Centor for 
Visual Arts, acquired a gift set of Adam's skiing pictures made in 
the '20's in the Sierra high country around Tuolumne Meadows. I think 
many of those prints were ferrotyped.

Sure, we all have 20-20 hindsight. My first visit to Best's was in 
about '62 and if I'd had $50 in my pocket I'd have snapped up any of 
the beautiful photographs on the walls then. But...

Adams was guilty of hindsight, too. Remember that most of his 
pontifical statements about what he liked in a photograph were teased 
out of him in his dotage**, and reflect his memories and preferences 
at the end of his career, not in the middle. **And distilled by 
Robert Baker and others into the famous tech books up to and 
including "Examples."

If you look at prints of "Moonrise" (or other of his better known 
pictures) you will see in interesting progression. Early, "vintage" 
prints show an open sky, printed down but closer to the neutral gray 
corresponding to a panchromatic film rendering; later prints are 
darker in the sky until the last have virtually black skies. Not as 
interesting, really and a far cry from the pale skies that were 
automatic in orthochromatic films available in Ansel's youth.

The 1930 Half Dome picture is so instructive. It may be the ONLY 
Adams picture in which the black sky is both visually equivalent to 
the scene as it would have looked on the ground, AND a formal element 
that works in the scheme of the photograph.

I'd be very curious what kind of papers Adams printed that image on at first.

I personally find obsession with any specific formula of surface, 
material, and process to be uninteresting. Make the result sing and 
no one will even think to question the means to the end...

Bob

For more on Adams, Mary Alinder's fairly recent biography is quite good.


>when I was at Brooks Institute. The Santa Barbara Art Gallery had an
>exhibit of his works there, and also another local gallery had one. His
>Moonrise over Hernandez was selling for $200 for a 16x20 at the time. If
>I could have afforded it I certainly would have bought it. But Brooks
>took every penny I had back then.
>
>When he sold his commercial prints as fine art, they weren't ferrotyped
>glossy, but air dried.
>
>Jerry
>-
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