Not a bird

Discussion in 'Photography' started by PeterN, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. PeterN

    Whiskers Guest

    Seldom anywhere else.
    | F. Technical Aspects
    | Camera: 8 X 10 view camera
    | Lens: Cooke triple convertible lens.
    | Light meter: lost!
    | Film: Speed: ASA 64
    | Filter: Wratten No. 15 (G) filter
    | Exposure: 1 second at f/32.
    | Development: dilute D-23 and ten developer to water sequences.
    | Years later - refixed, washed the negative, and treated the lower
    | section with a dilute solution of Kodak IN-5 intensifier.

    A Wratten No. 15 filter is 'deep yellow' and would normally call for
    an extra 1.5 or 2 'stops' exposure to take advantage of its 'darken the
    sky' effect while leaving landscape relatively normally exposed (all
    other things being equal).

    An exposure of 1 second at f/32 ('EV 10') on ASA 64 emulsion should put
    the face of the moon into Adam's 'zone 8' or 'zone 9' (not quite
    'maximum density' in the negative); the deep yellow filter might make
    the moon slightly darker - as Mr Adams later said, he thought the moon
    would be in 'zone 7' (see below).

    The landscape will of course be a darker, and not very different from
    the sky.

    I don't think that would be "underexposed" for a dark scene which he
    wanted to show as a dark image. The difficulty in printing is down to
    the tricky subject, not to faulty camera technique. Mr Adams had enough
    experience to be confident that he'd get a usable negative even though
    he estimated the exposure (based on his knowledge of the brightness of
    the moon, which is of course in full sunlight) without using his
    exposure meter. He even described his choice of exposure in terms of
    his usual "Weston" exposure meter's dial, in at least one description of
    the occasion.

    | The making of Moonrise has attracted unusually strong interest. In 1941,
    | Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes hired Adams for six months to
    | create photographs of lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of
    | the Interior. Adams was accompanied by his young son Michael and his
    | best friend Cedric Wright on a long road trip around the west. They came
    | upon the scene while traveling through the Chama River valley toward
    | Española in late afternoon on November 1; accounts of what transpired
    | differ considerably.
    | The image appeared in U.S. Camera Annual 1943, and Adams gave this
    | account:[7]
    | It was made after sundown, there was a twilight glow on the distant
    | peaks and clouds. The average light values of the foreground were placed
    | on the "U" of the Weston Master meter; apparently the values of the moon
    | and distant peaks did not lie higher than the "A" of the meter. . . .
    | Some may consider this photograph a "tour de force" but I think of it as
    | a rather normal photograph of a typical New Mexican landscape. Twilight
    | photography is unfortunately neglected; what may be drab and
    | uninteresting by daylight may assume a magnificent quality in the
    | halflight between sunset and dark.
    | Later accounts were considerably more dramatic. According to Mary
    | Alinder, they encountered a "fantastic scene", a church and cemetery
    | near Hernandez, New Mexico, and pulled to the side of the road. Adams
    | recalled that he yelled at his son Michael and at Wright to "Get this!
    | Get that, for God's sake! We don't have much time!"[8] Desperate to
    | capture the image in the fading light, they scrambled to set up the
    | tripod and camera, knowing that only moments remained before the light
    | was gone.
    | Adams gave a similar account in Examples[9]
    | I could not find my Weston exposure meter! The situation was desperate:
    | the low sun was trailing the edge of clouds in the west, and shadow
    | would soon dim the white crosses. . . . I suddenly realized that I knew
    | the luminance of the moon—250 cd/ft2. Using the Exposure Formula, I
    | placed this value on Zone VII. . . . Realizing as I released the shutter
    | that I had an unusual photograph which deserved a duplicate negative, I
    | quickly reversed the film holder, but as I pulled the darkslide, the
    | sunlight passed from the white crosses; I was a few seconds too late!
    | The lone negative suddenly became precious.

    | E. Once the photograph is taken, is the development and printing a
    | mechanical process?
    | No, it is not mechanical. Although there is a procedure, there is much
    | judgment involved on the part of the artist. Ansel said that the
    | negative for Moonrise was difficult to print. He tried many methods
    | using different chemicals and times and papers. With the negative in the
    | enlarger, he increased the light hitting certain areas (burning-in)
    | which made the sky blacker and the clouds less bright so the moon would
    | stand out more. With all these artistic adjustments, Adams said "it is
    | safe to say that no two prints are precisely the same."

    Not unusual to try different enlarging and printing techniques for a
    "difficult" negative, particularly one so lucrative.

    He had a track record of getting great images at short notice as
    unplanned opportunities arose. He was very good at choosing exposure
    values and processing techniques.
    Well it added to the lustre of the fame that had been growing for 20
    years, and probably brought his work to the attention of more people.
    You'll notice that Mr Adams had time to stop the car, set up his tripod
    and 8"x10" field camera and lens, and frame and focus the shot manually,
    before inserting the dark-slide with the film. PeterN is sitting or
    standing in a boat or on land, with a digital SLR in his hands ready to
    shoot. That gives him a huge time advantage over Mr Adams with /his/
    kit. His camera even has an exposure meter built in (albeit not
    conveniently for taking manual incident-light readings).

    | B. How did chance lead him to take this photograph?
    | Ansel Adams was returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico after a discouraging
    | day of photography. From the highway he glanced left and "saw an
    | extraordinary situation - an inevitable photograph! I almost ditched the
    | car and rushed to set up my 8 X 10" camera. I was yelling to my
    | companions to bring me things from the car…I had a clear visualization
    | of the image I wanted but…I could not find my exposure meter! The
    | situation was desperate: the low sun was trailing the edge of clouds in
    | the west, and shadow would soon dim the white crosses." He felt at a
    | loss to guess the correct exposure, but suddenly realized he knew the
    | luminance of the moon and quickly took the shot.
    Sometimes. For certain values of "high end".
    If the exposure is set manually, the camera knows nothing about
    'exposure compensation'; the only purpose for an 'exposure compensation'
    is to over-ride an automatic exposure system.
    Did I say that? I said that for a subject an automatic system can't
    handle, manual is the best approach. PeterN is clearly relying on
    automation, and getting into difficulties as a result.

    Yes, I'm biased; I learnt to take photographs before anything was
    automated. I still believe that knowing how to do things manually is
    going to help you to understand what an automatic system is trying to
    do, and what it can't do. I also like to think that *I* am taking the
    photograph, not the camera. You are of course free to disagree.
    Whiskers, Jan 4, 2014
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  2. Which controls exposure. Auto ISO doesn't.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 4, 2014
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  3. PeterN

    Eric Stevens Guest

    No doubt Adams was gratified that the moon didn't flit around the way
    that birds tend to do. For probably quite different reasons, so too am
    Eric Stevens, Jan 4, 2014
  4. PeterN

    Savageduck Guest

    Yup! Tracking a bird with that 8''x10'' would have been a bitch, and
    would have given the old guy quite a workout.
    < Images/Adams/Photo Oct 01, 9 11 03 AM.png
    ....and sometimes folks forget that he shot in B&W & color.
    < Images/Adams/Photo Apr 12, 6 29 54 PM.png
    Savageduck, Jan 5, 2014
  5. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    Not completely true. When there is time, I meter and chimp. In my film
    days I eyeballed the exposure, and wa fairly accurate.
    I use autofocus only for critters in motion.
    PeterN, Jan 5, 2014
  6. PeterN

    J. Clarke Guest

    So if you use the same settings for Panatomic X and Tri-X both will be
    properly exposed?

    Try again.
    J. Clarke, Jan 5, 2014
  7. Not exactly astute, son.

    The amount of exposure necessary to be "properly exposed" is
    different. But to change that exposure doesn't mean changing
    films, it means just exactly that: change the exposure (aperture
    or shutter speed).
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  8. Why did you have to post all this obfuscation? Why didn't
    you just say, "Yeah, good example, and it does change too fast
    to monitor or predict that closely!"

    So much for you trying to contradict the above conclusion...
    So much for you trying to contradict the above conclusion...
    Moonrise was the photograph that made him famous. Period.
    Before that he was never sure of making enough money to pay the
    bills, after that he never had need to worry.
    That doesn't address the question at hand, which is whether
    light can change rapidly. Clearly it does and often enough that
    things such simple as flipping over the negative carrier takes too
    long. One second the light was right, and then it isn't.
    But the advantage of a DSLR is that it can automate exposure,
    focus, and ISO more accurately and quicker than can be done
    Apparently a type you don't do? Or at least haven't enough
    experience at to know what matters as opposed to what doesn't.
    Exposure compensation is nothing more and nothing less than
    calibration of the light meter. It does not override anything.
    And the light meter is used for manually setting exposure just
    as it is for automatically setting exposure.
    That is almost exactly what you have said, and it isn't correct.
    You said that it only works for "average subjects", which is
    also to say that for others it does not work. That's not true.

    It doesn't really have much to do with the subject, it has to do
    with the light!
    And haven't been able to learn anything since? That's a shame,
    there have been many changes that are well worth learning.
    It should help, but given what you've said it is clearly not
    necessarily going to be enough.
    'You don't take a photograph, you make it.'
    Ansel Adams

    Of course one has to understand how it works to make a
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  9. PeterN

    J. Clarke Guest

    But the exposure is only correct for the film being used. I don't know
    why you've got this need to argue over minutiae of nomenclature.
    J. Clarke, Jan 5, 2014
  10. PeterN

    Tony Cooper Guest

    I wonder if you don't notice light changing quicker than we do
    considering where you live.
    Tony Cooper, Jan 5, 2014
  11. PeterN

    Savageduck Guest

    "Moonrise" was shot in 1941. It is undeniable that it was one of his
    most popular and famous photographs, but it didn't make him "famous",
    he was "famous" long before that shot saw light in his darkroom. It was
    only published in 1943, and first shown in a gallery in 1944. As a
    member of Group f/64 in 1932 he was among a group of "famous"
    photographers twelve years before "Moonrise" was seen by the public.

    He had his own gallery in 1933 and was participating in museum &
    gallery exhibits all through the 1930's. He published has first
    instructional book in 1935. He was instrumental in having his imagery
    used by the Sierra Club to aid the National Park cause, and he
    testified before Congress in 1940 to assist in having Sequoia & Kings
    Canyon designated National Parks. That was a year before he shot

    He held contracts with Eastman Kodak and a few other entities including
    the Department of The Interior. Not bad for a guy who only became
    "famous" in 1943 after slaving away since the early 1920's.

    Here is a little of what he had to say about his involvement with
    Eastman Kodak as a yet to be "famous" photographer being used for some
    exclusive color work for them:

    Excerpt From: Adams, Ansel. “Ansel Adams In Color.

    “High Ho!! Believe it or not the Eastman Kulak (I mean Kodak) Co. are
    paying me $250.00 per shot for at least three 8×10 Kodachromes of
    Waterfalls mit Rainbows! (No discount if there ain’t no rainboo!) Some
    new experimental film. HUshhhhhhhhhh. So, next week I go off to that
    hole in the ground Yosemite and click some shutters.â€

    “Got some magnificent 8×10 Kodachromes for the Eastman Kodak
    Company—they took five! Waterfalls with Rainbows, Big Trees, etc.
    Really quite pleased! Got $250.00 each, plus fifty sheets of 8×10 film,
    plus having my lens opticoated for nuttings! Now have enough cash to
    buy film for Guggenheim (Stipend will barely cover travel expenses....)â€

    “This is a combined functional trip, as follows:
    A. Kodachromes for Standard Oil
    B. Kodachromes and Ektachromes for Eastman Kodak Company
    C. Black and whites for FORTUNE
    D. A sniff at some Guggenheim material
    E. A vacation for Virginia and Mike
    My schedule is as follows:
    Yellowstone National Park Sept. 27–8 Wyoming
    Glacier National Park Sept. 29–Oct. 6 Montana
    ....This tour should net enough cash to carry me for quite a while. Two
    jobs for Eastman have netted more than entire Guggenheim stipend. But
    find I can’t combine creative and commercial work.
    From a letter to Beaumont and Nancy Newhall from St. George, Utahâ€
    Savageduck, Jan 5, 2014
  12. Well, since it hasn't changed much here for a over a month now,
    probably not! :) The sun comes up again in three weeks though.

    Highly directional light tends to change every time the camera
    is pointed in a different direction.

    Obviously other causes exist too, such as the setting or rising
    of the sun, movement of clouds, and so on.

    Incidentally, at the eqinox we get the same rate of change
    between daylight and darkness that everyone else does, but at
    other times our transitions take much longer and provide very
    *slow* changes.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  13. Because *it* *is* *signficant*. That is true whether you
    understand it or not.

    The exposure need not be correct for this film and/or that one.
    You *can't* *change* *exposure* by switching film! Only by
    changing the amount of light that hits the film is the exposure
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  14. Moonrise was the image that made his name a household word. It was
    by a considerable degree his most popular image.

    Prior to that he was a "successful" commercial photographer,
    not a well known artist.
    He was a working commercial photographer, not the household name
    and celebrity that he became later in life.
    You seem to be confused, as this was *after* Moonrise was taken
    and had been published. It appears to be quoted from a letter
    he wrote in 1946 to Beaumont and Nancy Newhall.
    This is a quote from an even later letter in 1946, to David McAlpin.
    So you did get one attribution correct, but clipped the fact
    that it was written even later than the others.

    These are all right at the point where the effects of Moonrise
    were being felt! In "Ansel Adams: A Biography" by Mary Street
    Alinde he was described thus, "always near desperation for
    money", in late 1940.

    Even into the 1960's a print by Adams would only sell for as
    much as $100. In the early 1970's that went up to $500 and only
    in the late 70's did his work start bringing in truly high

    Most of the Moonrise prints (roughly totalling 1200) were made
    in the 1970's and it wasn't really until then that Adams became
    able to give up commercial photograph for his art.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  15. PeterN

    Savageduck Guest

    I am sure you remember this snapshot from 1937.
    ....and yet his work with Group f/64 is considered art. That was what
    Stieglitz and some of the other photographers of the 30's&30's thought.

    He was certainly working on a project for the Department of the
    Interior when he shot "Moonrise" in 1941, and had to show that he was
    not on tje Government's dime when he tripped the shutter. otherwise he
    would not have owned the image, the Gonernment would have. That was
    what happened with this 1942 shot.
    < >

    Anyway, here he is about to hit the road for that trip to the South
    West, and the appointment with that "Moonrise".
    Hmmm... he certainly had to do some commercial work so he wouldn't be a
    starving artist. However, through the 1930's he published several
    books, gave instructional lectures, and gallery exhibits, along with
    work for the Sierra Club/ I refer you to the above shot:
    < >
    and these:
    < >
    < >
    Yes. Here is one of those $250 rainbow shots for Kodak.
    As he stated, he barely covered his travel expenses with his grants.
    However, through the 50's &60's he did some serious work for, and
    received a healthy sponsorship from Hasselblad.
    Savageduck, Jan 5, 2014
  16. Ansel Adams said of Moonrise, "certainly my most popular single image."
    He was an artist... but he was not the famous artist that he had
    become by say 1970.
    Great, you know where there are images he made... but you aren't
    supporting your claims as to their signficance or not.
    You still aren't proving your claims though. He had to do
    commercial photography simply because that is what put food on
    the table.

    He wasn't a famous high class art photographer. His images sold
    for relatively peanuts.
    Proves my point though, not yours! After Moonrise the fortunes
    of Ansel Adams rose significantly.
    Because he just simply wasn't famous until *after* Moonrise.
    That's the image that put him on the map, and on the minds of
    All *after* he shot Moonrise, of course.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  17. PeterN

    sid Guest

    You are correct that iso does not effect the amount of light hitting the
    light gathering medium, but it does have a direct effect on the results
    obtained by that light gathering medium.
    Most people, when talking about exposure, would be referencing what they
    considered to be correct exposure, in which case iso has to be part of the
    The point is that unless you put your camera into fully manual mode, no auto
    anything, you are relying on the cameras interpretation of what is correct
    exposure to set one or more parameters.
    So how does the camera decide which iso to set when using manual mode with
    auto iso? Judging by how my camera works, I do use it set that way often, I
    have to assume that the camera reads the exposure meter and sets the iso to
    what it considers to be correct exposure based on the aperture and shutter
    speed set.
    sid, Jan 5, 2014
  18. Yes. It just isn't something that changes the exposure though!
    People say, and believe, all sorts of things about exposure.
    "Correct exposure" means different things to different people.
    But regardless of what is or is not correct exposure, changing
    the film never did change exposure. And it still doesn't.
    Except, you aren't.

    Auto ISO does not change the exposure. Got it?
    No, you set the exposure by adjusting the aperture and the
    shutter speed.

    The camera reads the amount of light and adjusts the ISO, not
    the exposure, such that the specific exposure you have set is
    the "correct exposure".

    Changing the ISO has no effect on what the exposure is
    specifically. Whether that is correct or not is a matter of
    personal judgment, which the photographer can change with
    "Exposure Compensation" (which doesn't affect exposure, it
    changes the calibration of the light meter).
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 5, 2014
  19. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    Unless I had too much coffee, it seems to me that the magic hour light
    in FL changes faster that the light in NY.
    There are reasons for it that are not relevant. The fact is that light
    can, and does change rapidly.
    PeterN, Jan 5, 2014
  20. PeterN

    sid Guest

    But it does change the results one obtains at any given exposure
    Of course you are. That's what auto means. The camera is setting something
    by it's own determination.
    No it doesn't, it affects how the data captured during that exposure is
    recorded by the sensor. Got it?
    Yes quite, just as I have been saying.
    sid, Jan 5, 2014
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