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04/06/2018

Comments

Alan

Hi Brooks, a provocative podcast for sure! During the podcast I couldn't help but think of something Ansel said in an interview or something; I tried to find it, but couldn't. He said something along the lines of, "It's amazing how far we've progressed technically, but how little progress we've actually made." I've been shooting film and working in the analog darkroom for 40 years. Still do today. I've also worked with digital technology since 2000; started with PS v5.5! Today, I find myself moving back more to film and analog processes because I find digital too sterile. Is there such a thing as too much sharpness? To much micro-contrast?

Brooks Jensen

Yes, of course. When a Holga is the right camera for the project, its virtue is its lack of sharpness. Tools to fit the job, as they say. Relative to Adams, I think there is no doubt that his aesthetic was for tack sharp images and a glowing type of contrast. That was so hard to do that when he pulled it off it was simply breathtaking. Today, well, not quite so difficult of a challenge, so not nearly the accomplishment. Times are indeed changing.

Merg Ross

Interesting post, Brooks. Funny, my reaction to the "Ansel Adams at 100" exhibit was similar. The softness of many of the large prints, though not a distraction, was a bit surprising. As photograohers, we tend to be more critical of technique than the layman audience Ansel sought to impress with his large prints. Sharpness should not be an end in itself, as he famously stated; "there is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept". So, a slightly fuzzy 30"x40" print of Half Dome was acceptable!

I was introduced to photography viewing 8x10 gelatin silver contact prints. None of them were as sharp as a present-day sharpened digital print; not even Pepper #30. However, they had a soul. Greater sharpness and contrast are now possible, but sometimes too sharp for my taste. Bruce was probably wise not taking the bet!

Cheers, and best wishes to all of you at LensWork.

Merg

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