Lesson 2: Assignment;Assignment Title: Inspiration

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    ahtsham khalid


    Before Joining the Icon Photography school, i never read about any photographer or anybody related to the photography art until i studied about Ansal Adam during my current assignment. I really impressed by his life and work. He was a musician or  pianist but he showed his talent and feelings through Photography. I watched his interviews where he was talking about his work in a very simple way. I started to understand about lines and tones in the photograph after reading him, watching his interviews and studying his work. He is described as a musician, teacher, scientist and the most renowned photographer in American history. Adams advocated the role of photography as a fine art inspiring new ways of seeing and communication.

    ”All art is a vision penetrating the illusions of reality, and photography is one form of this vision and revelation. . . . My approach to photography is based upon my belief in the vigor and values of the world of nature, in aspects of grandeur and minutiae all about us.” Ansal Adams. 

    I like many of his majestic piece of work such as Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929; Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944; Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, 1944; Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941; or Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, ca. 1956 But the ”Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941” is one of my favorite. Moonrise, we notice an interesting composition of three layers which all are really attractive and beautiful. Each layer is offered with a different tone; the black sky, the white clouds and the gray landscape. At first glance i felt that it was a symmetrical photograph but i could also divide it according to the Rule of third. This is an astonished composition.

    Moonrise is “certainly my most popular single image”, said Adams. It “combined serendipity and immediate technical recall.” Serendipity means lucky chance. He “felt at the time it was an exceptional image” and when he took it, he felt “an almost prophetic sense of satisfaction.”

    I like Adam’s work related to the natural world’s particulars, the delicacy of a spring blossom, the murky crevice between rocks, the sunlight playing on a wet patch of sand—captivate the photographer and inspire works of strength and power equal to his more celebrated majestic views such as Half Dome Yosemite Valley, ca. 1956 in which which the sky is dark, creating the dramatic effect that corresponded with his feeling about the scene.

    Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature and the Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938 is a great example.

    Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948 is another wonderful photography which shows the beauty of nature. Adams popularized the parks. In the early 1980s he wrote in his autobiography that now “Yosemite Valley is a national shrine, with millions of people each year coming under its spell.” Is the stress of millions of campers going to damage, ironically, the very natural beauty he sought to preserve and make available to Americans.?

    References :

    Duncan Rawlinson


    Hey Ashtam!

    Thanks for submitting another assignment to the Icon Photography School. I trust that everything is going well. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please send a note to office@photographyicon.com

    You have indeed chosen one of the greatest photographers of all time: Ansel Adams His work is some of the most famous and beautiful in all of photography. Ansel Adams was a technical master and he loved precision. The breadth and depth of work is remarkable. He is such a famous photographer that almost every photographer out there either wants to be Ansel Adams or they secretly want to be Ansel Adams.

    Perhaps one of the most astonishing aspects of his photography is his simplicity. His images appear to be quite elegant and simple and yet they are technically complex. One can only dream of being the next Ansel Adams in photography but the reality is that there will never be another photographer like him. All we can do is learn from what he left behind. His masterpieces.

    His works are almost an education in photography in and of themselves. His compositions are pure perfection. Study them, learn from them!!

    If you love the natural world and want to get serious about your nature photography you need to put in the work. You need to be prepared to hike out into the wilderness and stay there in all conditions. In fact many of the best images come from bad weather. You need to sacrifice a great deal to make images of stunning beauty like this. Most are not prepared to make these sacrifices or are too lazy to achieve such things (myself included).

    You pose an interesting question in your piece about the irony of shining the light of photography on a subject. This is an ongoing issue with photography. How does one present their images to the world? Should the pristine and fragile environments we love be shared? In my own personal experience I have kept some treasures to myself in order to avoid sharing these pristine places with the world for fear that others would discover them. From a technical perspective one way to hide the location is to remove the GPS coordinates from the EXIF data on your image and not share the name of the place.

    Of course you and I toil in obscurity but you never know, you, or I, could be the next great photographer!

    The main thing to glean from this is that you have an appreciation for nature photography and that’s probably what you should focus on.

    Nice job here.

    See you on the next assignment.


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