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Geology Picture of the Week, Oct. 11-17, 2009: Vernal Falls, Color vs. Black-and-White
Amazon.com ^ | Ansel Adams, others

Posted on 10/16/2009 10:12:52 PM PDT by cogitator

The late inspiration for this was a book I saw in the bookstore, "Ansel Adams in Color", linked above. Very good photography (as you might expect), but not as iconic like his black-and-white images.

So for fun I'm posting a picture of Vernal Falls from Adams in black-and-white and another one from nearly the same vantage in color. Which do you like better? That doesn't mean that color or B&W is really better, it's just an artistic perception.

Also included are a couple of aerial shots. I didn't realize how close these falls are to Half Dome; that's because I haven't been to Yosemite and it's definitely a place I want to get to.

Click for full-size.

Click for full-size.



TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Education; Outdoors; Science
KEYWORDS: adams; falls; photography; yosemite
In the aerial shots, Vernal is the lower falls, Nevada is the upper falls.
1 posted on 10/16/2009 10:12:52 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: 2Trievers; headsonpikes; Pokey78; Lil'freeper; epsjr; sauropod; Miss Marple; CPT Clay; ...

** ping **


2 posted on 10/16/2009 10:14:11 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

Part of the problem is that the color shot is taken from a slightly different location and probably with a different sized lens. Adams was technically very good in the dark room, average on actually capturing images, and I have to admit that most of his stuff leaves me cold. It lacks any sense of human contact. I much prefer the works of Weston. Now there was a guy who hated the dark room ( shot 8X10 mostly so he just did contact prints illuminated by a single overhead light bulb). He was masterful at actually capturing the image. Brilliant


3 posted on 10/16/2009 10:16:51 PM PDT by the long march
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To: cogitator

I have to point something out; the long-distance shots are from an overlook, not aerial (i.e., from something flying).


4 posted on 10/16/2009 10:18:27 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

Another aspect is, the photographs (either flavor) are being rendered on a computer screen and kind of slough over the attention Adams gave to black levels and areas of heightened contrast. I notice the Adams waterfall picture doesn’t “freeze” the falling water in an especially appealing (to me) way, not that I need to be able to resolve every drop, but the blurry water in this case doesn’t really grab me. Also, the blacks appear to be crushed. That is NOT meant as racist comment! The color shot appeals to me more because it is less work to digest. I will confess, I used to be a lot more impressd with Adams stuff than I am today, but my eyesight used to be better, LOL.


5 posted on 10/16/2009 10:31:18 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (It's better to give a Ford to the Kidney Foundation than a kidney to the Ford Foundation.)
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To: cogitator

Magnifique!


6 posted on 10/16/2009 10:40:52 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

The Adams image is probably nowhere close to the fine grain of the original; his originals are (to state the obvious) very sharp.


7 posted on 10/16/2009 10:53:25 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
Back in Ansel Adams time black and white offered way more opportunity for manipulation than color. He would take spot meter readings to determine exposure (shadows) and processing time of the 8 x 10 film sheets based on the contrast of the scene. Looks like in the example he probably use a red or orange filter to darken the sky and trees and add contrast. In the darkroom he might spend days printing one image. Burning. dodging, bleaching and all sorts of other creative manipulations. The only thing that even came close in color was dye transfer.

Now with digital and Photoshop all bets are off.

8 posted on 10/16/2009 11:00:01 PM PDT by moreisee
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To: cogitator

All nice.

I took my wife there on our honeymoon, and we hiked this trail. I have probably a 100 D60 photos of these falls.

I took a nap on a slab of rock near the first falls and woke up thinking a dump truck just passed by me. After I thought about that for a minute, I figured it may have been a minor earthquake.


9 posted on 10/16/2009 11:20:04 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

When we were there in the mid-80’s, this falls were almost dry. Much more impressive with the greater flow.


10 posted on 10/16/2009 11:23:36 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: cogitator

bump


11 posted on 10/16/2009 11:26:40 PM PDT by VOA
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To: cogitator

Maybe it’s my monitor, but the colors on the first color picture look unnatural. It’s almost like the contrast has been cranked up a bit. Other than that, it’s difficult to make a valid comparison between the two simply based on color versus b&W due to some reasons previously mentioned as well as the difference in sky. It is clear in the color image and appears overcast in the b&w, lending a totally differnt mood.


12 posted on 10/16/2009 11:28:35 PM PDT by ThomasSawyer (Democratic Underground: Proof that anyone can figure out how to use a computer.)
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To: cogitator

ping for later


13 posted on 10/16/2009 11:29:40 PM PDT by ssaftler (Borg Queen Obama: Resistance is futile!)
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To: cogitator

I hope to get there someday, too. I’ve flown over it to SF nearby, but never quite got there, yet.


14 posted on 10/16/2009 11:36:15 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: cogitator

Half Dome is off camera to the left in this photo. I've hiked Half Dome many times, and have a drawer full of pictures.

The fourth photo is a big red-x for me. The third one shows Vernal Falls below and Nevada Falls above, with Liberty Cap to the left of the upper falls. It's shot from (or near) Glacier Point.

Here's yours truly on Half Dome...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

15 posted on 10/16/2009 11:49:16 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: cogitator
MUST go to Yosemite! When you’re ready to plan your itinerary, I have a few suggestions.

This panoramic is from Glacier Point. It'll show you the relationship to Vernal, Nevada, Liberty and Half Dome. Click the pic for a VERY large (4MB) view.



I do believe you can even see Pywiack Cascade on the larger image.
16 posted on 10/17/2009 1:17:54 AM PDT by WSGilcrest (Arigatou gozaimasu)
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