Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ansel Adams And Alfred Stieglitz, #1

Anticipation is another prime element of creative art and essential to visualization. Some years ago I was talking with Edwin Land, a brilliant scientist and close friend. We talked about the remarkable photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, with his images of people in motion arrested at precisely the optimum expressive moment of time and place.

Land pointed out that the moment captured on film was realized through anticipation. Had Cartier-Bresson released the shutter at the “decisive moment” as revealed in his pictures, the psycho-physical lag would have resulted in capturing the moment after the ideal position in the composition.

Anticipation is one of the most perplexing capabilities of the mind: projection into future time. Impressive with a single moving object, it is overwhelming when several such objects are considered together and in relation to their environment. I believe that the mind, working at incredible speeds, is able to probe into the future as well as recall the past. Our explorations of the past support the present, and our awareness of the present will clarify the future.

... Photography is an investigation of both the outer and inner worlds. One might consider that if one is born an explorer he will never find existence dull. The first experiences with the camera involve looking at the world beyond the lens, trusting the instrument will “capture” something “seen.” The terms shoot and take are not accidental; they represent an attitude of conquest and appropriation. Only when the photographer grows into perception and creative impulse does the term make define a condition of empathy between the external and internal events. Stieglitz told me, “When I make a photograph, I make love!”

Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams: An Autobiography

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