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And now, a confession. I would, of course, be ecstatic to have taken any of Ansel Adam’s images – particularly the one with the frosted trees (Oak Tree, Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, 1948), the white aspens (Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958) or the rose on the board (Rose and Driftwood, 1933). Just look at those images! He was a master. I would be unworthy to touch the muddy foot of his least-favourite tripod. But if I met him in the street I would poke him in the eye.


Posted: January 2012.


Post Script: What right do I have to make fun of Ansel Adams? I have the following answers:


1.  This is a polemic, meaning an opinion piece deliberately intended to provoke thought and discussion. Lighten up, already!  


2.  You do not have to be a master to criticize one. For example, everyday readers have a right to express an opinion on a Shakespeare play or sonnet, even though they cannot write one.


3.  I am no expert on Adams, but I’ve spent time looking at his photographs and reading about him. While I think some of his photographs are great, I’ve also been oddly ambivalent about many of them.





All Images © Tom Onyshko, 2017