Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Kristen Foster
Last updated: October 4, 2019
I have decided to do my essay on one of Ansel Adams most famous photographs from his long and successful career titled Half Dome. The photograph of Half Dome medium of the photograph is black and white. Ansel Adams in my opinion is one of the greatest photographers of all time. I believe his photographs are a work of art. Ansel Adams was a true visual genius with a camera, he went to a location set up his camera and the end result was always perfect. When I look at a photograph that was taken by Ansel Adams I feel at ease.
It is almost like taking a short vacation in front of a photograph.The way Ansel Adams uses black and white in his photographs is amazing to me. The one thing that amazes me the most about Ansel Adams is even though he does not use color in his photographs, his work never looks the same. I understand that anyone could travel to Yosemite National Park to photograph Half Dome but no matter how many pictures that you take not one of those pictures will be an exact copy of Ansel Adams Half Dome. I also enjoy how Ansel Adams uses pure straight photography, there is so much more excitement in a photograph that is so perfect that it would look worse if it were manipulated on a computer.Some things in life are beautiful already and do not need any computer program to manipulate their appearance, and in my opinion on of those things is Half Dome. I enjoy using black and white, in my mind it makes everything simpler, I like how just two colors can produce such amazing outcomes.
In my first photograph that I did for the class titled freedom there were two three flags and in color it looked ok, so I decided to see how it would look in black and white and when I did the black and white made the flags jump out at me.Also when I use black and white in my photographs I feel that it shows more emotions. The photograph of Half Dome was taken at Yosemite National Park located in California in the year 1932. Ansel Adams artistic process for his photographs consists of him doing a lot of traveling to many uniquely different locations around America, and sometimes around the world to get the desired photographs. The subject matter in of photograph consists of a steep jagged mountains that is reaching up and it seems like it is going to touch the cloudy sky.The sky in the photograph of Half Dome appears to be filled with heavy clouds that are light in color at the top of them but on the bottom of the clouds there is a dark hue. Because of that dark color on the bottom of the clouds above Half Dome I believe the clouds are about to give way to a heavy downpour. You can tell the sun is setting or has just began to set during the time the photograph was being taken because of the light from the sun is hitting the middle of the mountain and not so much light hitting the top of the mountain.
The photograph was taken in horizontal orientation.Meaning when taking the photograph of Half Dome Ansel Adams took the picture he was holding the camera in a horizontal position, the camera is left to right instead of being held in a vertical orientation were the camera is being held up to down. The Aspect ratio that was used in the photograph of Half Dome is a 3:2 ratio. Because of that you can assume that he uses the standard 35mm film with a short focal length for the photograph of Half Dome. Because of the short focal length used in the photograph of Half Dome the depth of field is of a peek in the mountain range that is a granite dome.The photograph of Half Dome includes the rule of odds because on the right side of the photograph there is one mountain and the mountains are not balanced on both sides of the photograph.
This same mountain is the intersection point for the rule of thirds method of composition, because in the top left corner of the mountain there is a slight peek and that intersects with one of the intersection points on the rule of thirds grid. A moment of grace is when everything comes together and produces a good photograph. I believe that Ansel Adams moment of grace comes to him when he is standing in front of his subject.I also believe that Ansel Adams takes what he is given; I do not believe that he waits for the clouds to show up at a current spot in the sky before he takes a picture. In the case of Half Dome Ansel Adams is using pure straight photography meaning that when he takes a photograph he wants to make it look as realistic as possible, this also means that Ansel Adams did not use any kind of manipulation software to edit his pictures in any way. In the photograph of Half Dome Ansel Adams uses no staged light sources in the photograph of Half Dome.The only light source that is used in the photograph of Half Dome is from the setting sun, or the sun that is beginning to set.
Because of that I believe in the photograph of Half Dome Ansel Adams uses pure/straight lighting. The pure lighting comes from the sun setting. Ansel Adams also does not use any diffuse or direct lighting in the photograph of Half Dome. Ansel Adams uses black and white as his medium in his photographs.
Because of the white that stands out in his photograph of Half Dome, I believe Ansel Adams uses cool colors. Ansel Adams also uses a complementary harmony in the photograph of Half Dome, black and white.