Tuesday, January 25, 2011
What Gear Would Ansel Adams Carry Today?
If Adams was using a digital camera, here are some of the essential pieces of equipment he’d have in the field
Sure, it seems obvious, but considering how many soft images we see during portfolio reviews, it makes sense to emphasize the importance of a good solid tripod and ballhead. For Adams, this simply would have been a given. Even with the inherent mobility of a DSLR, when it came time for a final exposure, Adams would have used a tripod without fail.
We think Ansel Adams would have been a great believer in the digital darkroom and Photoshop, as well as other software (see the sidebar “What Software Would Ansel Use?”), but that doesn’t mean he would have been any less exacting in the field than he was with film. Having good filters ranging from polarizers to NDs to red, yellow, green and blue would be mandatory equipment in his bag. You can simulate some of the effects down the road, but getting it as close as possible in the field was always part of Adams’ thinking. Polarizers are ideal for creating dark skies, cutting glare and increasing saturation in a color photograph. In black-and-white images, red, yellow and orange filters darken blue areas, green filters brighten foliage, and blue filters can be used to make the sky white and to mitigate extreme contrast.
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