In Praise of Printing

“The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” – Ansel Adams.

Prints hangingNowadays we no longer refer to the “negative” but to the “digital file”- something that when viewed on a suitable display is actually a positive.  Change the word and Ansel Adams’ quotation is as true now as it was then. Still, there is nothing else that better epitomizes a photographer’s work than the photographic print. Continue reading In Praise of Printing

President’s Column: The Missed Image

Memory cards have no emotions. Our brain’s memory does. We are fortunate. There is something valuable in missing an image occasionally, for not having a camera at that special moment when the light was supreme, the colors astounding, and the subject captivating. It’s an opportunity to dream and to periodically resurrect in one’s memory the emotions of that missed arresting moment.

BrainAs it happens, I have more vivid, clear remembrances of a few, missed images than of those I committed to a memory card. My most memorable “missed” image goes back more than twenty years. I can still easily retrieve it from my brain. Over five hundred megapixels, human eye HDR rendition. It was at night. Yacht racing in the Pacific, several miles off the Mexican coast. A clear crisp night. A good breeze filling the sails. Gliding over smooth waters of low rolling waves.

On the eastern sky, a few degrees above the horizon, a full moon. Bright enough to fully illuminate the boat and rigging. Then the memorable moment unfolded. The breeze picked up. With it, a bank of low fog rolled in from northwest. As the fog started closing in, the moonlight projected the shadow of our boat on the wall of the approaching fog. An eerie, awe-inspiring image. Continue reading President’s Column: The Missed Image