Taking Ansel Adams With You

On my (ever growing) list of Photographic Things I Must Do, near the top is to see an exhibition of Ansel Adams’ work, printed by him. I learned his Zone System for black and white exposure when I was an undergrad and, while it’s not an active part of my daily shooting, it’s certainly a part of it, helping me to place my exposures where they need to be for the medium I work in (digital, obviously).

The Online Photographer has picked up a post by John Sexton that talks about a new Ansel Adams iPad app. Which is, well, brilliant. And comical. The idea of being able to bring a collection of not just his images with you everywhere, but articles, letters and commentary on the work? And to be able to send electronic postcards with his work right from the app? That is just brilliant.

The comedy (for me) comes from the idea that here’s a guy who elevated the absolute craft of photography to, perhaps, its highest point. His meticulousness is legendary, his dedication to the process noble and the results … well, stunning. So to think of those gorgeous large format images being compressed to appear on a small, electronic device is … well, comical.

Reports are that the app is great and the images look fantastic and the idea of being able to pull up some of his work to study, wherever and whenever you want, is really appealing. So I’m hoping a little iTunes gift card shows up in my stocking this year …

Mark E. Johnson

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