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Posts Tagged ‘The decisive moment in photography’

Wikipecko Road where Wanamassa and Asbury Park meet. By Paul Goldfinger. March 21, 2015.©

Deal Lake.  Wickapecko Road where Wanamassa and Asbury Park meet. By Paul Goldfinger. March 21, 2015.©  Click to enlarge.  Re-postd from 2015.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was 34 degrees this morning at about 9:00 am when I drove on Wickapecko Road and noticed that the trees were lit up with snow. It was beautiful—Currier and Ives. I stopped and began walking over by the water. It was suddenly apparent that the temperature was causing the magical snow scene to quickly disappear. The white was melting, turning the trees from a snowy Christmas card to an icy, slushy exhibition, twinkling in the warming sunlight. Bits of frozen material were falling on my head making a clickity sort of sound on my hat—a sort of wintery “Raindrops are Falling on My Head.”

From a photographic point of view, not only was the light changing fast, but the subject was also being transformed from magical to mundane. I had to shoot fast, so I took about 15 quick frames, and it was all over.

It reminded me of Ansel Adams who was driving at dusk along a country road in New Mexico when he spotted a georgeous scene. He realized that he only had moments before the light was gone. He jumped out of his car and “struggled” to set up his large format camera on a tripod with the proper filters. He understood that he only had seconds before the moonlight would change. He took one frame and knew that negative would be the only one that would work.  Later he wrote about how the painstaking process in the darkroom was accomplished.

Moonrise Over Hernandez became his most famous image.

"Moonrise over Hernandez." Ansel Adams "almost ditched the car" when he spotted this scene near Sante Fe.

“Moonrise over Hernandez.” Ansel Adams “almost ditched the car” when he spotted this scene near Sante Fe. Notice how the crosses are illuminated.  Click to enlarge.

ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK   “Moonlight Becomes You.”

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