Are You Over-Correcting and Blind to Your Potential Shortcomings?
In the paragraph below, Ansel Adams shared some interesting insights about himself in his book, The Print. If you don't already own the book, you should consider getting a copy. I have been reading his trilogy, The Camera, The Negative, The Print for over thirty years, and I continue to learn from these timeless texts year after year.
I find his insights to be valuable, and I wanted to share his wisdom with my readers. I have done similar things as Ansel described below, and I think as creative people, we have a lot of influences in our lives. I believe that it is good to be vulnerable and open to input and criticism, but as Ansel points out, it is easy to over-correct sometimes, and our passion can blind us.
"I once prepared an exhibition for the University of California, consisting of a group of 5 x 7 contact prints of general subjects. The prints were very deep in value and richly toned. I had gone through a "high-key" period when I stressed buoyancy and lightness, and I wanted to return to more solid effects. My friends asked if the prints were not rather dark, and several reviewers wrote that the images were interesting but printed heavily. I stoutly defended the prints. They were returned after the show (none sold), and I put them away.
When I looked at the prints about a year later, I was appalled at their heaviness - how could I have printed them so dark? In reviewing the situation, I realized that I had "tuned" my judgment to an imposed idea: I was determined to get away from a high-key tendency, and I simply went too far, without having the judgment at the time to realize it."
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