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The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2) Paperback – June 1, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A master-class kind of guide from an undisputed master. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Adams is a clear-thinking writer whose concepts cannot but help the serious photographer. NEW YORK TIMES

About the Author

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was one of the great artists and environmentalists of the twentieth century. In a remarkable career spanning more than sixty years, he made over 40,000 photographs. Adams was a master teacher as well as a master photographer, believing that his approach to photography was universally applicable. From 1955 until 1984 he conducted annual photography workshops, first in Yosemite and later in Carmel. But his most important and lasting contribution to the artistic, practical, and technical aspects of black-and-white photography was through his legendary technical series (revised several times since the initial publication in the early 1950s):The Camera, The Negative, and The Print.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ansel Adams (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821221868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821221860
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) was the most honored American photographer of the twentieth century. Through his exhibitions and publication of his work, his writings, and his leadership in the Sierra Club, Adams was also a prescient and highly effective voice in the fight to preserve America's remaining wilderness.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the book I turn to for the heavy duty technical data on the most important aspects of photography, but guess what? This is probably one of the most readable and easy to digest technical books on photography you are ever likely to read or need. Adams has a way of making mysterious worlds within Photography accessable. I will admit though that this book is not for the absolute beginner, though having said that those who want to stretch a little could find much that is of use without having too much knowledge off the mark.
When I looked at the three books of this series, The Camera, The Negative and the Print, I waded into each wanting to choose only the best one from the series. I quickly realised that neither of the other two had what The Negative had and I have subsequently realised that this was by far the best choice for me. The negative deals with Visualization and image values, Light and Film, Exposure, The Zone System, Filters and Pre-Exposure, Natural Light, Artifical Light, Darkroom processes, Dark Room equiptment and procedures and value control in processing.
This book is an absolute must for intermediate photographers who have mastered the basics and want to take a step up into the world of greater control over their imaging with an eye to developing and processing their own film and prints. Everything you need to know about getting your images right before you even hit the shutter is in this book, all you need to do now is accentuate the positive by going and buying The NEGATIVE!
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Format: Paperback
There are a number of good reviews here, and I recommend to you especially the one by S. White. This is a great book, a classic that is important both historically, because it defines the zone system as no other work can, and practically, because it gives you the best combination of practice and theory available in print (at least that I have found). For the uninitiated, in the "zone system" you stop thinking about "the" one correct exposure for a photograph (which is usually the correct exposure for a single subject in the photograph) and instead think about the range of exposures needed across a scene with a variety of subjects with different colors, textures, and light characteristics. This approach is made possible by the observation that a one-stop shifts in exposure, in black and white photography, ultimately create 10 "zones" for aesthetic purposes - that is, the full range of grays between black and white can be associated with 10 stops of exposure.

I don't want to make this review just an echo of the praise offered by others, so let me point out several things about this book that may be helpful if you haven't yet decided to purchase it:

First, the zone system advocated by Ansel Adams is the most influential approach to taking black and white photographs out there. There are advocates and detractors, and this book is inspired in part by Adam's advocacy of this technical and painstaking technique. Because he is an advocate, he works very hard to make the system comprehendable, while retaining fidelity to its technical and intellectual side. He also does not give you the full story on the criticism of his method.
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By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ansel Adams expressed more with B&W then most can even DREAM of doing with color...
This is my second foray into learning the basics of exposure through the Zone System, and who better then The Master himself to lead. He has taken a fairly technical system and made it a breeze to grasp. No misleading sidebars or relationships here. Just the facts. Much better then my first indoctrination. No matter how deeply you wish to delve into his techniques, even a redimentary understanding of previsualization before exposure will improve ones photo making, even in color. An outstanding reference. The entire series, Book 1: The Camera, Book 2: The Negative, and Book 3: The Print are invaluable additions to a personal photography library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book were Ansel Adams explains his well known zone system.
It is the best book of the three books of the series "the camera", "the negative", "the print". The camera book is more interesting to someone using a view camera. The print is more interesting for someone doing a lot of photography printing. But the negative I found it interesting for someone interested in advance photography and that wants to learn how to better control exposure. In that area this book is a classic.

It is not a simple book for a beginner, so if you are picking a camera for the first time and just want to know how to load the film there are better books in the market to fulfill with that purpose.
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Format: Paperback
Ansel Adams' experience, talent and visualization come together in this book to describe (with relative ease) even the most complex aspects of photography. His comprehension of the matter is wildly beyond most (if not all) other authors. I would especially recommend this book to intermediate photographers who have had fairly enough experience in the field. Amateurs will no doubt find it useful yet a bit complex in some technical issues. This book is a must for the serious photographer as it enlightens doubts.
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The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2)
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