Kodak Moment: Following Ansel Adams footsteps

Michael Adams telling Park Ranger where he's been

It’s weird to read the New York Times to find this article on Ansel Adams on the front page. What did we just do? We spent two days in Yosemite with Michael Adams, Ansel’s son, who spent the better part of two days showing us around.

I shot a TON of Qik/cell phone video with Michael. We also did a bunch of “pro” video with our expensive HD camcorders, those will be up soon as part of a new show for DSLR photographers that’ll be on FastCompany.tv. Titled “PhotoCycle.” We haven’t set a start date for that, yet, more on that later. A special thanks to Marc Silber (he’s the professional photographer who’ll host PhotoCycle) because he’s the one who did the work to arrange this trip.

Ansel Adams Gallery now has a blog, too. One reason I was there was to film Ansel Adams Gallery, which is one of America’s most beloved family businesses and has been operating in Yosemite Park for 102 years.

Thomas Hawk, my favorite photographer that I watch on Flickr, put up a single photo from the two days and it already has gotten 50 votes on Flickr as “favorite.” Getting a “favorite” on Flickr is really hard, and to get 50 for one photo of something as photographed as Half Dome is demonstrates Thomas’ skill and popularity as a photographer, it was a real treat to get to follow him as he made images in Yosemite.

One really big thrill for all of us? They opened the Glacier Point Road just for us. There wasn’t another soul in place for 13 miles of road. Totally amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience of Glacier Point. We also made our own history: we did the first cell phone live video from Glacier Point thanks to Qik. It’s amazing that we had a live audience around the world while filming these videos.


The New York Times had a separate article
about Flickr. Here’s Thomas Hawk’s feedback about that (he was one of the photographers quoted in it).

So, why a Kodak moment? Well, Michael Adams told me that Ansel Adams did a lot of work for Kodak. He shot a few of the Colorama ads for Grand Central Station in New York. Did you know Kodak has a blog now? I like the Kodak blog a lot, it gives me some great ideas for photos.

Little known Scoble trivia: I used to help run a camera store, LZ Premiums (now long gone) in the 1980s and was responsible for buying all the Kodak film and darkroom supplies. I saw someone walking out of the Ansel Adams Gallery with a yellow box of Kodak printing paper and it took me back to the hours I spent in a darkroom and all the friends, photos, memories I made back then.

This was — by far — the most special two days I’ve had outside of getting married or watching my two sons being born. I told someone I would have traded my Davos trip (which was freaking awesome) for hanging out with Michael Adams for 24 hours. It was that good and I can’t wait to show you the videos and more of our photos. Thomas Hawk told me he’ll have his photos up soon, along with a writeup of the two days.

Now, go back and read the New York Times article, and listen to it come alive thanks to Qik videos done on my cell phone.

Michael Adams, Ansel Adams’ son, in front of the family business, the Ansel Adams’ Gallery.
The famous Tunnel View, where Ansel shot his famous Storm Clearing photo. In the video we meet a tourist who took a class from Ansel and he tells us about that experience. I talk with Thomas Hawk about this view, and we find some other things to shoot as well.
Video from a meadow shooting Yosemite Falls.
Half Dome from the Bridge. In a second video Michael Adams tells what a photo from this bridge meant to his mother.
You’ve seen the famous photo, Moon and Half Dome, here you see where to shoot it, and we talk about some of our experiences making new images there, but also hear Michael’s stories about the photo and what it meant to him (it was used on his wedding announcement).
Up at Glacier Point we had the whole place to ourselves, so I made a TON of video.
Glacier Point 1.
Glacier Point 2.
Glacier Point 3.
Glacier Point 4.
Glacier Point 5.
Glacier Point 6.

In the videos you’ll learn that Michael is an interesting innovator in his own right. He was a fighter pilot, then went to medical school and now teaches medicine while also keeping memories of his father’s work alive and well.

I don’t know how I’ll top this in my career. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did (and there’s a LOT more to come from this two-day experience).

I also put up a bunch of photos on my Flickr stream and I’m sure that Thomas Hawk will have a lot more of his own.

Comments

  1. It’s really good to enjoy mother nature once in a while!! I envy you!

    BTW – I know you will cover astrophotography in PhotoCycle at least once, right? :-) We’ll be going out day yes/day no this week. If you wanna come, let me know! ;-)

  2. It’s really good to enjoy mother nature once in a while!! I envy you!

    BTW – I know you will cover astrophotography in PhotoCycle at least once, right? :-) We’ll be going out day yes/day no this week. If you wanna come, let me know! ;-)

  3. enjoy mother nature? It’s a bit blasphemous to spent your time in Yosemite driving around in an SUV. Way to go.

  4. enjoy mother nature? It’s a bit blasphemous to spent your time in Yosemite driving around in an SUV. Way to go.

  5. t’s a bit blasphemous to spent your time in Yosemite driving around in an SUV.

    Tom, the SUV was my fault. If it’s any consolation we did carpool in it.

    I’ve got four kids and two dogs and for our family at least there are not many cars that fit all of us and our kid’s friends in.

  6. t’s a bit blasphemous to spent your time in Yosemite driving around in an SUV.

    Tom, the SUV was my fault. If it’s any consolation we did carpool in it.

    I’ve got four kids and two dogs and for our family at least there are not many cars that fit all of us and our kid’s friends in.

  7. I deleted two comments from this thread because they were anonymous jerks who liked throwing criticisms into the thread without providing any of their own photography. I’m tired of it, so they are gone.

  8. I deleted two comments from this thread because they were anonymous jerks who liked throwing criticisms into the thread without providing any of their own photography. I’m tired of it, so they are gone.

  9. Amazingly beautiful! It’s so terrific to be able to capture in film what our world shows us. I recently was very inspired by a PBS Special on Ansel Adams. Then I came upon your blog. Thank you for following your passion and sharing it with others.

    Best,
    Mary

  10. Amazingly beautiful! It’s so terrific to be able to capture in film what our world shows us. I recently was very inspired by a PBS Special on Ansel Adams. Then I came upon your blog. Thank you for following your passion and sharing it with others.

    Best,
    Mary

  11. Wow, sounds like an experience of a lifetime. Please tell us your family, or at least Patrick was there. We don’t seem to hear much about the family anymore…

  12. Wow, sounds like an experience of a lifetime. Please tell us your family, or at least Patrick was there. We don’t seem to hear much about the family anymore…

  13. This was wonderful Scobleizer, I feel as if I were there. All the content — rich, rich, lots to look at for a long time to come, and think about.

    I wouldn’t worry about this being somehow your best work you’ll never repeat, I think you should just say to yourself: “I will never go below this,” and that way you still stay steady lol.

  14. This was wonderful Scobleizer, I feel as if I were there. All the content — rich, rich, lots to look at for a long time to come, and think about.

    I wouldn’t worry about this being somehow your best work you’ll never repeat, I think you should just say to yourself: “I will never go below this,” and that way you still stay steady lol.

  15. @9 Nice. But the reflection is definitely Photosphoped . It’s way too balanced to be natural. Water reflections are just not that exact. Scoble’s photos, while very nice, are more snapshots than composed photographs. The 5D is too much camera for taking snapshots. Which is why most pro’s carry a Point and Shoot for such things.

  16. @9 Nice. But the reflection is definitely Photosphoped . It’s way too balanced to be natural. Water reflections are just not that exact. Scoble’s photos, while very nice, are more snapshots than composed photographs. The 5D is too much camera for taking snapshots. Which is why most pro’s carry a Point and Shoot for such things.

  17. Thanks for allowing us into your world.
    You’re an inspiration to the rest of us
    “who wish we could”.

    Must’ve been a hell of an experience.
    Congratulations.

    Pete.

  18. Thanks for allowing us into your world.
    You’re an inspiration to the rest of us
    “who wish we could”.

    Must’ve been a hell of an experience.
    Congratulations.

    Pete.

  19. Sounds like an incredible experience, Ansel Adams should be considered one of America’s great treasures.

  20. Sounds like an incredible experience, Ansel Adams should be considered one of America’s great treasures.

  21. @TacoGirl well I can’t say I was there (school generally gets in the way of anything going on in the week, lame I know) but I would have enjoyed it.

  22. @TacoGirl well I can’t say I was there (school generally gets in the way of anything going on in the week, lame I know) but I would have enjoyed it.

  23. TacoGirl yeah, unfortunately couldn’t take the family on this one. The baby is getting harder to travel with and Patrick had school. I’m taking Patrick to Washington DC, though, so that’ll be fun.

  24. TacoGirl yeah, unfortunately couldn’t take the family on this one. The baby is getting harder to travel with and Patrick had school. I’m taking Patrick to Washington DC, though, so that’ll be fun.

  25. @14

    the reflection was not photoshopped. the image was curve adjusted but that was about it. but then again scoble decided his snapshots (nice use of words danny) couldnt compare and deleted my comments again.

    boo-ya scoble. so sad for your lack of talent.

  26. @14

    the reflection was not photoshopped. the image was curve adjusted but that was about it. but then again scoble decided his snapshots (nice use of words danny) couldnt compare and deleted my comments again.

    boo-ya scoble. so sad for your lack of talent.

  27. where the hiking trails closed?

    I guess what I tried to say with my comment was that to truly see the beauty of Yosemite you need to sloooooooooow right down and start walking… start taking it in slowly. Then you will start seeing things in a different light and maybe start seeing Yosemite in the way Ansel Adams saw it.

    Don’t get me wrong the place is great no matter what but these days we have a tendency to just cruise past nature, have a quick stop in, take a couple of snap shots and then talk about how we enjoyed mother nature.

  28. where the hiking trails closed?

    I guess what I tried to say with my comment was that to truly see the beauty of Yosemite you need to sloooooooooow right down and start walking… start taking it in slowly. Then you will start seeing things in a different light and maybe start seeing Yosemite in the way Ansel Adams saw it.

    Don’t get me wrong the place is great no matter what but these days we have a tendency to just cruise past nature, have a quick stop in, take a couple of snap shots and then talk about how we enjoyed mother nature.

  29. “They opened the Glacier Point Road just for us.”

    Actually, its open to everyone all year ’round: you just need a pair of boots, snow shoes, or skies.

  30. “They opened the Glacier Point Road just for us.”

    Actually, its open to everyone all year ’round: you just need a pair of boots, snow shoes, or skies.

  31. I was able to have the same great experience as Scoble and friends, albeit one day later. All of the trails were closed, but somehow I still managed to get to both Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome (I can’t recommend it, I had to leave the trail several times to scramble around steep snowfields). Looking at the videos just before I left home was a great source of inspiration. It was utterly amazing to be completely alone at both of these magnificent locations. Without a doubt some of the best moments in my life, something I will always remember and cherish. Half Dome and Glacier Point from above: http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikj/2448362228/

  32. I was able to have the same great experience as Scoble and friends, albeit one day later. All of the trails were closed, but somehow I still managed to get to both Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome (I can’t recommend it, I had to leave the trail several times to scramble around steep snowfields). Looking at the videos just before I left home was a great source of inspiration. It was utterly amazing to be completely alone at both of these magnificent locations. Without a doubt some of the best moments in my life, something I will always remember and cherish. Half Dome and Glacier Point from above: http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikj/2448362228/

  33. Hi… Krista from Kodak. Thanks for recognizing our blog. Glad you enjoy it! Kudos on yours too!

  34. I met Ansel back in 80 at Yosemite. I was employee/climbing bum at the time and had just finished photo degree. I was walking from the store back to my tent and he was going the other way.

    We spoke about the development process in the darkroom and how to get richness from the silver. Lasted maybe 5 min. He loved that aspect of his work, the hard stuff that isn’t covered.

  35. I met Ansel back in 80 at Yosemite. I was employee/climbing bum at the time and had just finished photo degree. I was walking from the store back to my tent and he was going the other way.

    We spoke about the development process in the darkroom and how to get richness from the silver. Lasted maybe 5 min. He loved that aspect of his work, the hard stuff that isn’t covered.

  36. it was an amazing 24 hours indeed. Micheal Adams, knows Yosemite like no one I’ve ever met–he was born there– and of course knows all about his dad. I had the privilege of interviewing him at tunnel view and Glacier Point for our show PhotoCycle. Rocky and I went though the clips yesterday and it will be edited into a show which is really going to be hot. On Sunday we go to shoot video of Ansel’s home built around his darkroom, stay tuned, this is fun.

  37. it was an amazing 24 hours indeed. Micheal Adams, knows Yosemite like no one I’ve ever met–he was born there– and of course knows all about his dad. I had the privilege of interviewing him at tunnel view and Glacier Point for our show PhotoCycle. Rocky and I went though the clips yesterday and it will be edited into a show which is really going to be hot. On Sunday we go to shoot video of Ansel’s home built around his darkroom, stay tuned, this is fun.

  38. Arrests are imminent in the case of Saturday night’s Mall Del Norte parking lot shooting that left two men wounded, police said. The victims were identified as Gerardo Melendez, 26, and Jose Jesus Garcia, 18. Melendez was shot once in the

  39. Arrests are imminent in the case of Saturday night’s Mall Del Norte parking lot shooting that left two men wounded, police said. The victims were identified as Gerardo Melendez, 26, and Jose Jesus Garcia, 18. Melendez was shot once in the