What is Visualization? Rare Unreleased Ansel Adams Footage

The Key to a Photograph from Ansel Adams from SilberStudios.Tv on Vimeo.

Mark Silber, over at Silber Studios Blog, was able to obtain the rare Ansel Adams footage above. In the short clip Ansel Adams talks about visualization. The process whereby a photographer sees a photograph in their mind’s eye before and during the making of photograph.

Experiencing visualization is a powerful thing. Most of the time when I’m shooting I do not experience visualization. I shoot many, many shots every day and many of these shots are meant to be more part of a documentary river than anything for me. With many of these shots in fact I don’t really see the shot from the subject until later in post processing.

But every so often I see a photograph ahead of the actual shot. I do see it in my mind’s eyes. And these I feel are among the best photographs I’ve personally made. Every so often you see a scene or a person or an opportunity for a shot and you take it instantly recognizing that it is special and seeing the finished photograph as you view it through the viewfinder before you’ve even pushed the shutter.

I need to challenge myself to look for more of these moments and photographs. They are all around us every day. And it’s amazing when you get them. That feeling of knowing deep down inside that you really got the shot. That you’ve really created something meaningful in the seconds that surround the birth of a photo is one of the best feelings a photographer can know.

Thanks to Marc and the Ansel Adams Gallery as well for sharing with us this rare footage by Ansel Adams himself directly on the visualization process as he viewed it even so many years ago.