Ansel Adams was known for his skill in capturing monumental landscapes in massive detail. But he was well aware that sharpness for its own sake is sterile: “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” What would he think of this fuzzy image of a fuzzy concept?


Though this photograph appears blurred, the camera was actually quite well focused on the subject. Which was my shadow cast by the rising sun on the off-white wall of the hallway outside my office. Not period.

Despite the blur, this image may beat any of my others in conceptual edge, at least according to some who shall remain nameless. At the same time, it seems to fit my recent protestation of edgelessness (see comment 52 of last week’s post). I swear that the image, the poem(??), and the Adams quote were entirely unacquainted with each other in my conscious mind before I started writing this post. Nor, until this very moment, had any of them met William Henry Fox Talbot’s (love the names!) description of his 1839 photographic invention as “the art of fixing a shadow.” Photography and writing are sometimes parallel paths of discovery.