The battle between Pictorialism vs Straight Photography or rather Ansel Adams vs William Mortensen

William Mortensen could perhaps have been one of the most talented but little known photographers in the entire history of photography. Not only did he have incredible imagination and creativity, but he also had insane technical skills.   Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you would know who Ansel Adams was and be able to list off a few of his most famous photos. Both were some of Photography’s greats,   but why isn’t Mortensen as well known?   Well a lot of that had to do with Ansel’s work to stamp out Mortensen.  The article on Medium that I’m linking to does cover this battle a little bit, but doesn’t cover Ansel’s motivations in deep detail.  My hunch is that Ansel did recognize Mortensen’s talent and saw it as a threat.   What do you think?  Do you like the pictorial style or favor straight photography?

Medium article – Even Ansel Adams had a blind spot – by Andy Romanoff

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