THE EVOLUTION OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. ANSEL

 

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1 In the beginning, Sensitometry was void and without form; and the spirit of Ferdinand Hurter and Vero Charles Driffield moved upon the waters.

2 And in 1890, they said, 'Let there be the d/log E curve, which thou shalt also call the H&D curve, where d is density and log E is the Logarithm of the Exposure; and it shall also be known unto thee as the characteristic curve; for it describeth the characteristics of an suspension of silver halide crystals in gelatine, which men call also an photographic emulsion.

3 And wise men read these words, and meditated upon them; and there were giants in those days, whose names were Lueppo-Cramer, and Crabtree, and Spencer, and Henn, and Edgerton; and Clerc, and Neblette, and Glafkides, and Haist; and they interpreted and enlarged upon the words of Hurter and Driffield; and great were their works.

4 In later days there came in the land that is called California an teacher, whose name was Ansel Adams, who meditated also upon these words, and he brought forth the Zone System.

5 And the people said, See, he is a sage, who interpreteth the words of the wise.

6 But in the fullness of time they forgot he was but an interpreter, and worshipped him saying, See, This is the man who hath created all that there is to be known about exposure. And the followers of the followers magnified him, and forgot Ferdinand Hurter and Vero Charles Driffield, and knew of them not, and made as if they had not been.

7 After them came the followers of followers of followers, whose name was called Zonies or Ansel-ites, who read about sensitometry, and said, This is nought but an re-interpretation of the writings of the Blessèd Ansel; and he who denieth this knows not whereof he speaks, but is an ignoramus, or an man embittered.

8 Which is why those who of ancient days studied sensitometry and not its popularizations, and eschewed those books written by disciples of disciples of disciples of the Blessèd Ansel, waxed wroth against those Ansel-ites whose pride was overweening.

9 But they who had in time past studied these things were derided, and not heard.

10 Wherefore we have written that which is above.

11 And wherefore we apologize to he who thinketh it blasphemous to write in 16th century English, for it is nought but an poor attempt at an reminder that The Camera, The Negative and The Print are not the roots of sensitometry, nor an work of religion, though the Ansel-ites magnify their prophet never so much. Nor, save only the Naming of Zones, which is an work of Genius, is there much that is original in these books.

12 And if ye seek some of the real science that is behind photography, seek ye Haist's Modern Photographic Processing or Clerk's Photography or Glafkides's Chimie et Physique Photographique or Neblette's Photography, Its Principles and Practice. And thou shalt be enlightened.

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© 2010 Roger W. Hicks