Chalk this up to a lack of an artistic background, but I never knew that Ansel did some work in color. Logically, it’s obvious. The man had bills and interests. Color was important work, and he obviously did color work.
I’m tempted to say “fine work,” but I’m not sure that it is fine. Passable, certainly – but not great.
I get this from a limited view: from “Ansel Adams in Color,” to be exact. There were things that I found that broke a bit of my mental image of the man: learning that he tried fairly often to create his vision in color but personally felt he failed. That he considered even his better (color) work to be lackluster. That he played with the English language in letters to friends.
And yet, he was not completely dismissive of color. I find it curious (and a bit obvious, in hindsight) that he considered all color tones to be a subtle lie. I find this to be self-evident: colors in photographs are representative, yes. But not spot-on, somewhat limited in their range, and sometimes misleading.
Having read this book now: I’m glad I did. It’s heartening to see images from the greats that failed to match their mastery, and it’s equally heartening to see his mastery of exposure translated into color.