Thursday, November 1, 2012
Photographer Ansel Adams didn’t put a date on one of his most famous pictures, but the moon’s position later determined it to be November 1, 1941. While traveling in New Mexico on U.S. Route 84, Adams shot the moon rising over a village and its cemetery, with snow-capped mountains in the background, under a dark sky. The light on the crosses was fading rapidly – he would lose the scene! According to Adams’ later (dubious) account, he couldn’t find his light meter! Instead he used the moon’s luminance (light intensity) to calculate the proper exposure! He took the photo in the nick of time! Through the 1970s, Adams made more than 1,300 unique prints of “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” the total value of which exceeded $25 million. In 2006 a single print sold for $609,600 at Sotheby's New York.