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Analysis: Bridal Veil Falls from the Road
COMPARING 3 VIEWS OF "BRIDAL VEIL FALLS FROM THE ROAD"
A Comparative Analysis of 3 views of "Bridal Veil Falls from the Road"
[NOTE: For a similar hypothesis and comparative analysis – SEE: Jeffrey Pine I – IV; where I compare the Norsigian, Brooks & Ansel Adams photos of “JEFFREY PINE ON SENTINEL DOME” to A.C. Pillsbury’s Jeffrey Pine photographs.]
It appears that the Pillsbury photo (1b) was taken a few yards down the road from the Norsigian photo (1a) - framed by the SAME trees. The lighting and other characteristic features (such as certain tree branches and shadows cast across the road) are IDENTICAL in all three. It appears that all three photographs may have been taken within minutes of each other: First the "Norsigian" photo (1a); then the Pillsbury photo (1b) was taken; then the "Brooks" shot (1c) was made just in front of the last shadow that appears in all three photographs)
[See close-up details (2a) thru (3e)]
Close-up detail of Norsigian print (1a)
Close-up detail of Pillsbury postcard (1b)
Close-up detail of “Earl Brooks” photograph (1c)
[NOTE: the similar tree silhouettes (esp. the bend of the branches of the tree nearest the Falls on the left) and the “spray” characteristics at the base of the Falls in all 3 photographs.
Same close-up detail of Norsigian print (1a)
A 2nd close-up detail of Pillsbury (1b)
[Note the SAME cut section of tree trunk on left side of road and the SAME 3 shadows cast across the road at that spot; note also the tree tops just left of the Bridal Veil Falls base and the "bulge" or "clump" of branches of the tree across the road on the right. These indicate the photos were taken in the same session at different distances and angles, explaining the position of the bush, which is still within the shadow of the tree trunk in the Norsigian print.
CONCLUSION: I believe that all three photographs were taken within minutes of each other: First the "Norsigian" photo (1a); then the Pillsbury photo (1b) was taken a few yards down the road; then the "Brooks" shot (1c) was made just before the last shadow that appears in all three photographs)
NOTES ON PRINTING: The “soft focus” in early Pillsbury postcards; such as (1b)“Bridal Veil Falls – No. 16” is due in part, to the type of paper Pillsbury used in making what today’s postcard collectors call Real Photo Post Cards (RPPC). This type of paper lent itself to the desired softer effects of “Pictorialist” photographs (popular at the time) and NOT the result of a lack of sharpness in the Pillsbury lens or negative. [For a comparison of a “soft focus” Pictorialist-style Pillsbury photo with a “sharp focus” Pillsbury print of the same scene - see (4a) and (4b) below. ALSO NOTE: The “Brooks” photo (1c) appears to have the same soft focus as the Pillsbury (1b), whereas - the Norsigian photo (1a) has been printed in the Ansel Adams style of sharper detail & greater contrast - (What I call “Ansel-ADAMIZING” a photograph – especially misleading if you are “Ansel-ADAMIZING” a Pillsbury negative ……. which I believe “TEAM NORSIGIAN” is doing – more on this later.)
BTW - The soft focus in the Norsigian photo is due to the low resolution of the only available examples provided.
4a: Pillsbury photograph from pg.39 “Lights and Shadows of Yosemite” by Katherine Ames-Taylor, 1926
Another Pillsbury photograph of Bridal Veil Falls from the same Wawona Road in Winter.
(A beautiful example of a Pillsbury photo printed/published in the “Pictorialist Style” of the period.)