TWiP #160 – The Ansel Adams Mystery

This week on TWiP, our hosts are either coming back from or going on adventures, the Ansel Adams Mystery is solved, dSLRs swing and tilt, and special guest Chris Marquardt joins us live to talk backup.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Steve Simon, Ron Brinkmann, Joseph Linaschke, and special guest Chris Marquardt

Most of the TWiP regulars this week are either returning from an adventure or are heading out on one. Steve is headed to Hawaii for the Maui Photo Festival from August 25th – 29th. Ron just got back from Venezuela and shares some of his experiences over there. Keep an eye on the TWiP site to see some of Ron's photos or head over to his website at Inspired by Chris and Beth Fenwick's recent road trip down Route 66 which was featured on TWiP #156, Joseph is hitting the road and traveling from California to South Carolina along Highway 40. Tune into his site at for updates on Joseph's trip.


Ansel Adams Negatives Found at a Garage Sale – Yeah, They're Fake
Earlier this week, a news story broke claiming that some glass plate negatives purchased a garage sale in Pasadena, were purported to be the works of Ansel Adams and valued at somewhere around $200 million dollars. Just days later it was revealed that the negatives are not the work of Ansel Adams and were in fact taken by somebody's Uncle Earle.

Sinar Creates Adapter to Mount DSLRs as Digital Backs
Sinar has come out with an adapter which will allow Nikon and Canon owners to use their DSLRs as digital backs and connect to a variety of medium format and view camera accessories.


Chris who hosts Tips from the Top Floor, recently returned to Germany after a trip to the United States and has potentially lost all his photos from the trip. Chris joins the show live via Skype to talk about his current situation and what steps he is taking to try and recover his photos. Basically, while he was visiting the US for a workshop, Chris had loaded up all of his images on his MacBook Pro without having another backup and when he returned home, his MacBook would no longer boot for him. He currently has the laptop drive hooked up to a Mac Pro and is using Disk Warrior to try and recover the disk.

Steve asked Chris if he could go back in time, what would he do. The obvious thing would be to backup to an external hard disk but unfortunately Chris just didn't have that extra disk with him. On Ron's recent trip, he accidentally formatted his 16 GB card and didn't have a laptop with him so he set the card aside and didn't use it again until he got home and was able to use recovery software to recover the images from the card.


QUESTION #1: Lisa Solonyko has questions regarding model releases in relation to her on the go projects: If publishing a photobook through a publisher or vanity press, do I need model releases for any people/animals/property shown in the images? For the sake of clarity, Steve Simon has published many books similar to what I have [shot] on the go. Would Steve have required model releases for the people/property shown in “Heroines & Heroes”, “Empty Skys”, or “Healing Waters”?

Steve: I have never got a model release from anybody and I've never been sued. My commercial publishers have never insisted on it however the law is always moving. It's always best if you have model releases. If the book is going to be artistic, journalistic, or documentary in nature then you normally won't need a model release.

QUESTION #2: Oliver Sholder wants to know: I'm at the beach using a Canon T2i and a 50mm and 28-135mm mostly. When I walk outside my lenses totally fog up! It's insane and I've never had this problem before. I usually wipe off the fog with my shirt. Also what about the filters? Can they fog up instead of my lens? Can this fog damage the lenses like my 18-55 or 50mm 1.8? They are not water sealed. What should I do?

Joseph: This is happening due to the humidity outside so he must be in a more humid area. The only thing you can do is wait. By wiping it you are risking scratching something. Don't try switching lenses or chances are that moisture can get on the sensor. You'll run into the same thing if you are shooting out in the snow and moving into a heated area. Steve adds that if you wrap your camera in an air tight plastic bag, the condensation will form on the inside of the bag rather than on the camera so the time you'll have to wait will be decreased. You can also check out the Nikon Fog Eliminator cloths.

QUESTION #3: Ender78 asks: I live in Toronto and would like to attend a week (or so) long photography workshop in Utah and/or Arizona sometime before the end of this year.  Can you guys recommend any colleagues that might do workshops in the area? Would you also provide guidelines on how to pick a seminar/workshop, and what are the questions to ask a tour operator to help ensure a good experience?

I don't have any specific answers for Ender. I think we should throw it open to the TWiP audience to see if they know of anyone who does tours there. Rich Legg who lives in Utah has expressed an interest in doing a TWiP workshop so that may happen. Steve recommends finding a photographer in the area who you like that does workshops and then check out the comments section on their website.



Each week we will challenge you photographically so be sure to visit the forums, share your photo, receive recognition on the show, and maybe even win a prize.

Last week's winner of the Dreams mission was Daniel P. Dunn also known as the Full Metal Photographer for his photo ‘Welcome to My Nightmare'.

This week's mission, should you choose to accept it, is “Diffuse“.


TWiP now has it's very own iPhone application. It's the best way to keep up with TWiP on your iPhone. Head on over the iTunes store to download the new TWiP application.


Be sure to join our Flickr group and our Facebook group.

Frederick Van or

Steve Simon – or

Ron Brinkmann – or

Joseph Linaschke – or or

Chris Marquardt – or


TWiP is brought to you by SquareSpace – the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality web site or blog. For a free trial and 10% off your new account, go to –, offer code TWiP.

Show notes by Bruce Clarke at or

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly. Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro


  1. Love the show… love the banter…love the interviews by Frederick (great job, you ask the questions I want to ask). As for the TWIP App, what about android? I love my EVO. I am a die hard Apple fanboy but I feel I made a perfect choice.

  2. About putting a DSLR digital back on a Sinar tilt and shift technical camera, I think It will not work as expected.
    Sinar lenses are designed to produce large format images when you put a small sensor youll be essentially cropping most of what the lens can capture therefore zooming lets say 14 megapixels into a small portion of the lens image it will bring forth a lot of chromatic aberration and lose some focus, even if youre using the sweet center of the lens, it seems asking too much. I have used a sinar with a Phaseone digital back designed for hasselblad and the sharpness is far too low compared to the image I can get on a hasselblad, I think best go with tilt and shift lens that are designed for DSLR.

  3. I covered the Ansel Adams story a while ago For a business publication.

    I do not think that the negs are worth 200 million, If they are authentic maybe a few million. If uncle Earl maybe a few thousand.

    The thing these negs if they are real are not his best work but digards They are not “Moonrise Over New Mexico”.

    One thing worth mentioning is that it was not so much that Ansel Adams was great at post processing as he had the great and unique ability to look at a scene and pre-visualize an image before releasing the shutter.

    The point of the zone system was to get the best possible neg to take to the darkroom.

    If these negs are real then at best we are seeing the real rough musical notes to his finished pieces. What we are looking at is history.

  4. hey guys, as much as I love seeing my name on your site, I definitely did not take the shot that won last week’s Photo Assignment, “Welcome To My Nightmare, it was this gentleman who posted directly above me, FullMetalPhotographer. I commented on his photo, and I love it, but he took the photograph, not I, so please make sure you give him the proper credit. I feel bad now, as my name is credited and not his, he is a HECK of a photographer, and should for sure have his name mentioned, sorry Ralph!

  5. Speaking of found negatives, my pick of the week is

    Last year a Chicago photographer purchased a large lot of negatives (100,000) in an auction. He has been slowly scanning and posting these on the web.

    The photos are excellent (Chicago street photography mostly) and it is worth subscribing to the RSS feed.

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