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Intense shafts of sunlight broke up the late afternoon gloom. I tried to capture the mood by cranking up the blacks in the photos. A black, inky look is popular these days, but I have some qualms. Yes, there’s an immediate, dramatic appeal, but crucial highlight and shadow details are lost. I prefer, instead, a long, finely graduated tonal range—all the way from pure black to pure white. Such a natural tonality can make an image sparkle, as Ansel Adams taught us in his writings, and by the example of his famous photographs.

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