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The Really Long Exposure

Published by Diana Tula · January 10th 2014

We love guest blog posts! Today’s article is by John Ellingson. John has been taking photographs for over half a century, witnessing as photography evolved from film to digital. In the late '60s and '70s John was fortunate to get to know Ansel Adams and spend time with him in Yosemite, working together on an environment project that John started in Washington state. In this article John is going to share his thoughts on photography, friendship and life experiences. Please enjoy. If you want to write a guest blog post get in touch!


I opened the shutter in the 1950s and it is still open. Many interesting things, places and people have passed in front of the lens in that time. Many memories as well as photographs have been created. Probably the greatest treasures are the friendships that photography made. Both as a working photographer and as a hobbyist; holding a camera in your hand can be the ticket to places you would not otherwise get.

Learning to see because you learn to think in images may give you a vision others don’t have. That vision may enable you to be inspired in the ordinary where others are only inspired by the extraordinary.

The inspiration to share some of my experiences in the hope that they may help others along the path to their own long exposure came out of the blue a couple or years ago. I received an email from The Center for Creative Photography. The Center is the repository of the personal photo collection of Ansel and Virginia Adams. It turns out that within this very large collection of photos are three of my images. I had the great pleasure of meeting Ansel in the late ‘60s and though we shared a passion for photography, he played in a different league altogether. Our other shared common passion, which cemented our friendship over the years was our working interest in conservation.

Photography can open doors, create friendships and take us to places we would not otherwise go. With this blog I hope to stimulate others on 500px to share some of those experiences. I’ll kick it off with the surprise from the back of one of my prints from years ago and ask if others have something similar to share…


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andy 126 (inactive)  about 1 year ago
John, thanks for the kind words. Sorab, there will be much more about this subject in the future.
crish marry (inactive)  about 1 year ago
Awesome Account
John Ellingson  about 1 year ago
John, thanks for the kind words. Sorab, there will be much more about this subject in the future.
Plus Account
Louise Edwards  about 1 year ago
John Jay Howard  about 1 year ago
"I opened the shutter in the 1950s and it is still open."
What a wonderfully inspiring opening statement! I hope it never closes.
Sorab Bhote  about 1 year ago
The idea that photography goes beyond just a photograph and networks people and places is the best thing about the art medium. It is the same case for American photographer Lee Friedlander, who uses the camera as a type of passport to explore a range of people and places.
Paweł Uchorczak  about 1 year ago

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