Ansel Adams created a photograph called "Mount Williamson—Clearing Storm" in 1944. Ever since, many photographers have tried to locate the exact location and with the same light. Ansel's recollection of details of the shot were, 8x10 camera, 12.25" Cooke convertible lens (12.25", 19" and 23") Wratten 15 filter, ASA 200, 1/10 second at f/32 and minus development and grade 1 paper. Ansel said he shot from a platform from on top of his car. Based on the angle of light, it would have been summer where the light comes from the north.
After a series of email exchanges with fellow photographers, we decided to make a pilgrimage to the location. With information on the internet, and GPS, we headed out to the site in November 2013. We all had taken Adam's image from calendars, books and had a e-photo on my iPhone, we found the spot and tried to match the same point of view.
Based on what we saw, some of us believe he did not shoot from the top of his car, but with a medium focal length lens and on the ground at tripod height. Shooting the same shot today would envolve shooting with a digital camera and employing the HDR.
Our pilgrimage was also an excuse to get out and do some shooting with old photographer friends, without novices or students from a workshop. We spent the day shooting through the Alabama Hills to Manzanar, in Ansel's neighborhood. I am fortunate in that I have a second home in the Owens Valley and knew Ansel when I worked in Yosemite National Park in the 70's.