Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

Comparisons - 
The Jeffrey Pine on Sentinel Dome

This “classic” Pillsbury photo – is published in similar fashion and intent as his “classic” photos of the “Storm Blown Jeffrey Pine On Sentinel Dome” “caught right in the middle of a storm. 

Pillsbury's son, Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, recounted his father's preparations for a photo session in a letter written later in his life.  

"If there were to be waterfalls in the picture, pictures had to be made in the spring, when the falls were high. Uncle was never satisfied with his pictures, and was always taking new ones. This was particularly true as new film and filters came out so that he could get more and better cloud effects. He might make a decision at a moment, and off we would go. I remember one trip to Lady Franklin Rock, the best spot for pictures of Vernal Falls. We were off shortly after breakfast, parked at Happy Isles, and carried all the gear to be there before 10:30 when the shadows at that time of year were just right. The cameras were all set up, and ready to do, well before 10:30. Uncle watched, and we kids played until he called that the clouds were right. Before too long, the cameras were back in their cases, and we were carrying tripods and cases back down the trail."  Letter -  14 February 1978 

From the  book: Yosemite and Its High Sierra - by John H. Williams 1917, Photo by Arthur C. Pillsbury
Above and to the right are two Pillsbury postcards

It also explains why the Pidgeon/Norsigian/Adams photos of “High Sierra” are actually Pillsbury rejects …… and were never published by A.C. and thus, wound up in his “discard box” to be printed by his photo workshop students: Harry Pidgeon, Earl Brooks & Ansel Adams. They were sub-standard or flawed, having a lens glare or showing uneven chemicals on a glass plate, or later celluloid.  Just like the Earl Brooks/Norsigian “Jeffrey Pine” photos were flawed and discarded because of the sun-flares or other subtle imperfections. 

Norsigian Owned Image, Pillsbury Image Printed by Earl Brooks

Copy of the image which was purchased by Rick Norsigian at the Fresno Garage Sale

Image used by Earl Brooks to produce a nice gift for his aunt.  It is flawed and was flawed when Earl Brooks printed it while a student of Arthur C. Pillsbury's in Yosemite, as a very young man. 

Rejects were never sold as products but they were available by photographic students for practice.  So, now the big question.  How did these images end up being sold from a Los Angeles Photography School after the fire which supposedly destroyed all of Pillsbury's negatives, including those which were flawed?  Ansel Adams had worked at the school.