Ansel Adams Nature Photography

Ansel Adams Nature Photography

Famed American photographer Ansel Adams co-founded the Center for Creative Photography in 1975. His was one of five inaugural archives, and it remains a cornerstone of the Center’s fine art and archival collections. Adams’s career spans seven decades and a wide range of subject matter, including portraits, still lifes, architecture, and the landscapes for which he is most famous. Viewers often associate his lifelong environmentalism and advocacy for America’s wilderness places with his dramatic, panoramic photographs that celebrate the redemptive potential of the natural world. Many of his best-known images were made in the American West, including a large group of works made in Yosemite Valley. Adams first learned about photography and the Sierra Nevada Mountains as a child, on family vacation. His love for the medium and the place grew in tandem, and after his initial 1916 visit, Adams visited Yosemite annually. Originally working in the Pictorialist style, widely popular in the 1910s and 1920s, Adams encountered Paul Strand’s photography in 1930, and rejected his earlier painterly, soft focus style for a new “pure” and sharp focus approach. In 1932, Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, and a handful of other Bay Area photographers came together as Group f/64. They displayed their sharp-focus, modernist style of photography at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum in an exhibition that stands as a landmark in the history of the medium. In 1941 Adams was invited by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes to photograph the National Parks and to create large-scale mural prints for the new Washington D.C. Interior building. Adams was delighted at the opportunity, but funding for the project was withdrawn following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of that year, and the large prints were not made. Adams was so invested in the idea of photographing America’s parklands that he applied for the Guggenheim Fellowship to allow further work. He received the grant funding, and expanded the project, creating a book, a portfolio, and many photographs, a body of work that has remained central to his career. The Ansel Adams Archive at the Center for Creative Photography includes more than 2,500 fine prints, along with correspondence, interviews, unpublished writings, memorabilia, publications, negatives, transparencies, work prints, photographic equipment, and files documenting his commercial projects, exhibitions, affiliation with the Sierra Club and Friends of Photography. The Center may provide digital scans of Ansel Adams works in our collections in collaboration with The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, which holds copyright to all works by Ansel Adams; permissions from the Trust must be on file with the Center prior to release of scans.
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Ansel Adams Nature Photography

“I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us.”—Ansel Adams Hand-Crafted Black & White PhotographsYosemite Special Edition Photographs are hand made from Ansel Adams’ original negative, and available exclusively from the family-owned Ansel Adams Gallery. This is as close to an Ansel Adams original photograph as most people can purchase, and it is spectacular. From $325. Shop Now Digital Reproductions of Famous Ansel Adams PhotographsModern Replicas are superb reproductions of Ansel Adams’ original photographs, available in a variety of sizes to fit your specific needs. These are the highest quality large format reproductions that could possibly be produced, and look great in any setting. Exclusively from The Ansel Adams Gallery. View Modern Replicas 65 Years of Photography EducationAnsel’s legacy of founding photography education in Yosemite continues today. From free Camera Walks to five-day workshops, The Ansel Adams Gallery has many photography education programs to suit the need of both the novice and expert photographer. See Our Program
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Ansel Adams Nature Photography

In 1933 Adams met the old master Alfred Stieglitz, who exerted a further clarifying influence on his artistic direction. Adams wrote to Paul Strand, “I am perplexed, amazed and touched at the impact of his force on my own spirit. I would not have believed before I met him that a man could be so psychically and emotionally powerful.” Stieglitz was very impressed with young Adams and his photographs. He introduced him to the artists O’Keeffe, Marin and Dove and presented a one-man show of Ansel’s work at his New York studio, An American Place, in 1936. Adams was the first new photographer Stieglitz had introduced to the public at An American Place since Paul Strand in 1917. In a letter to Ansel in 1938 Stieglitz said, “It is good for me to know that there is Ansel Adams loose somewhere in the world of ours.” Lovers of photography were not the only ones glad to have Ansel Adams loose in this world. Lovers of wilderness echoed this feeling. Referring to Adams ‘ relationship to the wilderness, David Brower remarked: “That Ansel Adams came to be recognized as one of the great photographers of this century is a tribute to the places that informed him.”
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Ansel Adams Nature Photography

Biography Ansel Adams, Photographer8 Comments/July 17, 2016By William Turnage, Reprinted courtesy of the author and Oxford University Press Ansel Adams, photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles Hitchcock Adams, a businessman, and Olive Bray. The grandson of a wealthy timber baron, Adams grew up in a house set amid the sand dunes of the Golden Gate. When Adams was only four, an aftershock of the great earthquake and fire of 1906 threw him to the ground and badly broke his nose, distinctly marking him for life. A year later the family fortune collapsed in the financial panic of 1907, and Adams’s father spent the rest of his life doggedly but fruitlessly attempting to recoup. An only child, Adams was born when his mother was nearly forty. His relatively elderly parents, affluent family history, and the live-in presence of his mother’s maiden sister and aged father all combined to create an environment that was decidedly Victorian and both socially and emotionally conservative. Adams’s mother spent much of her time brooding and fretting over her husband’s inability to restore the Adams fortune, leaving an ambivalent imprint on her son. Charles Adams, on the other hand, deeply and patiently influenced, encouraged, and supported his son.Read more →
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Ansel Adams Nature Photography

Ansel Adams, master of the view camera, is revered for the exceptional print quality of his photographs. Using a view camera allowed him to control several aspects of photographing, each one of which contributes to this print quality. For instance, because he was exposing only one sheet of film at a time, he could use the Zone System to previsualize each photograph and to both take the picture and develop the negative specifically for the way he wanted that image to look. Using the Zone System also allowed Adams to achieve a wide tonal range; very few photographers match the density range—from the whitest white to the darkest black—found in Adams’s photographs. As a young man, Adams and several other artists who used view cameras—like Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and Willard VanDyke—formed Group f/64 to declare their dedication to photographic seeing; several of these artists went on to become the most celebrated American photographers of the twentieth century. The group adopted its name from the aperture f/64, which is a very small focal setting available on most view camera lenses.* Using it requires a long exposure and a still subject. If the photographer has perfectly aligned the plane of the lens and the plane of the film holder and focused the image, this long, slow exposure can yield a photograph that has maximum depth of field: the image is in focus from the surface closest to the viewer to the areas as far away as the eye can see. The ability to focus carefully with a view camera was important to artists like Adams and Weston. They wanted to assure that their principal subject was in sharp focus. This kind of clarity, this sharpness of focus, is most easily seen along the edges of objects. The view camera has a large focusing screen, a ground glass that is slightly larger than the film. In order to see clearly, the photographer has to go back into darkness again. A large dark cloth is slung over the photographer’s head and the back of the camera creating a dark space where the subject is seen upside down, glowing brightly, allowing the photographer to focus precisely. The control that the view camera offers attracts artists who have the patience and concentration to use it. Ansel Adams, who knew the places he photographed very well, often set up his camera and waited for the light to fall the way he envisioned or for a storm to move through Yosemite Valley just as he expected. Adams also knew his camera equally well. His most famous photograph Moonrise,Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, was taken in the heat of the moment. Imagine Adams driving his car, seeing the picture, and pulling to the side of the highway. Deftly setting up his tripod and camera, he then focused quickly under a dark cloth, prepared his lens and shutter settings, and took the picture in the fading light at the moment the sun was setting and lighting a row of adobe houses and a cemetery in the foreground.

Ansel Adams Nature Photography

Ansel Adams Nature Photography
Ansel Adams Nature Photography