Ansel Adams: Photographer and Environmentalist

Ansel Adams (1)

Trevor of Canberra is at present travelling overseas and recently sent me a postcard of a photograph of Yosemite Falls (Yosemite National Park, California) taken by Ansel Adams in about 1950. Whilst I couldn't find the exact same postcard image online it is similar to the photograph on the right (below).

Ansel Eston Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist who was born in San Francisco, California in 1902 and died in 1984. Adams is especially known for his black-and-white images of the American Southwest but he grew up near the Golden Gate, the strait that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Here is one of Adam's photos of the Golden Gate before the famous bridge was built.

Golden Gate

Golden Gate Before the Bridge 1932 2

Golden Gate with Bridge

Golden Gate the bridge was built 2

Ansel Adams helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating pure photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. Adams and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed in exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography. (Wikipedia)

The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) (1)

Ansel Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy. At age 12, he was given his first camera during his first visit to Yosemite National Park. He developed his early photographic work as a member of the Sierra Club. He was later contracted with the United States Department of the Interior to make photographs of national parks. For his work and his persistent advocacy, which helped expand the National Park system, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. (Wikipedia)

Adams was a key advisor in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in securing photography's institutional legitimacy. He helped to stage that department's first photography exhibition, helped found the photography magazine Aperture, and co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. (Wikipedia)

To conclude today let's take a look at a few more of the remarkable images taken by Ansel Adams. The first is Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar taken in 1944.

Yosemite (Credit: WorthPoint)
Cathedral Spires and Rocks (2)