Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ansel Adams

The new month brings us a break from our series on bridges, and today we are reflecting on one of the world's most recognisable photographic names, Ansel Adams.

The New York Times of 27 April has an article about Ansel Adams and his dedication to Yosemite National Park - you can see it here. There is also a link on that page which takes you to a media presentation of some of his work. One of his acknowledged masterpieces, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941" can be seen here.

As well as being one of the world's foremost landscape photographers, Adams was also an avowed conservationist and an excellent educator. He wrote several books on the photographic process from capturing the image to printing it, and his work on the "Zone" system (a method of determining exposure values) is still quoted today. The combination of his own photographic masterpieces, his work in the education of photography and his commitment to the wilderness and conservation led to Adams being presented with the highest civilian award in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1980.

To me, Adams is an inspiration for two reasons - the quality of his composition, and the excellence of his black and white printing. He literally made dodging and burning an art form.

EXIF: Ansel Adams, "Church, Taos Pueblo, 1942", courtesy Wikimedia, public domain.


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