Ansel Adams

Lindsey Buckel


Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. Adams was 82 when he suffered from a heart attack. He passed away on April 22, 1984, at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

His family migrated from Ireland in the early 1700s to New England.Then his family went from New England to California.

Adams was a very hyperactive child. He had very few friends and was dismissed from several schools because of bad behavior. Adams was educated by private tutors and members of his family from the age of 12.

In 1916 Adams went on a trip to the Yosemite National Park. There he began to experiment with photography. He learned darkroom techniques and read photography magazines, attended camera club meetings, and went to photography and art exhibits. Adams developed and sold his early photographs at Best's Studio in Yosemite Valley.

In 1928, Adams married Virginia Best, the daughter of the Best's Studio proprietor. Virginia inherited the studio and her and Adams operated the studio until 1971. The business, now known as the Ansel Adams Gallery, remains in the family.

Adams professional breakthrough follwed the publication of his first portfolio called Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. The portfolio was a success that led to a number of commercial assignments.

Adams spent time in New Mexico with artists including Alfred Stieglitz, George O'Keeffe, and Paul Strand. Adams began to publish essays and instructional books on photography. During this period, Adams joined photographers Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans in their commitment to affecting social and political change through art.

Adams was an environmental Activist and a photographer.

Most of Adams work represents his love for nature and the environment, and he did an amazing job capturing the beauty of the Earth.


"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."

– Ansel Adams

Random Fact:

  • When Adams was young he was injured in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The after shock from the earthquake threw him into a garden wall and broke his nose. His nose was never properly set so it remained crooked for the rest of his life.