Ansel Adams

February 20, 1902- April 22, 1984 (aged 82)

education and family backround

Adams was born in the Western Addition of San Francisco, California , to Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray Adams. An only child, he was named after his uncle Ansel Easton. His mother's family came from Baltimore.The Adams family came from New England, having migrated from the north of Ireland in the early 18th century. His paternal grandfather founded and built a prosperous lumber business, which his father later ran, though his father's natural talents lay more with sciences than with business. Later in life, Adams would condemn that very same industry for cutting down many of the great redwood forests.

itroduced to photography

In 1927, Adams produced his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras, in his new style, which included his famous image Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, taken with his Korona view camera using glass plates and a dark red filter . On that excursion, he had only one plate left and he "visualized" the effect of the blackened sky before risking the last shot. He later said "I had been able to realize a desired image: not the way the subject appeared in reality but how it felt to me and how it must appear in the finished print". In April 1927, he wrote "My photographs have now reached a stage when they are worthy of the world's critical examination. I have suddenly come upon a new style which I believe will place my work equal to anything of its kind."
  • his trade mark of photography was black and white landscapes.
  • his photography of black and white landscapes is what made him such a big photographer.


Adams received a number of awards during his lifetime and posthumously, and there have been a few awards named for him. Adams received an honorary artium doctor degree from Harvard University and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966. He was awarded the Conservation Service Award by the Department of the Interior in 1968, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980, the Sierra Club John Muir Award in 1963, and was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver in 2007. Adams was presented with the Hasselblad Award in 1981.
  • Ansel Adams liked photographing landscapes because he got to go places he never thought he would go, and saw things he never thought he would see.
  • others have also enjoyed his work and his use of the black and white film.
  • I enjoy his work because it takes me to places I've never been before, and I feel like I'm there taking the picture.
  • later in his career he experimented with color film.
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