Famous Photographer

Ansel Adams

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

—Ansel Adams

Ansel Easton Adams

  • Born on February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California.
  • Died April 22, 1984 (82 years old)

Family & Education

Ansel was an only child, living with his mother and father in San Francisco, California. Ansel was a very active child but was also very shy and had few friends. He was kicked out of school because of his bad behavior, and from the age of 12 he was tutored by some family members and private tutors. He was interested in piano, and taught himself how to play. His father later sent him to many piano teachers, and it was his intended profession until he gave it up for photography.
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His trademark

Adams was known for his photographs of the American West, his most famous being from Yosemite Park. His photos were mostly taken in black and white, but he did experiment with color photography.

What made him famous?

Adams rose to fame because of the many portfolios he put together of his photographs. His photos were very high quality because of the cameras he used, and people learned to appreciate the American West from his photographs.


  • Honorary artium doctor degree from Harvard.
  • Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Yale
  • Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966.
  • Awarded the Conservation Service Award by the Department of the Interior in 1968.
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.
  • The Sierra Club John Muir Award in 1963.
  • Inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Adams was presented with the Hasselblad Award in 1981. [84]
  • The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography was established in 1971, and the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation was established in 1980 by The Wilderness Society.

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'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

What Others Have Said

"...the whole image is masterfully printed to wring every bit of emotion from it."

— Charles Hagen

What do I appreciate about it?

I believe Ansel Adams photography is amazing. The way he captured landscapes and objects are unbelievable. He innovated many techniques still used in photography today and seeing how he developed them is amazing.
"I believe in beauty. I believe in stones and water, air and soil, people and their future and their fate."

— Ansel Adams