ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLAN

LANGUAGE ARTS
Focus on descriptive detail

See Gallery: Dogwood for a close-up. In the exhibit, Classic Images, see Rose and Driftwood.

Adams was not only a master photographer and an accomplished musician, he was an excellent writer as well. A creative person often is interested in and accomplished in many areas, not confined to narrow limits. Adams was raised on the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He enjoyed poetry, particulary of Whitman and followers like Edward Carpenter, as quoted in Adams' Autobiography from "After Civilization":

In the first soft winds of spring, while snow yet lay on the ground -
Forth from the city into the great woods wandering,
Into the great silent white woods where they waited in their beauty and majesty
For man their companion to come...

Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature. The creative photographers of the early twentieth century were known for close-up shots and Adams followed suit. He wrote poetically in his autobiography, "One can never assert the superiority...of torrents swollen by the floods of spring against the quiescent scintillations of an autumn stream."

Walt Whitman

Adams quoted an American poet who shared his view:

"These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distant and in its place."

From "Miracles," by Walt Whitman

Activity

Consider the photographs and the words of Ansel Adams, and the poetry of Walt Whitman and Carpenter in responding to the following:

Choose a small object or fragment and write a poem or description of it in as much close detail as possible.

A. How does the history and scale of the United States affect our appreciation of nature, literature and art?

B. How does nature, literature and art in turn affect our American identity? 

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLAN

LANGUAGE ARTS
Focus on descriptive detail

See Gallery: Dogwood for a close-up. In the exhibit, Classic Images, see Rose and Driftwood.

Adams was not only a master photographer and an accomplished musician, he was an excellent writer as well. A creative person often is interested in and accomplished in many areas, not confined to narrow limits. Adams was raised on the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He enjoyed poetry, particulary of Whitman and followers like Edward Carpenter, as quoted in Adams' Autobiography from "After Civilization":

In the first soft winds of spring, while snow yet lay on the ground -
Forth from the city into the great woods wandering,
Into the great silent white woods where they waited in their beauty and majesty
For man their companion to come...

Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature. The creative photographers of the early twentieth century were known for close-up shots and Adams followed suit. He wrote poetically in his autobiography, "One can never assert the superiority...of torrents swollen by the floods of spring against the quiescent scintillations of an autumn stream."

Walt Whitman

Adams quoted an American poet who shared his view:

"These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distant and in its place."

From "Miracles," by Walt Whitman

Activity

Consider the photographs and the words of Ansel Adams, and the poetry of Walt Whitman and Carpenter in responding to the following:

Choose a small object or fragment and write a poem or description of it in as much close detail as possible.

A. How does the history and scale of the United States affect our appreciation of nature, literature and art?

B. How does nature, literature and art in turn affect our American identity? 

Ansel Adams, America's Saint George of Conservation"
An essay by Peter Barr, Ph.D.

visitors in the gallery enjoy the Ansel Adams photos on exhibit

Ansel Adams, America's Saint George of Conservation"
An essay by Peter Barr, Ph.D.

visitors in the gallery enjoy the Ansel Adams photos on exhibit

Ansel Adams, America's Saint George of Conservation

by Peter Barr
November, 2000

Ansel Adams (1902 -151; 1984) is arguably one of the most beloved figures in the history of American photography.1 His work bears all of the stylistic qualities needed to guarantee its success: it appears plainspoken and straightforward, and presents the natural world in a crisp, realistic way. But Adams's straightforward photographic style masks his remarkably complicated motivations. His images and published thoughts reflect a complex blend of aesthetic idealism and radical political engagement that is often overlooked. Equal parts aesthete and social activist, Adams hoped that his sharp-focused black-and-white photographs would help persuade Americans to value creativity as well as to conserve and expand American freedoms and wilderness preserves.

Adams, who is celebrated by both elite academics and the general public alike, ended his formal education with grammar school. Since then he has been awarded six honorary degrees, including doctorates from Berkeley and Harvard. In 1979, his thirty-second book, entitled Yosemite and the Range of Light, sold more than 200,000 copies, becoming one of the best-selling photographic monographs ever. Two years later, his mural-sized print of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico set an auction record for photography, fetching $71,500.00. By 1984, the year he died, his work had appeared in more than 500 exhibitions. Today, reproductions of his images can be found on address books, calendars, folios, screen savers, posters and in more than eighty publications, including his widely read autobiography and two recent biographies - all readily available on the internet.

Adams's fame is not new, but began in the early 1930s, shortly after he decided to commit himself professionally to the medium of photography. Trained first as a classical pianist, he dabbled in amateur photography for more than a decade before deciding to abandon a career in music for professional photography. This decision was motivated by pragmatic and idealistic considerations. On the one hand, in the 1920s, advertisers increasingly patronized photographers because they believed that photographs were more persuasive than hand-drawn illustrations.2 For most of his career, Adams was able to earn a relatively steady source of income from his commercial work. On the other hand, Adams was inspired by what he perceived to be the aesthetic potential of the medium. In 1926, Albert Bender, an art collector and owner of a small insurance agency in San Francisco, encouraged this idealism by financing Adams's early aesthetic work. Bender's generosity resulted both in Adams's first published book, Taos Pueblo, and in his first one-person exhibition, at the Sierra Club in San Francisco. This led to his 1930 meeting in New Mexico with the prominent New York photographer Paul Strand. Strand invited Adams to examine a set of his recent negatives, which convinced Adams of photography's potential as a medium of fine art.

Within five years of meeting Strand, Adams emerged as one of the most influential figures in the world of art photography. By the end of 1930, he was writing a photography column for the literary review Fortnightly. Two years later, Adams helped found the photography club Group f/64. He organized the group's landmark exhibition of ";pure"; photography at the M. H. de Young Museum, and authored their manifesto, which argued vehemently against the tradition of making art photographs look like impressionistic paintings or etchings. The following year he met Alfred Stieglitz, the legendary New York art dealer and ";pure"; photographer and opened The Ansel Adams Gallery for creative photography -150; with the idea of becoming the ";Alfred Stieglitz"; of San Francisco. Then, in 1935, he published the first of several instructional books on photography, which earned him a reputation as an effective teacher and exacting photographic technician.

As a teacher and technician, Adams is perhaps best known for testing Edwin Land's Polaroid film technology and for instructing aspiring artists on how to use his own Zone System of photography, which he developed while teaching at the Art Center School in Los Angeles in 1941. This system allows photographers to calculate and control the range of gray-scale tones in their negatives by using a light meter. The objective is to obtain a negative with silver densities corresponding to the photographer's preconception of the scene. For Adams, this usually meant a mesmerizing number of distinct shades of gray, black and white, as in his photograph, Aspens (1958). Further, he encouraged artists to manipulate their images' tones while developing and printing. Adams compared printmaking to a musical performance by likening the tonal values of a negative to the notes on a musical score. Like a musical performance, the print was then subject to variation and reinterpretation over time.3

Adams's technical accomplishments often overshadow the fact that he intended for his photographs to express his radical aesthetic and political ideals. His aesthetic ideals can be traced back through Paul Strand to Alfred Stieglitz. Adams, like Stieglitz, regularly preached a ";pure"; photographic aesthetic imbued with emotion; he claimed that his photographic prints represented what Stieglitz called ";equivalents"; of his feelings.4 Adams, too, claimed that art photographers created ";a statement that goes beyond the subject"; and captured ";an inspired moment on film."; 5 By way of contrast, he felt ordinary photographs were mere ";visual diaries"; or ";reminders of experience."; Adams elaborated on this idea near the end of his life, comparing his own (and his friend Edward Weston's) photographs to those of William Henry Jackson, who photographed the American West for the U.S. Government's Hayden Geological Survey in 1870:

Jackson, for all his devotion to the subject, was recording the scene. Weston, on the other hand, was actually creating something new-133;. Similarly, while the landscapes that I have photographed in Yosemite are recognized by most people and, of course the subject is an important part of the pictures, they are not ";realistic."; All my pictures are optically very accurate - I use pretty good lenses -150; but they are quite unrealistic in terms of [tonal] values. A more realistic, simple snapshot captures the image but misses everything else. I want a picture to reflect not only the forms, but [also] what I had seen and felt at the moment of exposure.6

While Adams espoused Stieglitz's emotional aesthetic, it would be a mistake to link their photographic outlooks too closely. Adams, after all, was nearly a half-century younger than Stieglitz and was deeply involved with the aesthetic and political trends of his own day. The most dominant aesthetic trend in photography between 1925 and 1950 is the emergence of the ";documentary"; mode of expression. This is a brand of often emotionally riveting photographic realism, which is perhaps best illustrated by Dorothea Lange's well-known Migrant Mother (1936). The popularity of the documentary mode of expression during the 1930s and 1940s reflects, to a certain extent, the cynical public's desire for direct, straightforward communication in the wake of the mid-1930s Dust Bowl and the unsettling stock market crash of 1929. It can also be seen to record and celebrate the New Deal social programs, which were designed by Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration to help alleviate the most troubling conditions of the Great Depression.

It is noteworthy that Paul Strand was one of the early practitioners of the documentary mode. Strand studied photography under the tutelage of Lewis Hine, the well-known sociologist-turned-photographer. Hine's work for the National Child Labor Committee helped convince Congress to eradicate child labor in the United States. In 1930, when Strand first met Adams, he was actively following Hine's lead, travelling through Mexico making monumentalizing portraits of ordinary citizens he found on the streets. Projects like these, combined with Strand's outspoken advocacy of America's continued friendship with the socialist block countries, brought Strand to the attention of anti-Communist Republicans in the U.S. Congress. Fearing that he might loose his right to travel abroad, Strand entered into self-exile in France, in 1950. Adams, who wisely chose to keep his political views to himself during this time, nonetheless continued to cite Strand as a significant influence on his work. In the waning years of his life, however, Adams became increasingly outspoken about his political views. In 1983, he told an interviewer:

I think there may be a revolution if there is not greater equality given to all citizens. We have consistently considered the employer, especially the large corporations, as the most valuable part of the American society. We have consistently overlooked the enormous importance of the farmer, the technician, the educator, the artist, [and] the laborer. I'm not calling for a revolution; I'm calling for greater equality to all citizens. If that doesn't happen, something will.7

During the heyday of the documentary mode of photography, while other Americans were training their cameras on the disenfranchised and the middle class, Adams was accused of photographing nothing but trees, rocks and bushes. Yet it was during the early 1940s that Adams helped the Museum of Modern Art organize a juried exhibition of photographs called Images of Freedom that ";look[ed] at the people -150; our friends, our families, ourselves-133;. [It asked] what are our resources and our potential strength?";8 One photograph from this exhibition, Mrs. Gunn on Porch, Independence, California, 1944, suggests the kind of dignified image of the middle class that he must have had in mind. Similarly, two years later he traveled to Owens Valley, California, to photograph the Japanese-Americans who had been forcibly relocated there following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The resulting exhibition and book entitled Born Free and Equal celebrated the prisoners that he met there and condemned the injustice of the camp. The book's photographs affirm the individuality, dignity, work ethic, and Americanness of the internees while his accompanying texts describe the horrible conditions in the camps and plea passionately for other Americans to correct such civil rights violations. Adams's decision to express his condemnation of the relocation camps in words rather than images reflects his unwavering belief that the visual arts must never condemn life, only build it up and celebrate it. Quoting Stieglitz, Adams often said, ";Art is the affirmation of life."; 9

Adams used a similar strategy of combining life-affirming photographs and critical prose in his efforts to preserve America's wilderness reserves, especially in and around Yosemite Valley. In 1934, he joined the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club and began lobbying Congress to stop logging and mining in the King's River Canyon, near Yosemite. By 1938, when he published his first book of landscape photographs, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail, he sent copies to President Roosevelt and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes. The photographs in the book, he recalled, ";helped swing the opinion in our favor."; 10 In 1940, with the President's help, the canyon became a national park.

It is important to note, however, that Adams's advocacy for the parks began only after he had created a substantial body of landscape photographs, works that were aimed at creative rather than for political ends. Looking back on the relationship between his photographs and his advocacy for the environment, he recalled:

I never did a photograph of any importance for an environmental purpose - All the pictures I've done were done because I was there and I loved the mountains and I visualized a picture. However, I do feel very good about the fact that my photographs have been used in environmental campaigns a lot-133; The pictures of Kings Canyon Sierra, for example, were done well before I became involved in the fight to establish Kings Canyon as a national park.11

After playing a central role in establishing Kings Canyon National Park, Adams became widely regarded as the principal photographer of, and unofficial spokesman for, the National Park system. In 1941, the Department of the Interior commissioned him to create a photographic mural about the national parks. The commission was canceled because of World War II, yet Adams returned to the parks in 1946, 1948 and 1958 with funds provided by the Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In subsequent years, he was invited to discuss American environmental policy with several Presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and received from the latter the Presidential Medal of Freedom. By way of contrast, Adams conducted a war of words with President Reagan. He described Reagan's Secretary of the Interior James Watt's policy of allowing strip mining and timber harvesting in the national parks as an indefensible policy of ";rape, ruin and run!"; 12

Adams would certainly be unhappy with the over-popularity of America's National Parks today. In fact, he preferred the term ";reserve"; to ";park"; because the former term suggested that public lands should be ";open to the public and their cars (to a limited extent)"; but devoid of the human comforts and popular camping facilities that threaten their protection and preservation. 13 ";There is certainly nothing amiss,"; he explained with camping, fishing, boating, swimming, skiing, and all the other participation and non-participation sports; people do not have enough of these healthful and refreshing experiences. But you do not play ping-pong in a cathedral, rustle popcorn at a string-quartet concert, or hang billboards on the face of Half Dome in Yosemite (not all of us would, anyway!). You must have certain noble areas of the world left in as close-to-primal condition as possible. You must have quietness and a certain amount of solitude. You must be able to touch the living rock, drink the pure waters, scan the great vistas, sleep under the stars and awaken to the cool dawn wind. Such experiences are the heritage of all people. 14

Adam's ";pure"; images, technical accomplishments and critical views about the environment are no less relevant today, 15 years after his death, than during his lifetime. At last count, the U.S. Forest Service had carved more than 378,000 miles of roads in America's forests, primarily to allow access for logging and mining. And there are plans to add 580,000 more. 15 Adams realized that America's national parks had been created by an act of Congress, and could be taken away. He also realized that the prints that he selected for this exhibition would travel throughout the country long after his death and be seen by all. As a body of work, these prints illustrate Adams's concern that ";the dragons of demand have been kept at snarling distance by the St. Georges of conservation, but the menace remains. Only education can enlighten our people -150; education and its accompanying interpretation, and the seeking of resonances of understanding in the contemplation of Nature.";16


Peter Barr is Assistant Professor of Art History and Klemm Gallery Director at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.


1 I want to acknowledge and thank Kimberly Blessing and Kimberly Barr, who read earlier versions of this essay and made helpful comments.

2 See Patricia A. Johnson, Real Fantasies: Edward Steichen's Advertising Photography (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997).

3 I want to thank Deborah Danielson for explaining the intricacies of the Zone System to me.

4 For a discussion of Stieglitz's symbolist ideals, see Allan Sekula, ";On the Invention of Photographic Meaning,"; Artforum 13:5 (January 1975), reprinted in Vicki Goldberg, Photography in Print (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1981), 452-73.

5 ";Playboy Interview: Ansel Adams -150; candid conversation,"; Playboy vol. 30, no. 5 (May 1983), 68.

6 Ibid., 68-9.

7 Ibid., 226.

8 See Mary Street Alinder, Ansel Adams: A Biography (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1996), 171.

9 ";Playboy Interview,"; 68.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid., 86.

12 ";Playboy Interview,"; 222.

13 Ansel Adams, The Role of the Artist in Conservation (Berkeley, California: University of California College of Natural Resources, Department of Forestry & Conservation, March 3, 1975), 11.

14 Ansel Adams, ";Give Nature Time,"; Occidental College Commencement Address, June 11, 1967, with thanks to Leslie Calmes at the Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon Arizona, for sending me with this and other essays by Adams quoted in this paper.

15 Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods (New York: Broadway Books, 1998).

16 Ansel Adams, ";A Photographer Talks About His Art,"; address to the Friends of Occidental College, January 22, 1969.

Timeline of Photography,
To see a timeline of the history of photography, visit these web sites...

Glossary of terms

Aperture

The opening of a camera lens that is expressed in f numbers.

Camera Obscura

Literally means darkroom. A box first used by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 -322 BC) to concentrate light onto the back of a dark box through a small opening in the front.

Composition

The arrangement of elements in a work of art that is essential to the structure of the final image. The composition is the organizing plan used to create a final image that can be an intuitive process rather than a concrete method.

Contact Printing

Before the enlarger was invented, photographers placed negatives on sensitized paper under glass, and printed directly onto the paper by exposing it to direct sunlight.

Electronic Flash

A separate flash unit that is synchronized to go off as lens opens; varying degrees of flash duration will be will be used depending on time and distance from the subject.

Exposure The camera is mechanically equipped with two basic means to control the exposure of light on the film.

F stop (number)

The size of the lens opening is an F stop; the smaller the opening (F22, for example), the greater the depth of field.

Forms

Volume or mass that takes up space. Forms on a flat surface create the illusion of volume.

Image

Usually refers to what is represented, depicted or shown.

Landscape

Refers to images of nature. The word scape means view of.

Luminance The measure of the subject's "brightness". This is usually in terms of candles-per-square-foot.

Patterns

Repetition of shapes, lines or colors within a work.

Photography

A process by which chemically sensitized surfaces are exposed to light (photo) and retain an image (graph) of what is exposed. Methods may be very simple to highly complex. Camera are usually used with adjustable lenses (apertures) and controlled light levels on light sensitive film. The film is then processed (developed) and the image is "fixed" (made permanent). The image (a negative) is transferred onto treated papers, enlarged and processed with chemicals in a "dark room" to make the photographs (also called prints).

Portrait

A portrait is an image that strives to capture the likeness, character, or essence of the sitter.

Self-Portrait

The artist seeks to capture his own likeness or convey an aspect of himself to the viewer.

Shutter speed How long the shutter is open (1/1000 of a second to 1 second or more)

Straight Photography

Although Ansel Adams did not invent straight photography, he certainly had a hand in reviving it. Departing from Pictorialism, straight photography eschewed soft-focus lenses and impressionistic, diffused images for sharp-focus, documentary style photographs.

Viewpoint

The point from which the artist seems to have been looking in order to depict a scene. With portraits and landscapes, we are likely to find ourselves viewing the image from the same point as the artist.

Hume, Helen. The Art Teacher's Book of Lists. Prentice Hall, 1998

Yenawine, Philip. Key Art terms For Beginners. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995.

Visualization

A method of photographing advocated by Ansel Adams. Adams believed that the image must first be created in the mind's eye and that the photographer should know exactly what the picture will look like before he ever shoots the picture.

Zone System

This process was developed by Ansel Adams to produce an image that had beautiful rich black tones, and a large tonal range (grays) that made these prints stand out.

Timeline of Photography,
To see a timeline of the history of photography, visit these web sites...

Glossary of terms

Aperture

The opening of a camera lens that is expressed in f numbers.

Camera Obscura

Literally means darkroom. A box first used by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 -322 BC) to concentrate light onto the back of a dark box through a small opening in the front.

Composition

The arrangement of elements in a work of art that is essential to the structure of the final image. The composition is the organizing plan used to create a final image that can be an intuitive process rather than a concrete method.

Contact Printing

Before the enlarger was invented, photographers placed negatives on sensitized paper under glass, and printed directly onto the paper by exposing it to direct sunlight.

Electronic Flash

A separate flash unit that is synchronized to go off as lens opens; varying degrees of flash duration will be will be used depending on time and distance from the subject.

Exposure The camera is mechanically equipped with two basic means to control the exposure of light on the film.

F stop (number)

The size of the lens opening is an F stop; the smaller the opening (F22, for example), the greater the depth of field.

Forms

Volume or mass that takes up space. Forms on a flat surface create the illusion of volume.

Image

Usually refers to what is represented, depicted or shown.

Landscape

Refers to images of nature. The word scape means view of.

Luminance The measure of the subject's "brightness". This is usually in terms of candles-per-square-foot.

Patterns

Repetition of shapes, lines or colors within a work.

Photography

A process by which chemically sensitized surfaces are exposed to light (photo) and retain an image (graph) of what is exposed. Methods may be very simple to highly complex. Camera are usually used with adjustable lenses (apertures) and controlled light levels on light sensitive film. The film is then processed (developed) and the image is "fixed" (made permanent). The image (a negative) is transferred onto treated papers, enlarged and processed with chemicals in a "dark room" to make the photographs (also called prints).

Portrait

A portrait is an image that strives to capture the likeness, character, or essence of the sitter.

Self-Portrait

The artist seeks to capture his own likeness or convey an aspect of himself to the viewer.

Shutter speed How long the shutter is open (1/1000 of a second to 1 second or more)

Straight Photography

Although Ansel Adams did not invent straight photography, he certainly had a hand in reviving it. Departing from Pictorialism, straight photography eschewed soft-focus lenses and impressionistic, diffused images for sharp-focus, documentary style photographs.

Viewpoint

The point from which the artist seems to have been looking in order to depict a scene. With portraits and landscapes, we are likely to find ourselves viewing the image from the same point as the artist.

Hume, Helen. The Art Teacher's Book of Lists. Prentice Hall, 1998

Yenawine, Philip. Key Art terms For Beginners. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995.

Visualization

A method of photographing advocated by Ansel Adams. Adams believed that the image must first be created in the mind's eye and that the photographer should know exactly what the picture will look like before he ever shoots the picture.

Zone System

This process was developed by Ansel Adams to produce an image that had beautiful rich black tones, and a large tonal range (grays) that made these prints stand out.

student program in the gallery

Observation-based Questions A list of questions often used by Museum educators and student docents.
VISUAL ART

Values and Composition

PHOTOGRAPHY
& HISTORY

The Photo Essay

LANGUAGE ARTS

Focus on descriptive detail

GEOGRAPHY

National Parks and other Magnificent Sites Adams Photographed in the USA

MUSIC

Listening and Connecting to the Visual Arts

HISTORY

20TH Century America

MATH

Meters, f/stops and Focal lengths

SCIENCE

Physics and Chemistry

student program in the gallery

student program in the gallery

Observation-based Questions A list of questions often used by Museum educators and student docents.
VISUAL ART

Values and Composition

PHOTOGRAPHY
& HISTORY

The Photo Essay

LANGUAGE ARTS

Focus on descriptive detail

GEOGRAPHY

National Parks and other Magnificent Sites Adams Photographed in the USA

MUSIC

Listening and Connecting to the Visual Arts

HISTORY

20TH Century America

MATH

Meters, f/stops and Focal lengths

SCIENCE

Physics and Chemistry

student program in the gallery

Following is a list of questions often used by Museum educators and student docents. We often use these questions as a starting point for discussion and interaction about the art in our galleries. The questions do change slightly varying on the type of exhibition. Docent trainers always ask docents to elaborate, point out, and support their ideas using their imaginations and components of what they see to formulate thoughtful responses.

  • What do you see?
  • What is this?student program in the gallery
  • What attracted you to this particular artwork?
  • How do you think it was made?
  • What makes this art?
  • What do you feel when you view it?
  • What do you think is happening in this artwork?
  • What does this artwork remind you of?
  • How long do you think it took to create this?
  • What processes do you think were involved?
  • What do you think of it?
  • What do you think it means?
  • Do you like it? Why? Why not?
  • How does the work relate to its title?
  • If you could rename it, what would you call it?
  • What are the largerissues or themes being represented here?
  • What do you think the artist is trying to do, show, or say by creating this?
  • What makes you think that?
  • How does your understanding of or feeling about this artwork change if you move to another part of the room?
  • How have your feelings about this changed now that you have a better understanding?

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

VISUAL ART
Values and Composition

See Gallery: St. Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos; Frozen Lake and Cliffs, Mount Williamson; Sand Dunes. In the exhibit, Classic Images, see Rose and Driftwood.

A. INTRODUCTION - Art in the Modern World Adams was influenced as a young boy by an exhibit of paintings of modern art from Europe. Adams and avant garde artists and photographers in America such as Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe and Edward Weston, applied new formal ideas that made the subject less important than the treatment using elements of art.

Tones: Ansel Adams devised a system of 11 tones from pure white to black that he sought in his photographs. We're going to learn how the inclusion of many grays or "values" makes a photograph or drawing or painting more visually interesting.

Elements of Art:

  • Line
  • Depth
  • Shape
  • Pattern and Repetition
  • Texture
  • Composition - Rule of Thirds
  • Color (value)

B. STUDENT WARM UP EXERCISEstudents at work in the gallery

  • Shapes: Draw the basic ones
  • Line: Draw vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, zig-zag
  • Depth: Draw 2 apples sitting side by side on a table.
  • Now draw 2 apples, one in front of the other.
  • Value or tone: Make a rectangle divided into 11 boxes. Fill in the boxes with 11 different Tones; The first is blank (white) the last in as black as you can make it.

C. TEACHER DEMONSTRATION

  • Looking through a frame to find the most interesting part.
  • Students look through their own frames
  • How to draw a still life - what to look for Shapes, lines, depth;
  • Negative spaces - shapes in between shapes
  • Value or tones
  • Texture, pattern, repetition

D. STUDENTS DO A DRAWING

  • Work for 1/2 hour

E. CLOSING

  • Students post work and look at work to see how many values and elements of art they included. Clean up.

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

VISUAL ART
Values and Composition

See Gallery: St. Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos; Frozen Lake and Cliffs, Mount Williamson; Sand Dunes. In the exhibit, Classic Images, see Rose and Driftwood.

A. INTRODUCTION - Art in the Modern World Adams was influenced as a young boy by an exhibit of paintings of modern art from Europe. Adams and avant garde artists and photographers in America such as Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe and Edward Weston, applied new formal ideas that made the subject less important than the treatment using elements of art.

Tones: Ansel Adams devised a system of 11 tones from pure white to black that he sought in his photographs. We're going to learn how the inclusion of many grays or "values" makes a photograph or drawing or painting more visually interesting.

Elements of Art:

  • Line
  • Depth
  • Shape
  • Pattern and Repetition
  • Texture
  • Composition - Rule of Thirds
  • Color (value)

B. STUDENT WARM UP EXERCISEstudents at work in the gallery

  • Shapes: Draw the basic ones
  • Line: Draw vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, zig-zag
  • Depth: Draw 2 apples sitting side by side on a table.
  • Now draw 2 apples, one in front of the other.
  • Value or tone: Make a rectangle divided into 11 boxes. Fill in the boxes with 11 different Tones; The first is blank (white) the last in as black as you can make it.

C. TEACHER DEMONSTRATION

  • Looking through a frame to find the most interesting part.
  • Students look through their own frames
  • How to draw a still life - what to look for Shapes, lines, depth;
  • Negative spaces - shapes in between shapes
  • Value or tones
  • Texture, pattern, repetition

D. STUDENTS DO A DRAWING

  • Work for 1/2 hour

E. CLOSING

  • Students post work and look at work to see how many values and elements of art they included. Clean up.

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

PHOTOGRAPHY & HISTORY
The Photo Essay

Source: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography

The Manzanar Relocation Camp

Ansel Adams made several trips from Yosemite to the Manzanar Relocation Camp in the Owens Valley of eastern California to photograph Japanese-Americans who were interred during World War II.

"The infamous decision of the government (in the time of fear and hysteria following Pearl Harbor) to transport American citizens of Japanese ancestry to several detention camps resulted in most severe hardship among the Japanese American population of the West Coast."

Ansel Adams compares his approach in photographing the situation to that of Dorothea Lange. Dorothea Lange "photographed the misery and bewilderment of the Japanese-Americans", whereas his own photographs "were an attempt to record the accomplishment of the people in rising above their desolate situation."

Lange photographed Japanese Americans "as they were taken to the tarpaper shacks in the desert. Her photographs are shocking, moving documents of a terrible time for those people." Her photographs have "priceless photographic value."

Ansel Adams arrived at Manzanar several years later, "when the relocation camps had been made more livable and functional by the efforts of the inhabitants themselves." He observed their accomplishments in the building of a Japanese garden, farms, schools, churches (Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto), a playground, and small industries. They made the most of the situation and relieved monotony by setting up up cultural studies and events...His photographs were published in Born Free and Equal, along with text he composed. Believing that art must always be positive, he showed the people's courage rather than despair. It was in his text that Ansel was scathingly critical of the detention.

ACTIVITY

Choose a current issue or situation you feel strongly about. Put together a series of original photographs, drawings or reproductions with or without words to express your views on the subject.

 

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

PHOTOGRAPHY & HISTORY
The Photo Essay

Source: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography

The Manzanar Relocation Camp

Ansel Adams made several trips from Yosemite to the Manzanar Relocation Camp in the Owens Valley of eastern California to photograph Japanese-Americans who were interred during World War II.

"The infamous decision of the government (in the time of fear and hysteria following Pearl Harbor) to transport American citizens of Japanese ancestry to several detention camps resulted in most severe hardship among the Japanese American population of the West Coast."

Ansel Adams compares his approach in photographing the situation to that of Dorothea Lange. Dorothea Lange "photographed the misery and bewilderment of the Japanese-Americans", whereas his own photographs "were an attempt to record the accomplishment of the people in rising above their desolate situation."

Lange photographed Japanese Americans "as they were taken to the tarpaper shacks in the desert. Her photographs are shocking, moving documents of a terrible time for those people." Her photographs have "priceless photographic value."

Ansel Adams arrived at Manzanar several years later, "when the relocation camps had been made more livable and functional by the efforts of the inhabitants themselves." He observed their accomplishments in the building of a Japanese garden, farms, schools, churches (Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto), a playground, and small industries. They made the most of the situation and relieved monotony by setting up up cultural studies and events...His photographs were published in Born Free and Equal, along with text he composed. Believing that art must always be positive, he showed the people's courage rather than despair. It was in his text that Ansel was scathingly critical of the detention.

ACTIVITY

Choose a current issue or situation you feel strongly about. Put together a series of original photographs, drawings or reproductions with or without words to express your views on the subject.

 

Exhibition Related Programming


Lunch and Lecture Series
($6.00 for lunch or Bring your Own) Reservations required: 203.332.5052

  • Thursday, February 8 Noon to 1pm
    Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College
    Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism
  • Wednesday, February 21, Noon to 1pm
    Philip Trager, photographer
    Photographic Techniques: Zone System to Digital Imaging
  • Thursday, March 1 Noon to 1pm
    Robbin Zella, Director, Housatonic Museum of Art
    Ansel Adams: American Identity and Ideals
  • strong>Evening Lecture Thursday, February 15, 5pm
    Kim Sichel, Associate Professor of Art History, Boston University
    Landscape Photographs in the American West
Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College, giving a lecture on Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism

Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College
Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism


Video

Ansel Adams, Photographer
Produced by Andrea Gray and John Huszar, 1981
Filmamerica, Pacific Arts Video 800.538.5856
For permission to exhibit: 50 N. La Ciegna Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


Library

The Housatonic Community College has a wide selection of art and reference books relating to the current exhibit and the permanent collection. The library facilities are open to the public.

For further information or to schedule a tour please call Janet Luongo at 203.332.5052. We have a Museum T-shirt for teachers who have booked tours.

Exhibition Related Programming


Lunch and Lecture Series
($6.00 for lunch or Bring your Own) Reservations required: 203.332.5052

  • Thursday, February 8 Noon to 1pm
    Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College
    Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism
  • Wednesday, February 21, Noon to 1pm
    Philip Trager, photographer
    Photographic Techniques: Zone System to Digital Imaging
  • Thursday, March 1 Noon to 1pm
    Robbin Zella, Director, Housatonic Museum of Art
    Ansel Adams: American Identity and Ideals
  • strong>Evening Lecture Thursday, February 15, 5pm
    Kim Sichel, Associate Professor of Art History, Boston University
    Landscape Photographs in the American West
Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College, giving a lecture on Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism

Peter Ulisse, Chairperson, Humanities, Housatonic Community College
Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism


Video

Ansel Adams, Photographer
Produced by Andrea Gray and John Huszar, 1981
Filmamerica, Pacific Arts Video 800.538.5856
For permission to exhibit: 50 N. La Ciegna Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


Library

The Housatonic Community College has a wide selection of art and reference books relating to the current exhibit and the permanent collection. The library facilities are open to the public.

For further information or to schedule a tour please call Janet Luongo at 203.332.5052. We have a Museum T-shirt for teachers who have booked tours.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books and Articles by Ansel Adams
Selected books and articles about Ansel Adams

WEB LINKS OF RELATED TOPICS

Ansel Adams Biography, www.zpub.com/sf/history/adams.html

Timeline of Photography,
George Eastman House-International Museum of Photography, http://www.eastmanhouse.org/
FotoMuseum, http://www.fotomuseum.ws/archive/photo/timeline/

Photographic Processes, Center for Creative Photography, www.photographymuseum.com

Pinhole Photography, http://www.youdesignit.com/resources/pinhole-photography

History of Photography, PBS
American Photography: A Century of Images
http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography/

American Experience: George Eastman, The Wizard of Photography
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eastman/index.html

Art AtoZ / Photography, http://www.antiquesatoz.com/artatoz/photo.htm

Learn About Large Format Photography, http://www.cs.berkeley.edu:80/~qtluong/photography/lf/

Photography, http://www.artic.edu/aic/index.html

Masters of Photography, http://www.masters-of-photography.com

National Museum of American Art
Helios: An Online Photography Center,
http://nmaa-ryder.si.edu/collections/exhibits/helios/index.html

The American Museum of Photography, www.photographymuseum.com

Education Planet, www.educationplanet.com

Photography - Lesson Plans
http://www.kodak.com/cluster/global/en/consumer/education/lessonPlans/lessonPlan083.shtml

A Guide to Depth of Field
http://sigma-rumors.com/depth-of-field-guide

Complete Guide to eCommerce Photography
http://redstagfulfillment.com/complete-guide-ecommerce-photography/

Protect Photos, Documents And Other Papers From Natural Destruction Over Time
https://www.scrapbook.com/articles/preservation-of-photos-documents-papers


BIBLIOGRAPHY
BOOKS AND ARTICLES BY ANSEL ADAMS

Adams, Ansel. And Mary Austin. Taos Pueblo. San Francisco: Ansel Adams, 1930.

_____"Photography." Fortnightly, November 6, December 4, and December 18, 1931

_____"The New Photography." In Modern Photography 1934-35, The Studio Annual of Camera Art. London and New York: The studio Publications, Inc., 1934.

_____"An Exposition of Technique" (January), "Landscape" (February), "Portraiture" (March), and "Applied Photography" (April). Camera Craft, 1934.

_____Making A Photograph. London and New York: The Studio Publications, 1935.

_____"A Personal Credo." Camera Craft, January, 1935.

_____Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. Berkeley: Archetype Press, 1938.

_____Ed. Stanley Plumb. The Four Seasons in Yosemite National Park: A Photographic Story of Yosemite's Spectacular Scenery. Yosemite, Calif.: Yosemite Park and Curry Company, 1936.

_____Ed. Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester. "The New Expanding Photographic Universe." In Miniature Camera Work. New York: Morgan & Lester, 1938.

_____"Discussion of Filters" and "Photo-Murals." U.S. Camera, 1940.

_____And Virginia Adams. Michael and Anne in Yosemite Valley. London and New York: The Studio Publications, 1941.

_____Born Free and Equal: Photographs of the Loyal Japanese-Americans at Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, California. New York: U.S. Camera, 1944.

And Virginia Adams. Illustrated Guide to Yosemite. San Francisco: H.S. Crocker, 1946.

_____Camera and Lens. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1948.

_____The Negative. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1948._____Yosemite and the High Sierra. Ed. Charlotte E. Maul, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948.

_____The Print. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1950.

_____My Camera In Yosemite Valley. Yosemite, Calif. and Boston: Virginia Adams and Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____My Camera In The National Parks. Yosemite, Calif. and Boston: Virginia Adams and Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____And Mary Austin. The Land Of Little Rain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____Natural-Light Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1952.

_____With Nancy Newhall. "Canyon de Chelly National Monument" (June 1952), "Sunset Crater" (July 1952), "The Shell of Tumacacori" (November 1952), "Death Valley" (October 1953), "Organ Pipe" (January 1954), "Mission San Xavie del Bac" (April 1954), and "Mary Austin's Country" (April 1968). Arizona Highways.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Death Valley. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1954.

_____And Nancy Newhall. San Xavier del Bac. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1954.

_____And Nancy Newhall. The Pageant of History in Northern California. San Francisco: American Trust Company, 1954.

_____Artificial-Light Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1956.

_____And Edward Joesting. The Islands of Hawaii. Honolulu: Bishop National Bank of Hawaii, 1958.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Yosemite Valley. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1959

_____And Nancy Newhall. This is the American Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1960.

_____And Edwin Corle. Death Valley and the Creek Called Furnace. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie, 1962.

_____These We Inherit: The Parklands of America. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1962.

_____Polaroid Land Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1963.

_____And Edward Joesting. An Introduction to Hawaii. Palo Alto: 5 Associates, 1964.

_____And Nancy Newhall. A More Beautiful America. New York: American Conservation Association. 1965.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Fiat Lux: The University of California. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

_____And Nancy Newhall. The Tetons and Yelowstone. Palo Alto: 5 Associates, 1970.

_____Ed. Lilane De Cock. Ansel Adams. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1972.

_____Images: 1923-1974. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1974.

_____Singular Images. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1974.

_____The Horace M. Albright Conservation lectureship: The Role of the Artist in Conservation. Berkeley: University of California, College of Natural Resources, department of Forestry and Conservation, 1975.

_____Photographs of the Southwest. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976.

_____The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, 1977. New edition. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1981.

_____"Conversations with Ansel Adams," an oral history constructed in 1972, 1974, 1975 by Ruth Teiser and Catherine Harroun, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1978.

_____With Robert Baker. Polaroid Land Photography. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

_____Yosemite and the Range of Light. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

_____With Robert Baker. The Camera. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1980.

_____With Robert Baker. The Negative. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1981.

_____With Robert Baker. The Print. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1983.

_____Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1983.

_____With Mary Street Alinder. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1985.

_____Ansel Adams: Classic Images. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1986.

_____Ed. Mary Street Alinder and Andrea Gray Stillman. Ansel Adams: Letters and Images, 1916 -1984. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1988.

_____The American Wilderness. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1991.

_____Our National Parks. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1992

_____And John P. Schaefer. Basic Techniques of Photography: An Ansel Adams Guide. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1992.

_____Ed. Harry M. Callahan. Ansel Adams in Color. Boston: Bullfinch Press, 1993

_____Yosemite Valley. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1994.

_____Yosemite. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1995.

...back to top


Selected books and articles about Ansel Adams

 

Alinder, James. Ansel Adams: 50 Years of Portraits. Carmel, Calif.,: The Friends of Photography, 1978.

Cahn, Robert. "Ansel Adams: Environmentalist." Sierra (Sierra Club), May-June, 1979

Newhall, Nancy. The Eloquent Light. San Francisco: The Sierra Club, 1963. Reprinted, Millerton, NY: Aperture, 1980.

Gray, Andrea. Ansel Adams: An American Place, 1936. Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, 1982.

Alinder, James. Ansel Adams: 1902-1984. Carmel, Calif.,: The Friends of Photography, 1984.

Esterow, Milton. "Ansel Adams: The Last Interview." ARTnews 83, no. 6 (summer 1984): 89.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Visions: Photography Between the Wars. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989.

Newhall, Nancy. From Adams to Steiglitz: Pioneers of Modern Photography. New York; Aperture,1989.

Altshuler, Bruce. The Avant Garde in Exhibition. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

Spaulding, Jonathan. Ansel Adams and the American Landscape. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995.

Alinder, Mary Street. Ansel Adams: A Biography. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996.

...back to top

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books and Articles by Ansel Adams
Selected books and articles about Ansel Adams

WEB LINKS OF RELATED TOPICS

Ansel Adams Biography, www.zpub.com/sf/history/adams.html

Timeline of Photography,
George Eastman House-International Museum of Photography, http://www.eastmanhouse.org/
FotoMuseum, http://www.fotomuseum.ws/archive/photo/timeline/

Photographic Processes, Center for Creative Photography, www.photographymuseum.com

Pinhole Photography, http://www.youdesignit.com/resources/pinhole-photography

History of Photography, PBS
American Photography: A Century of Images
http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography/

American Experience: George Eastman, The Wizard of Photography
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eastman/index.html

Art AtoZ / Photography, http://www.antiquesatoz.com/artatoz/photo.htm

Learn About Large Format Photography, http://www.cs.berkeley.edu:80/~qtluong/photography/lf/

Photography, http://www.artic.edu/aic/index.html

Masters of Photography, http://www.masters-of-photography.com

National Museum of American Art
Helios: An Online Photography Center,
http://nmaa-ryder.si.edu/collections/exhibits/helios/index.html

The American Museum of Photography, www.photographymuseum.com

Education Planet, www.educationplanet.com

Photography - Lesson Plans
http://www.kodak.com/cluster/global/en/consumer/education/lessonPlans/lessonPlan083.shtml

A Guide to Depth of Field
http://sigma-rumors.com/depth-of-field-guide

Complete Guide to eCommerce Photography
http://redstagfulfillment.com/complete-guide-ecommerce-photography/

Protect Photos, Documents And Other Papers From Natural Destruction Over Time
https://www.scrapbook.com/articles/preservation-of-photos-documents-papers


BIBLIOGRAPHY
BOOKS AND ARTICLES BY ANSEL ADAMS

Adams, Ansel. And Mary Austin. Taos Pueblo. San Francisco: Ansel Adams, 1930.

_____"Photography." Fortnightly, November 6, December 4, and December 18, 1931

_____"The New Photography." In Modern Photography 1934-35, The Studio Annual of Camera Art. London and New York: The studio Publications, Inc., 1934.

_____"An Exposition of Technique" (January), "Landscape" (February), "Portraiture" (March), and "Applied Photography" (April). Camera Craft, 1934.

_____Making A Photograph. London and New York: The Studio Publications, 1935.

_____"A Personal Credo." Camera Craft, January, 1935.

_____Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. Berkeley: Archetype Press, 1938.

_____Ed. Stanley Plumb. The Four Seasons in Yosemite National Park: A Photographic Story of Yosemite's Spectacular Scenery. Yosemite, Calif.: Yosemite Park and Curry Company, 1936.

_____Ed. Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester. "The New Expanding Photographic Universe." In Miniature Camera Work. New York: Morgan & Lester, 1938.

_____"Discussion of Filters" and "Photo-Murals." U.S. Camera, 1940.

_____And Virginia Adams. Michael and Anne in Yosemite Valley. London and New York: The Studio Publications, 1941.

_____Born Free and Equal: Photographs of the Loyal Japanese-Americans at Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, California. New York: U.S. Camera, 1944.

And Virginia Adams. Illustrated Guide to Yosemite. San Francisco: H.S. Crocker, 1946.

_____Camera and Lens. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1948.

_____The Negative. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1948._____Yosemite and the High Sierra. Ed. Charlotte E. Maul, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948.

_____The Print. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1950.

_____My Camera In Yosemite Valley. Yosemite, Calif. and Boston: Virginia Adams and Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____My Camera In The National Parks. Yosemite, Calif. and Boston: Virginia Adams and Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____And Mary Austin. The Land Of Little Rain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

_____Natural-Light Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1952.

_____With Nancy Newhall. "Canyon de Chelly National Monument" (June 1952), "Sunset Crater" (July 1952), "The Shell of Tumacacori" (November 1952), "Death Valley" (October 1953), "Organ Pipe" (January 1954), "Mission San Xavie del Bac" (April 1954), and "Mary Austin's Country" (April 1968). Arizona Highways.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Death Valley. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1954.

_____And Nancy Newhall. San Xavier del Bac. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1954.

_____And Nancy Newhall. The Pageant of History in Northern California. San Francisco: American Trust Company, 1954.

_____Artificial-Light Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1956.

_____And Edward Joesting. The Islands of Hawaii. Honolulu: Bishop National Bank of Hawaii, 1958.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Yosemite Valley. Palo Alto, Calif.: 5 Associates, 1959

_____And Nancy Newhall. This is the American Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1960.

_____And Edwin Corle. Death Valley and the Creek Called Furnace. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie, 1962.

_____These We Inherit: The Parklands of America. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1962.

_____Polaroid Land Photography. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1963.

_____And Edward Joesting. An Introduction to Hawaii. Palo Alto: 5 Associates, 1964.

_____And Nancy Newhall. A More Beautiful America. New York: American Conservation Association. 1965.

_____And Nancy Newhall. Fiat Lux: The University of California. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

_____And Nancy Newhall. The Tetons and Yelowstone. Palo Alto: 5 Associates, 1970.

_____Ed. Lilane De Cock. Ansel Adams. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1972.

_____Images: 1923-1974. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1974.

_____Singular Images. New York: Morgan & Morgan, 1974.

_____The Horace M. Albright Conservation lectureship: The Role of the Artist in Conservation. Berkeley: University of California, College of Natural Resources, department of Forestry and Conservation, 1975.

_____Photographs of the Southwest. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976.

_____The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, 1977. New edition. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1981.

_____"Conversations with Ansel Adams," an oral history constructed in 1972, 1974, 1975 by Ruth Teiser and Catherine Harroun, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1978.

_____With Robert Baker. Polaroid Land Photography. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

_____Yosemite and the Range of Light. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1978.

_____With Robert Baker. The Camera. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1980.

_____With Robert Baker. The Negative. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1981.

_____With Robert Baker. The Print. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1983.

_____Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1983.

_____With Mary Street Alinder. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1985.

_____Ansel Adams: Classic Images. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1986.

_____Ed. Mary Street Alinder and Andrea Gray Stillman. Ansel Adams: Letters and Images, 1916 -1984. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1988.

_____The American Wilderness. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1991.

_____Our National Parks. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1992

_____And John P. Schaefer. Basic Techniques of Photography: An Ansel Adams Guide. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1992.

_____Ed. Harry M. Callahan. Ansel Adams in Color. Boston: Bullfinch Press, 1993

_____Yosemite Valley. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1994.

_____Yosemite. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1995.

...back to top


Selected books and articles about Ansel Adams

 

Alinder, James. Ansel Adams: 50 Years of Portraits. Carmel, Calif.,: The Friends of Photography, 1978.

Cahn, Robert. "Ansel Adams: Environmentalist." Sierra (Sierra Club), May-June, 1979

Newhall, Nancy. The Eloquent Light. San Francisco: The Sierra Club, 1963. Reprinted, Millerton, NY: Aperture, 1980.

Gray, Andrea. Ansel Adams: An American Place, 1936. Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, 1982.

Alinder, James. Ansel Adams: 1902-1984. Carmel, Calif.,: The Friends of Photography, 1984.

Esterow, Milton. "Ansel Adams: The Last Interview." ARTnews 83, no. 6 (summer 1984): 89.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Visions: Photography Between the Wars. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989.

Newhall, Nancy. From Adams to Steiglitz: Pioneers of Modern Photography. New York; Aperture,1989.

Altshuler, Bruce. The Avant Garde in Exhibition. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

Spaulding, Jonathan. Ansel Adams and the American Landscape. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995.

Alinder, Mary Street. Ansel Adams: A Biography. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996.

...back to top

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

GEOGRAPHY
National Parks and Other Sites, USA

l Gallery: Vernal Falls, Monolith, Dogwood. For other images of Yosemite see exhibit and book, Ansel Adams- Classic Images.

Activities

1. The location where Ansel Adams took the most photographs for Classic Images was in Yosemite National Park in California. Identify on a map Yosemite and the other locations where photographs were taken as listed below:

2. How many states are represented in this exhibit? How many states are not represented?

Alaska Juneau, Alaska
Denali National Park, Alaska
Arizona Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Monument Valley, Arizona
California Sequoia National Park, California
San Francisco, California
The Sierra Nevada, California
Kings Canyon National Park, California
San Mateo County Coast, California
Bishop California
Sonoma County, California
Pebble Beach, California t, California
Death Valley National Monument, California
Independence, California
Portola Valley, California
Richmond, California
Bodega, California
Oceano, California
Mono Lake, California
Colorado Dolores River Canyon, Colorado
Hawaii Maui, Hawaii
Massachusetts Cape Cod, Massachusetts
New Mexico Taos, New Mexico
Chama Valley, New Mexico
Chimayo, New Mexico
Hernandez, New Mexico
White Sands National Monument
Penasco, New Mexico
Coyote, New Mexico
New York New York City
Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Texas Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Utah Manti, Utah
Washington Mount Ranier National Park, Washington
Wyoming Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

GEOGRAPHY
National Parks and Other Sites, USA

l Gallery: Vernal Falls, Monolith, Dogwood. For other images of Yosemite see exhibit and book, Ansel Adams- Classic Images.

Activities

1. The location where Ansel Adams took the most photographs for Classic Images was in Yosemite National Park in California. Identify on a map Yosemite and the other locations where photographs were taken as listed below:

2. How many states are represented in this exhibit? How many states are not represented?

Alaska Juneau, Alaska
Denali National Park, Alaska
Arizona Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Monument Valley, Arizona
California Sequoia National Park, California
San Francisco, California
The Sierra Nevada, California
Kings Canyon National Park, California
San Mateo County Coast, California
Bishop California
Sonoma County, California
Pebble Beach, California t, California
Death Valley National Monument, California
Independence, California
Portola Valley, California
Richmond, California
Bodega, California
Oceano, California
Mono Lake, California
Colorado Dolores River Canyon, Colorado
Hawaii Maui, Hawaii
Massachusetts Cape Cod, Massachusetts
New Mexico Taos, New Mexico
Chama Valley, New Mexico
Chimayo, New Mexico
Hernandez, New Mexico
White Sands National Monument
Penasco, New Mexico
Coyote, New Mexico
New York New York City
Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Texas Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Utah Manti, Utah
Washington Mount Ranier National Park, Washington
Wyoming Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

MUSIC
Listening and Connecting to the Visual Arts

See: Gallery: for photographs of magnificent mountains, such as Monolith, Mount Williamson, and Vernal Falls. Music and its Relation to Other Art Forms

Friends said they could hear Ansel's zone system of tones in his music. He likened the negative to a composer's score, and the photographic print was like a performance with a variety of interpretations, without departing from the major concept.

Activities

Look and Listen # 1

Choose an Ansel Adams photograph and ask students what feeling it inspires. Ask the students to suggest songs or musical compositions that inspire similar feelings. Listen to songs, such as those listed and determine if the mood of the image and songs are similar? Why or why not?

America
Copland - Appalachian Spring
She'll be Coming 'round the Mountain

Look and Listen # 2

Ansel Adams was an accomplished musician, with a career as a pianist before he became a professional photographer He credited the study of music with his development of self-discipline and the pursuit of precision. The pianist Ashkenazy played at his 80th birthday party. He learned to play Handel, Bach, Mozart, and some of his favorite pieces are Beethoven's 4th Symphony and Moonlight Sonata.

Listen to some of the music Ansel Adams most enjoyed or other classical selection and determine if the music is in the same spirit as his photographs.

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

MUSIC
Listening and Connecting to the Visual Arts

See: Gallery: for photographs of magnificent mountains, such as Monolith, Mount Williamson, and Vernal Falls.Music and its Relation to Other Art Forms

Friends said they could hear Ansel's zone system of tones in his music. He likened the negative to a composer's score, and the photographic print was like a performance with a variety of interpretations, without departing from the major concept.

Activities

Look and Listen # 1

Choose an Ansel Adams photograph and ask students what feeling it inspires. Ask the students to suggest songs or musical compositions that inspire similar feelings. Listen to songs, such as those listed and determine if the mood of the image and songs are similar? Why or why not?

America
Copland - Appalachian Spring
She'll be Coming 'round the Mountain

Look and Listen # 2

Ansel Adams was an accomplished musician, with a career as a pianist before he became a professional photographer He credited the study of music with his development of self-discipline and the pursuit of precision. The pianist Ashkenazy played at his 80th birthday party. He learned to play Handel, Bach, Mozart, and some of his favorite pieces are Beethoven's 4th Symphony and Moonlight Sonata.

Listen to some of the music Ansel Adams most enjoyed or other classical selection and determine if the music is in the same spirit as his photographs.

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

HISTORY
20TH Century America

See: Gallery: Trailer Camp Children

Adams said he was too young for the World War I and too old for the World War II. Yet he did live through historical events of the 20th century, such as the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. He has seen the environment transformed, which he has strong feelings about. (See Gallery: Vernal Falls). He witnessed a huge change in technology. John Szarkowski, who began the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, wrote in The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, "When he began to take photographs in the late 1920s, it was before the Model A had begun to replace the Model T. At that time there were no superhighways, no motels, and no passenger airlines. San Francisco and New York were, by crack train, four splendid days apart."

Adams was deeply impressed by the detention of Japanese Americans at Manzanar in California during World War II. (See Photography and History Lesson Plan, and Gallery: Mount Williamson) He was interrogated during the McCarthy Era of the 1940s. Adams explains in his autobiography that during the Great Depression in the 1930s, many American citizens turned toward leftist philosophy hoping for relief from the great hardships. Adams wrote that he and his friends "signed numerous petitions...In retrospect, many of these were undoubtedly Communist inspired." The dreadful McCarthy period was the "first time I doubted the integrity of the American system."

Adams wrote that he was at a party with Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, whose loyalty was questioned by McCarthy. The guest list had to be turned over to the F.B.I., who then interviewed party guests, including Adams, several times. In New York Adams had become a member of the Photo League who held lively discussions, lectures and exhibitions. The League had the philosophy that art should be used for social change. There were some members with ties to socialist and Communist groups. The League was placed on the Red List of the House Un-American Activities Committee. At a meeting of the League, Adams "rose to beg the League to renounce all ties to Communism." When they did not agree, he resigned.

Adams wrote in his autobiography, "During the McCarthy era there was a sour taste of evil in the air, an unsettling distortion of our American principles of justice...Friend turned against friend, reputations were destroyed; the Gestapo spirit was alive in all levels of society. Artists, writers, philosophers and scientists were the prime targets."

Activity

Think about the events you have lived through in your lifetime. How have you been affected by changes in technology and encroachments on the environment? Do you perceive any possible threats to your freedoms and right to expression?

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

HISTORY
20TH Century America

See: Gallery: Trailer Camp Children

Adams said he was too young for the World War I and too old for the World War II. Yet he did live through historical events of the 20th century, such as the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. He has seen the environment transformed, which he has strong feelings about. (See Gallery: Vernal Falls). He witnessed a huge change in technology. John Szarkowski, who began the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, wrote in The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, "When he began to take photographs in the late 1920s, it was before the Model A had begun to replace the Model T. At that time there were no superhighways, no motels, and no passenger airlines. San Francisco and New York were, by crack train, four splendid days apart."

Adams was deeply impressed by the detention of Japanese Americans at Manzanar in California during World War II. (See Photography and History Lesson Plan, and Gallery: Mount Williamson) He was interrogated during the McCarthy Era of the 1940s. Adams explains in his autobiography that during the Great Depression in the 1930s, many American citizens turned toward leftist philosophy hoping for relief from the great hardships. Adams wrote that he and his friends "signed numerous petitions...In retrospect, many of these were undoubtedly Communist inspired." The dreadful McCarthy period was the "first time I doubted the integrity of the American system."

Adams wrote that he was at a party with Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, whose loyalty was questioned by McCarthy. The guest list had to be turned over to the F.B.I., who then interviewed party guests, including Adams, several times. In New York Adams had become a member of the Photo League who held lively discussions, lectures and exhibitions. The League had the philosophy that art should be used for social change. There were some members with ties to socialist and Communist groups. The League was placed on the Red List of the House Un-American Activities Committee. At a meeting of the League, Adams "rose to beg the League to renounce all ties to Communism." When they did not agree, he resigned.

Adams wrote in his autobiography, "During the McCarthy era there was a sour taste of evil in the air, an unsettling distortion of our American principles of justice...Friend turned against friend, reputations were destroyed; the Gestapo spirit was alive in all levels of society. Artists, writers, philosophers and scientists were the prime targets."

Activity

Think about the events you have lived through in your lifetime. How have you been affected by changes in technology and encroachments on the environment? Do you perceive any possible threats to your freedoms and right to expression?

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

MATH
Meters, f/stops and Focal lengths

See: Gallery: Surf Sequence, Moonrise, Hernandez

Photography Exposure Experiment

A water faucet represents the aperture. Imagine you are filling a glass with water. If the faucet is open all the way, would it take a longer or shorter time to fill the glass half-way than if the faucet was only letting out a trickle of water?

Equipment:

  • Water faucet. Or container such as a salt shaker with 2-3 sizes of opening,
  • Timer
  • Receptacle.
Goal: To fill a receptacle to the half way mark, which represents the correct amount of light needed for proper exposure. (Less would not be enough light - making the image too dark. Full would be too much light - making the image too light).
Procedure: Aperture Shutter speed
small circle
Using the small opening, start filling the receptacle and stop at half way. Time it.
(Takes the longest time)
medium circle
Using the middle size opening, start filling the container and stop at half way. Time it.
large circle
Using the large opening, start filling the container and stop at half way. Time it.
(Takes the shortest time)

Observation: To expose film for a determined amount of light, the smaller the opening (aperture) the slower the shutter speed. øThe larger the aperture, the faster the shutter speed.

Conclusion: Aperture and shutter speed are functions of each other.?

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

MATH
Meters, f/stops and Focal lengths

See: Gallery: Surf Sequence, Moonrise, Hernandez

Photography Exposure Experiment

A water faucet represents the aperture. Imagine you are filling a glass with water. If the faucet is open all the way, would it take a longer or shorter time to fill the glass half-way than if the faucet was only letting out a trickle of water?

Equipment:

  • Water faucet. Or container such as a salt shaker with 2-3 sizes of opening,
  • Timer
  • Receptacle.
Goal: To fill a receptacle to the half way mark, which represents the correct amount of light needed for proper exposure. (Less would not be enough light - making the image too dark. Full would be too much light - making the image too light).
Procedure: Aperture Shutter speed
small circle
Using the small opening, start filling the receptacle and stop at half way. Time it.
(Takes the longest time)
medium circle
Using the middle size opening, start filling the container and stop at half way. Time it.
large circle
Using the large opening, start filling the container and stop at half way. Time it.
(Takes the shortest time)

Observation: To expose film for a determined amount of light, the smaller the opening (aperture) the slower the shutter speed. øThe larger the aperture, the faster the shutter speed.

Conclusion: Aperture and shutter speed are functions of each other.?

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

SCIENCE
Physics and Chemistry

 
NOTE: The chemistry activity at the end of this section is teacher-led only.

Physics

How does the simplest camera work?

The word "camera" means room in Italian. It was in a dark room (camera obscura) in Italy many centuries ago that it was noticed that light from outside passing through a small hole exactly reproduced the scene outside on the opposite wall. It was astonishing. And also perplexing, because the image was upside down.

Why was the image upside down?

Light travels in straight lines. Light rays from the top part of the scene outdoors can only reach the bottom part of the receiving area (the opposite wall) through the tiny hole, and vice-versa. The image is dim and ill-defined because the light rays travelling from each point of the subject are slightly dispersed as they pass through the hole.

ACTIVITY

Find out how to make a pinhole camera in My First Photography Book by Dave King. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994.

diagram of pinhole camera

How can the image be made sharper?

To produce a brighter and sharper image than is possible from a simple pin hole, it is necessary to converge the light rays and focus the image. This requires a lens. Study a prism to see how light is refracted or bent when it passes through.

diagram of light refraction

How is this knowledge used today?

The phenomena of the camera obscura (dark room) was put to use to help Italian Renaissance and Dutch artists make very realistic, "photographic" images, and later led to the development of the modern camera.


SCIENCE - Chemistry

How is chemistry used in photography today?
Today photographers use special paper that is coated with chemicals that are sensitive to light. In a dark room, they project light through a negative which is placed in an enlarger.

Can I make photographs without a negative and an enlarger?
Yes, but you still need a very dark room. A bathroom with a sink would work if you can use black paper or blankets covering the light. You can use a red darkroom light to help you see.

ACTIVITY FOR TEACHERS ONLY: To ensure your safety, before you do the following activity, go over the steps with the technicians at the photographic supply store. If you get any chemicals on your skin wash immediately. If you get chemicals in your eye, rinse immediately and see a doctor.

(Teachers - please call for specific chemicals and times)

PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT A CAMERA OR FILM NEGATIVE

Set up the room as above.
Gather all your materials: 3 trays, chemicals, measuring cups, thermometer, photographic paper, objects or cut oak tag

  1. Prepare three trays with solutions that will process your image. You will have to follow the instructions on the packets of how much chemical to use. You will also need a sink with running water.

    a. developer
    b. water
    c. fixer
    d. sink or bathtub with running water

  2. In a very dark room with only a special darkroom light, take one sheet of photographic paper out of the packet. Remember if you expose the paper to light you will ruin it! Place objects on the paper, such as scissors, string or oak tag with shapes cut out, a flower for example. Expose to bright light for 10 seconds.
  1. Put the paper into the developer with tongs so the paper is completely covered. Use tongs to immerse paper into the chemical - do not touch it with your fingers. Rock the developer gently over the paper. Wait for 2 minutes or until you see the image come up. This is the exciting part!

    You should see an image of a flower or the object slowly come up. Except it will be IN REVERSE (a negative).

    Where the light was blocked, the paper will remain white, where light struck it, it will be dark. The chemicals on the paper are sensitive to light and begin to change the tone of the paper.
  2. Using a different set of tongs, put the paper into water for 30 seconds to rinse the developer off. Rock gently as before.
  3. Then using a third set of tongs, slip the paper into the fixer for 2 minutes to preserve the image.
  4. Wash the paper in the sink or bathtub with running water to remove excess fixer for 4 minutes.

illustration of how to make a contact print

Now you have the final image - a negative of the image you started with.

THE ABOVE ACTIVITY IS FOR TEACHERS ONLY!

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

SCIENCE
Physics and Chemistry

 
NOTE: The chemistry activity at the end of this section is teacher-led only.

Physics

How does the simplest camera work?

The word "camera" means room in Italian. It was in a dark room (camera obscura) in Italy many centuries ago that it was noticed that light from outside passing through a small hole exactly reproduced the scene outside on the opposite wall. It was astonishing. And also perplexing, because the image was upside down.

Why was the image upside down?

Light travels in straight lines. Light rays from the top part of the scene outdoors can only reach the bottom part of the receiving area (the opposite wall) through the tiny hole, and vice-versa. The image is dim and ill-defined because the light rays travelling from each point of the subject are slightly dispersed as they pass through the hole.

ACTIVITY

Find out how to make a pinhole camera in My First Photography Book by Dave King. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994.

diagram of pinhole camera

How can the image be made sharper?

To produce a brighter and sharper image than is possible from a simple pin hole, it is necessary to converge the light rays and focus the image. This requires a lens. Study a prism to see how light is refracted or bent when it passes through.

diagram of light refraction

How is this knowledge used today?

The phenomena of the camera obscura (dark room) was put to use to help Italian Renaissance and Dutch artists make very realistic, "photographic" images, and later led to the development of the modern camera.


SCIENCE - Chemistry

How is chemistry used in photography today?
Today photographers use special paper that is coated with chemicals that are sensitive to light. In a dark room, they project light through a negative which is placed in an enlarger.

Can I make photographs without a negative and an enlarger?
Yes, but you still need a very dark room. A bathroom with a sink would work if you can use black paper or blankets covering the light. You can use a red darkroom light to help you see.

ACTIVITY FOR TEACHERS ONLY: To ensure your safety, before you do the following activity, go over the steps with the technicians at the photographic supply store. If you get any chemicals on your skin wash immediately. If you get chemicals in your eye, rinse immediately and see a doctor.

(Teachers - please call for specific chemicals and times)

PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT A CAMERA OR FILM NEGATIVE

Set up the room as above.
Gather all your materials: 3 trays, chemicals, measuring cups, thermometer, photographic paper, objects or cut oak tag

  1. Prepare three trays with solutions that will process your image. You will have to follow the instructions on the packets of how much chemical to use. You will also need a sink with running water.

    a. developer
    b. water
    c. fixer
    d. sink or bathtub with running water

  2. In a very dark room with only a special darkroom light, take one sheet of photographic paper out of the packet. Remember if you expose the paper to light you will ruin it! Place objects on the paper, such as scissors, string or oak tag with shapes cut out, a flower for example. Expose to bright light for 10 seconds.
  1. Put the paper into the developer with tongs so the paper is completely covered. Use tongs to immerse paper into the chemical - do not touch it with your fingers. Rock the developer gently over the paper. Wait for 2 minutes or until you see the image come up. This is the exciting part!

    You should see an image of a flower or the object slowly come up. Except it will be IN REVERSE (a negative).

    Where the light was blocked, the paper will remain white, where light struck it, it will be dark. The chemicals on the paper are sensitive to light and begin to change the tone of the paper.
  2. Using a different set of tongs, put the paper into water for 30 seconds to rinse the developer off. Rock gently as before.
  3. Then using a third set of tongs, slip the paper into the fixer for 2 minutes to preserve the image.
  4. Wash the paper in the sink or bathtub with running water to remove excess fixer for 4 minutes.

illustration of how to make a contact print

Now you have the final image - a negative of the image you started with.

THE ABOVE ACTIVITY IS FOR TEACHERS ONLY!

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

GALLERY OF IMAGES
To find out more about these photographs, click on the image

 


All images are copyrighted material and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. Please limit the use of the photographs to viewing in the context of this web site.

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932 by Ansel Adams

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 by Ansel Adams

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948

ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLANS

GALLERY OF IMAGES
To find out more about these photographs, click on the image

 


All images are copyrighted material and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. Please limit the use of the photographs to viewing in the context of this web site.

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932 by Ansel Adams

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 by Ansel Adams

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948

STUDENT PROJECTS

Amity High

To view work by student, choose the link below...
Caitlin A...
artwork by student
Jessica W...
artwork by student

Unsigned...
artwork by student

Colleen C...
artwork by student

Kyle M...
artwork by student

Michelle F...
artwork by student


Student writing inspired by viewing Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Winter Storm: It's 5:30 PM, clouds are rolling in. the temperature is dropping, it seems to be about 50 degrees. The birds are still flying overhead and their screeches echo through the snow covered mountains. The faint smell of pine sifts upward in the light breeze.
Joe B.

The cliff shoots right out of the lake. The clouds as they roll by block the sun on the mountains and cliffs. The fog rolls down the side of a mountainside. The ground is muddy and wet.
Berluti

A powdering of snow has fallen but the air is brisk, not cold. There are many small streams gurgling nearby.
Sophie C.

At 10:00 in the morning, the sun is at its perfect angle because it's not too far up on the horizon, but just far enough to warm my face.
Coreen E.


Writing prompt: What might Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox be saying to each other?

She: Your feet are as big as that cloud.
He: "What? They're not that big are they?
Alani G.

Man: It's kinda cold out, do you want to go in?
Woman: I know something that can keep us warm.

The woman is telling a joke, flirting.
The guy is shy, embarassed, blushing.


Writing Prompt: Choose a landscape and write a postcard from the place.

The mountains have settled deep into the fog as over. The trees seem to be going to sleep. The severe beauty of this place is such a extraordinary sight that I don't know how such a thing could be caught on camera.
Joe B.


Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

Trailer Camp Children: The big kid might be thinking, "I hope we don't die like this." The little kids might be thinking, "Where's my parents?"
Sam S.


Write a four-line poem...

Alone
Reflecting
Like a mirror
Placid
Sam S.

Majestic
Supporting
Like a parent
Powerful
Julie M.

The sun turns the clouds into golden pillows
Stretching, Dropping
Like another world
Eerie
David A.

(Frozen Lakes and Cliffs)
Jagged
Cutting through
Teeth
Carved out
Coreen E.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Amity High

To view work by student, choose the link below...
Caitlin A...
artwork by student
Jessica W...
artwork by student

Unsigned...
artwork by student

Colleen C...
artwork by student

Kyle M...
artwork by student

Michelle F...
artwork by student


Student writing inspired by viewing Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Winter Storm: It's 5:30 PM, clouds are rolling in. the temperature is dropping, it seems to be about 50 degrees. The birds are still flying overhead and their screeches echo through the snow covered mountains. The faint smell of pine sifts upward in the light breeze.
Joe B.

The cliff shoots right out of the lake. The clouds as they roll by block the sun on the mountains and cliffs. The fog rolls down the side of a mountainside. The ground is muddy and wet.
Berluti

A powdering of snow has fallen but the air is brisk, not cold. There are many small streams gurgling nearby.
Sophie C.

At 10:00 in the morning, the sun is at its perfect angle because it's not too far up on the horizon, but just far enough to warm my face.
Coreen E.


Writing prompt: What might Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox be saying to each other?

She: Your feet are as big as that cloud.
He: "What? They're not that big are they?
Alani G.

Man: It's kinda cold out, do you want to go in?
Woman: I know something that can keep us warm.

The woman is telling a joke, flirting.
The guy is shy, embarassed, blushing.


Writing Prompt: Choose a landscape and write a postcard from the place.

The mountains have settled deep into the fog as over. The trees seem to be going to sleep. The severe beauty of this place is such a extraordinary sight that I don't know how such a thing could be caught on camera.
Joe B.


Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

Trailer Camp Children: The big kid might be thinking, "I hope we don't die like this." The little kids might be thinking, "Where's my parents?"
Sam S.


Write a four-line poem...

Alone
Reflecting
Like a mirror
Placid
Sam S.

Majestic
Supporting
Like a parent
Powerful
Julie M.

The sun turns the clouds into golden pillows
Stretching, Dropping
Like another world
Eerie
David A.

(Frozen Lakes and Cliffs)
Jagged
Cutting through
Teeth
Carved out
Coreen E.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Bassick High

Student writing inspired by viewing Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing Prompt: Look at the photograph and begin a letter to a friend with the words, "Last Night..."

William Compton:
The Tetons and the Snake River Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
, 1942 Last night it was as though you could see God himself, elevating over the vast beauty and uncanny strength of the mountains. Staring out, you begin to understand just how small and insignificant we are in this universe. The light of the sun penetrating through the clouds, illuminating over the mighty mountains. You could see the river cutting through the pine green trees, calm, smooth-running and captivating.

Christopher McDowell:
Last night I saw the most extraordinary image. In a brief instant I realized how breathless nature can be. I looked up and the clouds were ready to cry and yet they didn't. The river was still and the mountains in the background served as security. I felt safe.

Colleen Volpe:
Last night I saw the foundations of the mountains, and through my eyes I saw many rocks in all shapes and sizes, many light and dark colors, different shades and textures.
Also, the best thing was the sun hiding between the clouds.

Venisa Brenton:
Last night I saw an unusual kind of garden. It was such a beautiful sight, made from rocks and sand.

Jowan Saifaden:
Last night I was at the mountains and I sat on one of the rocks and it reminded me of us sitting on rocks in our country. I felt like I was back in our country and I was with you again.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Bassick High

Student writing inspired by viewing Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing Prompt: Look at the photograph and begin a letter to a friend with the words, "Last Night..."

William Compton:
The Tetons and the Snake River Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
, 1942 Last night it was as though you could see God himself, elevating over the vast beauty and uncanny strength of the mountains. Staring out, you begin to understand just how small and insignificant we are in this universe. The light of the sun penetrating through the clouds, illuminating over the mighty mountains. You could see the river cutting through the pine green trees, calm, smooth-running and captivating.

Christopher McDowell:
Last night I saw the most extraordinary image. In a brief instant I realized how breathless nature can be. I looked up and the clouds were ready to cry and yet they didn't. The river was still and the mountains in the background served as security. I felt safe.

Colleen Volpe:
Last night I saw the foundations of the mountains, and through my eyes I saw many rocks in all shapes and sizes, many light and dark colors, different shades and textures.
Also, the best thing was the sun hiding between the clouds.

Venisa Brenton:
Last night I saw an unusual kind of garden. It was such a beautiful sight, made from rocks and sand.

Jowan Saifaden:
Last night I was at the mountains and I sat on one of the rocks and it reminded me of us sitting on rocks in our country. I felt like I was back in our country and I was with you again.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Fairfield High

 

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Anonymous...
artwork by student
Brad J...
artwork by student
Jonathan R...
artwork by student
Kristina F...
artwork by student
Mike S...
artwork by student
MM...
artwork by student
Stepnanie...

artwork by student

Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Write a four line poem...

Moonrise, Hernandez
Moon, peacefully sitting
Above a blanket of soft clouds
The dead rest at the foothills
Pointing to the heavens

Juniper Tree Detail
Jagged edges
Reaching, soaring
Like the desperate wing of a crow
Fly

Monolith
Driftwood
Wanders
Balloon let go -
Freedom


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Moonrise
The lonely moon rises
As the sound of silence falls
The people are at peace
Nothing can be felt at all
And as the mountains cry out
As the sky looks down to sigh
We know there are true reasons
We cease to ask the question why.
Marissa P.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Fairfield High

 

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Anonymous...
artwork by student
Brad J...
artwork by student
Jonathan R...
artwork by student
Kristina F...
artwork by student
Mike S...
artwork by student
MM...
artwork by student
Stepnanie...

artwork by student

Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Write a four line poem...

Moonrise, Hernandez
Moon, peacefully sitting
Above a blanket of soft clouds
The dead rest at the foothills
Pointing to the heavens

Juniper Tree Detail
Jagged edges
Reaching, soaring
Like the desperate wing of a crow
Fly

Monolith
Driftwood
Wanders
Balloon let go -
Freedom


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Moonrise
The lonely moon rises
As the sound of silence falls
The people are at peace
Nothing can be felt at all
And as the mountains cry out
As the sky looks down to sigh
We know there are true reasons
We cease to ask the question why.
Marissa P.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Garfield High

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Angelica C...
artwork by student

JennieV...
artwork by student

Natalie D...
artwork by student

Ieesha M...
artwork by student

Jomary
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STUDENT PROJECTS

Garfield High

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Angelica C...
artwork by student

JennieV...
artwork by student

Natalie D...
artwork by student

Ieesha M...
artwork by student

Jomary
artwork by student

STUDENT PROJECTS

Great Oak Middle School

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Anthony S...
artwork by student
MeganK...
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Unsigned 2...
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AS...
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Unsigned 1...
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Uli W...

student work

STUDENT PROJECTS

Great Oak Middle School

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Anthony S...
artwork by student
MeganK...
artwork by student
Unsigned 2...
artwork by student

AS...
artwork by student

Unsigned 1...
artwork by student

Uli W...

student work

STUDENT PROJECTS

Harding High

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Brian R...
artwork by student

Marcus C...
artwork by student

Stephanie F...
artwork by student

Unsigned...
artwork by student

JoAnne C...
artwork by student

Melissa V...
artwork by student

Waldina H...
artwork by student


Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Driftwood in serene ponds
Capturing life moment by moment
Freedom, please, my freedom.


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Surf Sequence

I would hear the calling of the birds, the swishing of the water, the smell of seaweed and
the feeling of just letting go.
Rene S.

The picture almost looks 3-D because the black looks as if it sinks into the picture while
the waves seem as if they're ready to come out from the picture.
Blanca Iris S.

I would hear the wind moving the water waves and the water falling down. I would also
hear rocks crumbling or the water rumbling into the rocks. I would smell the fresh water
and dirt.
Melissa V.

I can hear the water. The air smells fresh. Everything has a grainy feeling. It's the
evening. The cool breeze is on my face and through my hair. And the sound of peace and
calmness surrounds me.
Shanna B.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Harding High

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Brian R...
artwork by student

Marcus C...
artwork by student

Stephanie F...
artwork by student

Unsigned...
artwork by student

JoAnne C...
artwork by student

Melissa V...
artwork by student

Waldina H...
artwork by student


Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Driftwood in serene ponds
Capturing life moment by moment
Freedom, please, my freedom.


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Surf Sequence

I would hear the calling of the birds, the swishing of the water, the smell of seaweed and
the feeling of just letting go.
Rene S.

The picture almost looks 3-D because the black looks as if it sinks into the picture while
the waves seem as if they're ready to come out from the picture.
Blanca Iris S.

I would hear the wind moving the water waves and the water falling down. I would also
hear rocks crumbling or the water rumbling into the rocks. I would smell the fresh water
and dirt.
Melissa V.

I can hear the water. The air smells fresh. Everything has a grainy feeling. It's the
evening. The cool breeze is on my face and through my hair. And the sound of peace and
calmness surrounds me.
Shanna B.

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Housatonic Community College

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Housatonic Community College

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Longfellow School

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Ashley F...

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Student writing samples inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

8TH GRADE

Writing Prompt: Choose a landscape and write a postcard from the place.

Grandpa,
You would love this place. It's so peaceful and quiet. The trees make you feel so tiny and in tune with what's around you. You feel a sense of tranquility.
Leonel R.

Dear Mom,
I wish you were here because this scenery is very dramatic. I never knew that a place like this could be in California. It is the water raging over the cliff. In the back there is a mountain with trees growing out of it.
Deon W.

Dear Elaine,
Bridal Veil Fall
If you were here you would be scared because if you are at the bottom of the mountain you will feel small, and if you are at the top of the mountain you will feel big.
Taisha S.

Dear Danee,
I am at the Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It is windy out here. It is dark and cloudy looking. I feel really peaceful and love the sound of the water and wind. It's amazing.
Brittanni

Dear Vanessa,
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone. It's like the ocean going up like fire. It's like you're mad and you just exploded. It is windy out here and everything seems like art.
Atavia A.

Dear Jessica,
The wind that blows every minute on my face feels fresh and clean and peaceful. The sky seems like it's moving in a different direction while the wind blows.
Dignora

Hi Owen,
Clearning Storm, Sonora Country Hills, California, 1951.
This sight is interesting to me because it seems as if a world is getting ready to end. I think so because it seems as if the sky is falling and all the mist, fig and wind are filled with toxins.
Dyanelle J.

Dear Ashley,
Monolith, the Face of Half Done, Yosemite, 1927
I feel homesick and lonely here. It's very cold. I'm glad I brought my gloves, hat and scarf. There are bit mountains and lots of snow, there are a couple of trees but not a lot. It's a very quiet place. You might hear an animal, like a bird, once in a while. Really, you should visit, it's beautiful.
Fallon

Dear A Tavia,
I am in Yosemite National Park in California. I feel like I'm in heaven! Sure do wish you were here!
Vanessa S.

There are rocks at the bottom of the waterfall. To me once this scene represents that there are hard times but once you reach the edge things will calm down. I guess the big rock next to the waterfall represents a wall that makes you have to go through rough times, which are represented by the sharp rocks at the bottom.
Annefera G.

Dear Mom,
There is a little fog that gives the mountain a spooky feeling to it. I watch in awe at this view.
Tanya L.

Dear Mama,
The desert looks like Israel or Egypt. It's like soft sand and there's nothing around. It feels like a lonely place.
Israel A.


Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

The Spanish American Woman, near Chicayo, New Mexico, 1937. This picture says to me "I am old and so is the wood, our texture is the same, but intentions are different."
Danee H.

Trailer Camp Children. I think if this picture could talk, the children would say, "Help, I'm afraid." They are afraid of someone. Probably their mother is being beaten by their father. And they have to sit there and watch and they look sorry and sad.
Deon W.

Trailer Camp Children. They are showing sorrow for their pathetic lives. And screaming out from the reaches of their own hell. Will people look at the worthless people they are? For they are condemned to their own terror.
Ben

Buddhist Graves
"Hi, I am haunted. Do you know that people die here? I have Chinese symbols. Do not come here at night, I am warning you."

STUDENT PROJECTS

Longfellow School

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Ashley F...

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Sondonica...

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Student writing samples inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

8TH GRADE

Writing Prompt: Choose a landscape and write a postcard from the place.

Grandpa,
You would love this place. It's so peaceful and quiet. The trees make you feel so tiny and in tune with what's around you. You feel a sense of tranquility.
Leonel R.

Dear Mom,
I wish you were here because this scenery is very dramatic. I never knew that a place like this could be in California. It is the water raging over the cliff. In the back there is a mountain with trees growing out of it.
Deon W.

Dear Elaine,
Bridal Veil Fall
If you were here you would be scared because if you are at the bottom of the mountain you will feel small, and if you are at the top of the mountain you will feel big.
Taisha S.

Dear Danee,
I am at the Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It is windy out here. It is dark and cloudy looking. I feel really peaceful and love the sound of the water and wind. It's amazing.
Brittanni

Dear Vanessa,
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone. It's like the ocean going up like fire. It's like you're mad and you just exploded. It is windy out here and everything seems like art.
Atavia A.

Dear Jessica,
The wind that blows every minute on my face feels fresh and clean and peaceful. The sky seems like it's moving in a different direction while the wind blows.
Dignora

Hi Owen,
Clearning Storm, Sonora Country Hills, California, 1951.
This sight is interesting to me because it seems as if a world is getting ready to end. I think so because it seems as if the sky is falling and all the mist, fig and wind are filled with toxins.
Dyanelle J.

Dear Ashley,
Monolith, the Face of Half Done, Yosemite, 1927
I feel homesick and lonely here. It's very cold. I'm glad I brought my gloves, hat and scarf. There are bit mountains and lots of snow, there are a couple of trees but not a lot. It's a very quiet place. You might hear an animal, like a bird, once in a while. Really, you should visit, it's beautiful.
Fallon

Dear A Tavia,
I am in Yosemite National Park in California. I feel like I'm in heaven! Sure do wish you were here!
Vanessa S.

There are rocks at the bottom of the waterfall. To me once this scene represents that there are hard times but once you reach the edge things will calm down. I guess the big rock next to the waterfall represents a wall that makes you have to go through rough times, which are represented by the sharp rocks at the bottom.
Annefera G.

Dear Mom,
There is a little fog that gives the mountain a spooky feeling to it. I watch in awe at this view.
Tanya L.

Dear Mama,
The desert looks like Israel or Egypt. It's like soft sand and there's nothing around. It feels like a lonely place.
Israel A.


Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

The Spanish American Woman, near Chicayo, New Mexico, 1937. This picture says to me "I am old and so is the wood, our texture is the same, but intentions are different."
Danee H.

Trailer Camp Children. I think if this picture could talk, the children would say, "Help, I'm afraid." They are afraid of someone. Probably their mother is being beaten by their father. And they have to sit there and watch and they look sorry and sad.
Deon W.

Trailer Camp Children. They are showing sorrow for their pathetic lives. And screaming out from the reaches of their own hell. Will people look at the worthless people they are? For they are condemned to their own terror.
Ben

Buddhist Graves
"Hi, I am haunted. Do you know that people die here? I have Chinese symbols. Do not come here at night, I am warning you."

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Multicultural Magnet School

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Ansel Adams
By Cassie M., Grade7
1902-1984

Ansel Adams was a musician, a teacher, a scientist, a conservationist, and an advocate. These are just some of the terms that describe the most famous photographer in American history. Ansel Adams was born in 1902 in San Francisco, California. When he was fourteen, he went on a family vacation to Yosemite Valley in California. He was given a No. 1 Brownie Box camera around the same time as he went to Yosemite Valley. These two small events affected a lot on Adam's life. He was impressed and fascinated by photography and things like the Sierra Mountains. Adams worked with a photofinisher in commercial processing San Francisco in the winter and returned to Yosemite every summer.

For four years (beginning at age seventeen) Ansel was working at the Sierra Club LeConte memorial Building in Yosemite as a custodian. This influenced Adams to his vocation, which was the preservation and conservation of the wilderness areas and national parks in the United States. He made lots of accomplishments; for example, he served as board member and director of the Sierra Club and as environmental spokesperson for land protection in Congress. He also organized early photographic workshops in Yosemite's landscape with technical teaching. When Ansel was a teenager he wanted to be a concert pianist, but after he observed the negatives made by Paul Strand (an East Coast photographer) in 1930, he decided to become a photographer. Because he decided to become a photographer, the West Coast had different remarks made by the people on them. There were lots of different photographs in the bay area of California. For example, Edward Weston, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, John Paul Edwards, and Imogen Cunningham were all photographer s from California.

In 1935, Ansel already had published his own book called Making a Photograph, which everyone loved. Six years later (in 1941), his groundbreaking Zone System was expressed, "which introduced a way for the amateur and professional alike to determine and control the exposure and development of prints for maximum visual acuity".

Because of Ansel Adams' teaching and his publishing, he has influenced many, many generations of photographers. Ansel accomplished many things like he was a guest lecturer and course instructor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He founded the first department of photography at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and he was also an author of many books.

Ansel had a dream that was to guarantee the keeping of photographs and make them open for public education purposes. Today, there are rare prints, negatives, study prints, and souvenirs at the Ansel Adams Archive Center.


Ansel Adams
By Diana D., Grade 7

Ansel Easton Adams lived from 1920-1984. He was born into a wealthy family in San Francisco, California. He was first trained to become a concert pianist. His interest in photography began in 1916 when he went on a trip to Yosemite National Park. His earliest photographs were in the soft focus style. This was popular at that time. But after contact with American photographer Paul Strand and others in 1930, his work began to develop the sharp focus. He became a famous American photographer. He is well known for his black-and-white photographs of Yosemite National Park, the California coast, and other wilderness areas of the American West. Ansel painstaking control and detail made him unequaled as a technical master of the black and white print. His photograph includes convey and both the vast scale and the intimate detail of a landscape.

He abandoned his musical career in favor of a career in photography. He moved to Yosemite in 1937 and later to Carmel, California. Ansel invented a method of development. He called it the zone system. He used to divide the gradations of light in a scene into ten zones from black to white this let him to visualize the different levels of gray in the final photograph.

He spent much of his life photographing in the national parks, and served as an official photographer for the Sierra Club. In 1932 Adams and other California photographers, founded an influential group called f/64. This group was devoted to taking straightforward photographs in sharp focus. In 1935 Adams published "Making a Photograph". It was the first of a series of technical manuals. In 1949 he helped found the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1946 he helped establish the first academic department to teach photography. In 1949 he took part in his first photography workshop at Yosemite. From 1955 to 1981 he held annual photography workshops in Yosemite. In 1943 he took photographs that documented the conditions of Japanese Americans during World War II. Adams published more than two dozen books. A year after his death his autobiography was published. In 1984 the United States Congress established the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. In 1989 they opened an exhibit to promote his work along with that of other photographers.

In conclusion I think Ansel Adams was a very important man in the photographic world. I also think that he was a unique photographer and that the world should learn more about him.

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Multicultural Magnet School

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Daniel M...
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Ansel Adams
By Cassie M., Grade7
1902-1984

Ansel Adams was a musician, a teacher, a scientist, a conservationist, and an advocate. These are just some of the terms that describe the most famous photographer in American history. Ansel Adams was born in 1902 in San Francisco, California. When he was fourteen, he went on a family vacation to Yosemite Valley in California. He was given a No. 1 Brownie Box camera around the same time as he went to Yosemite Valley. These two small events affected a lot on Adam's life. He was impressed and fascinated by photography and things like the Sierra Mountains. Adams worked with a photofinisher in commercial processing San Francisco in the winter and returned to Yosemite every summer.

For four years (beginning at age seventeen) Ansel was working at the Sierra Club LeConte memorial Building in Yosemite as a custodian. This influenced Adams to his vocation, which was the preservation and conservation of the wilderness areas and national parks in the United States. He made lots of accomplishments; for example, he served as board member and director of the Sierra Club and as environmental spokesperson for land protection in Congress. He also organized early photographic workshops in Yosemite's landscape with technical teaching. When Ansel was a teenager he wanted to be a concert pianist, but after he observed the negatives made by Paul Strand (an East Coast photographer) in 1930, he decided to become a photographer. Because he decided to become a photographer, the West Coast had different remarks made by the people on them. There were lots of different photographs in the bay area of California. For example, Edward Weston, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, John Paul Edwards, and Imogen Cunningham were all photographer s from California.

In 1935, Ansel already had published his own book called Making a Photograph, which everyone loved. Six years later (in 1941), his groundbreaking Zone System was expressed, "which introduced a way for the amateur and professional alike to determine and control the exposure and development of prints for maximum visual acuity".

Because of Ansel Adams' teaching and his publishing, he has influenced many, many generations of photographers. Ansel accomplished many things like he was a guest lecturer and course instructor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He founded the first department of photography at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and he was also an author of many books.

Ansel had a dream that was to guarantee the keeping of photographs and make them open for public education purposes. Today, there are rare prints, negatives, study prints, and souvenirs at the Ansel Adams Archive Center.


Ansel Adams
By Diana D., Grade 7

Ansel Easton Adams lived from 1920-1984. He was born into a wealthy family in San Francisco, California. He was first trained to become a concert pianist. His interest in photography began in 1916 when he went on a trip to Yosemite National Park. His earliest photographs were in the soft focus style. This was popular at that time. But after contact with American photographer Paul Strand and others in 1930, his work began to develop the sharp focus. He became a famous American photographer. He is well known for his black-and-white photographs of Yosemite National Park, the California coast, and other wilderness areas of the American West. Ansel painstaking control and detail made him unequaled as a technical master of the black and white print. His photograph includes convey and both the vast scale and the intimate detail of a landscape.

He abandoned his musical career in favor of a career in photography. He moved to Yosemite in 1937 and later to Carmel, California. Ansel invented a method of development. He called it the zone system. He used to divide the gradations of light in a scene into ten zones from black to white this let him to visualize the different levels of gray in the final photograph.

He spent much of his life photographing in the national parks, and served as an official photographer for the Sierra Club. In 1932 Adams and other California photographers, founded an influential group called f/64. This group was devoted to taking straightforward photographs in sharp focus. In 1935 Adams published "Making a Photograph". It was the first of a series of technical manuals. In 1949 he helped found the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1946 he helped establish the first academic department to teach photography. In 1949 he took part in his first photography workshop at Yosemite. From 1955 to 1981 he held annual photography workshops in Yosemite. In 1943 he took photographs that documented the conditions of Japanese Americans during World War II. Adams published more than two dozen books. A year after his death his autobiography was published. In 1984 the United States Congress established the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. In 1989 they opened an exhibit to promote his work along with that of other photographers.

In conclusion I think Ansel Adams was a very important man in the photographic world. I also think that he was a unique photographer and that the world should learn more about him.

STUDENT PROJECTS

New Canaan High

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After visiting the museum, I found I had a great interest in analyzing Ansel Adam's photographs. The "tours" were helpful, along with the beginning background information. If I had to change one thing however, I would have given us more free time to analyze a particular photograph (either) drawing or writing about it. I would also probably have given us more time as a group to see and talk about more than just 3 or 4 photographs (to hear more of one another's ideas).

-Thank you.


Ansel Adams Assignment
By Brittany

The photographs by Ansel Adams are very symbolic of many topics we have discussed throughout the year. The one that stood out the most to me was the idea of the American Way. One way to define the American Way would be a constant hope for the future. Many immigrants came to this country in search of a better opportunity than they had been previously given. This optimism has been instilled in our society. We as Americans are constantly preparing for our futures with high hopes of the best for ourselves. Ansel Adams' photographs had a strong emphasis on hope. There were few photographs of people in rough circumstances because he wanted to concentrate on people overcoming obstacles, not people taken down by them. He concentrated mainly on nature and landscapes. In each of these landscapes there were various sections of light and dark contrasts. In many various cases the dark sections are towards the bottom and they lead to the light at the top. One example was a photograph of the Japanese relocation camp at Manzanar. They were many large rocks towards the base which represented the obstacles that must be faced in order to reach the beautiful mountains in the distance. These mountains were illuminated and there was a clearing in the clouds. This was symbolic of the road to freedom the Japanese Americans had to travel. It was a light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a better future. Another photograph that expressed this hope was the "Clearing Winter Storm". It was the good that comes after the bad. It symbolizes the fact that you need to suffer though bad times once in a while, but their will always be that hope of something better once the storm clears.

Ansel Adams only photographed American scenes. He loved the American landscapes and the powerful aura they created. The peaceful and serene qualities of the endless deserts and the majestic fruits of the immense mountains. In many of the photographs of Ansel Adams' there is a sense of hope and beauty beyond the shadows. The American Way is to find a way to achieve a perfect future. There are many different ways to interpret how one would reach the "illuminate mountains", but it does not matter how one gets there. Everyone will take a different path, but they are all looking towards these same mountains.


"Don't Judge a Book By its Cover"
By Kaleigh M.

Through many of his photographs, the idea of similarities and equality, yet differences and individualism was illustrated.

All of these landscapes we looked at today relate to an idea of groups and conformity. Like his photographs, everything and everyone can appear so tranquil, simple, happy, beautiful, and comforting. Yet by looking deeper into the minds of people or the photographs, there is difference, individualism and chaos.

Relating to life issues and people, they appear just from the outside as happy and perfect, but deep inside there is anger, sadness and/or confusion.

In the "Rose and Driftwood" photograph in San Francisco, I wrote (in my postcard) how this scene was so calm with no distraction and no problems. The rose, representing beauty, seemed so soft, tranquil and delicate. However, looking more and more at the romantic contrast in colors of the rose, I felt like the rose represented more sadness and loss for whoever left it there.

In the next photograph, "Death Valley", I began to see more of these sharp contrasts that were hidden, likes those in the "Rose and Driftwood". The most significant part of this piece was that there were very smooth textured areas and rough areas, which intersected in a very sharp edge. This again gave me the feeling of a strong contrast. When first looking at the photograph it seemed plain and almost boring. Looking further into it, it came alive.

The final photograph is "Mount Williamson" in Nevada. In the scene, there are millions of rocks leading up to mountains, etc. The technique again used in this picture is the millions of different grays. From a quick glance, the rocks are sort of mlurred away and the mountains draw the attention. However, for me, these rocks were the most significant part of the scenery. Of these many rocks, they look all the same, yet everyone is completely different in its coloring. Ironically, this landscape is exactly where Japanese internment camps were set up. To look out at this land, knowing this fact, the idea of the many different rocks all appearing to look the same relates to the horizontal event. The rocks symbolize the Japanese people who were being interned just because of the way they looked. To the officers to put them there, Japanese were all the same. Yet, imagining myself looking out from a fenced in almost jail, this view shows at this piece at first glance, it seems so beautiful and calm and comfortable. Yet 50 years ago, those lens would be taking a picture of something much much different. Like the other tow photographs, "Mount Williamson" shows how things can appear so perfect, but end up showing something sad and distressful.

From today, I learned a lot more about art. Because I am not much of an artist, I saw these pictures to be beautiful, but not have much a story behind it. Today I began to so deeper into the picture, seeing things that the camera could not do. I realized that many of his photographs show so much more than a pretty, comforting place.


Ansel Adams
By Dana J.

If rugged individualism is the main characteristic of a typical American, then Ansel Adams fits perfectly into that description. Though most of the people we have studied in class were made legends for their action, Ansel is a legend because of his creations. Not only is his work amazingly perfect and beautiful, but it is also that which may only be completed by a true American. The reason why I believe that that is true, is because all of Ansel's photos contained American landscapes and/or ideals. My favorite photo of his that looked like an American landscape is called "Clearing Winter Storm". In the picture, there are trees, mountains, and a waterfall. All images which can be considered very peaceful, and western but most of all American. Alnsel's pictures are also taken straight from scenes in nature which is proof that he loved nature in a similar way to that of Thoreau. Some pictures show nature as an overwhelming and overpowering force, bigger than man, while others simply stand to show the many faces of nature that few are able to ever see and even fewer can ever comprehend. Another theme which stood out in Ansel's work besides nature, was the theme of Manifest Destiny and Expansion. In another one of my favorite photos taken by Ansel, are hills outlined in tall trees and there is a thick fog hovering over the land in the background. In the distance, the sky is clear and the sun in shining. To me, it seemed as though Ansel wanted to show the foreground as a dark, scary place and the background as the promised land. This was the same idea I got while looking at the "View from Manzanar" picture where the inside of the camp is rocky, symbolizing challenging times and obstacles. But again, the background has tall hills that seem to glow in the sunlight, as if that was the land given by God, every person's dreamland. Both of these pictures emphasize hope and promise as they one also uninhabited by humans, very untouched looking. Ansel's photography gives his viewers a feeling of awe. They have been created, each with a specific style to exhibit textures, shapes, tones, angels, spaces and volumes. Looking at these masterpieces up close, it become obvious that Ansel was a nature lover, a perfectionist, a unique individual with an unbelievable talent and a true American.


 A New Perspective of History
By Callie T.

After visiting the display of Ansel Adams' photographs it amazed me how many different ideas came from one piece of his work. Adams' pieces were unique because they forced you to use your own imagination. After seeing several of his seventy-five pieces, I realized that Adams' took his photographs from new perspectives, which is why they were incomparable. His work which held a common theme of nature and also displayed America during the early 1900's, created a new perspective and vision of life and history.

Ansel Adams' seventy-five selected pieces of nature clearly held a connection to events which have occurred in history. His first piece of work which I saw was definitely one of the most differentiating pieces from the entire collection. This photograph entitled "Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada," was taken in California in 1945. The photograph, probably taken during the early morning, display's at first a perfect serene place, almost as if it were nonexistent. Immediately, the mountain in the background became the dominant feature in this photograph; to me, it represented an American, almighty and powerful. This "powerful" American was someone who represented and lived by the "American Way." Perhaps it could have been the American Government, or rather some powerful leader.

When I found out that this photograph was taken of a Japanese Internment camp, I realized the effect nature had on life during the mid 1900's. For the Japanese, their lives were difficult; "The infamous decision of the government (in the time of feat and hysteria following Pearl Harbor) to transport American citizens of Japanese ancestry to several detention camps resulted in most severe hardships among the Japanese American population of the West Coast." A new image was then put in my head. The small rocks scattered everywhere just beneath and along the mountain, became people, they represented the Japanese, the minority. There were so many of them, and just one big powerful America. However, through it all, the Americans demonstrated selfishness, doing anything, taking away the Japanese's lives, in order to gain power. Overall, from my perspective, this photograph was deliberately taken to portray the unique relationship between a group of minorities and Americans. We have always lived by the "American Way," taking any step necessary for our own survival.

I found this piece to be the most interesting out of all of Adams' work. The way that he took an incredibly devastating situation in American history and photographed a picture which resembled paradise, took talent, it took Adams'. From this photograph, it seems as if Adams' was trying to show how the Japanese, though nature, created a happier environment. The Americans, however, acted as selfish individuals, doing anything it took to get to the top. The "American Way," in this particular photograph forced the Japanese to use new ideas, and created a better lifestyle for themselves. From Adams' perspective, he wanted to show the accomplishments of the Japanese-Americans during the 1900's. How they took a horrible situation and nature, to create a serene, less chaotic situation; He recognized the Japanese attempt to use nature, America, to create a different life. Ignoring the powerful "American Way" was something the Japanese were able to do. Ansel Adams was someone who recognized this fact, and acknowledged such an accomplishment.


Ansel Adams the American Photographer
By Keith P.

Ansel Adams was self taught, he dropped out of schooling system in the 8th grade, and from there he went on to become one of the most famous and recognizable artist in the world. He had a great way of using the sunlight and other things that make each picture unique so when you look at it you might not see any significance but when you look a little harder you see a lot. The best example of that was the picture of the old lady and the piece of wood in the background and how he was comparing her face to the wood. At first Ansel went along with society. He would blur his pictures to make them look like a painting because at that time period photography was not considered an art.

Ansel Adams can be connected to many different people for many different things. On the more obvious note he can easily be connected to Thoreau because of his experiences in nature and his mediation process. He can also be connected to Thoreau because of how he went against society and dropped out of 8th grade against society's rules and went on to self educate himself to greatness. He can also be connected to propaganda and how his picture of the Japanese interment camp's outer terrain looked. What I mean by this is that in the Propaganda it looked like the camps were a nice neat place to live, while Ansel's picture shows what was on the outside of the camp that was land covered with large boulders and rocks-terrain very hard to escape from one of the camps. So in a way, Ansel's picture contradicts what the propaganda movie was trying to tell the people of America.

Ansel's pictures can be considered the American Way in one main thing that I noticed in his pictures, and that is also the main terrain in America. That terrain is an example of how open we are literally and in our minds. We are not enclosed like a Rain Forest for example. His pictures are also examples of what diversity we have in terrain; we have deserts, Rocky Mountains, snow capped trees, beaches, forests, and waterfalls. These different terrains noted in each of his different pictures are an example of the diversity we have here in America. One picture sticks out in my mind and that is the one off the coast of California, it was a picture of the waves breaking on the coast. On the shore there is rough terrain of rocks and dirt, then there is the smooth almost silky part where the water has smoothed the sand out, then there is the actual ocean itself, which in my mind represents confusion. These different types of terrain represent what America is made up of with their terrain, their people, their way of life, and the NYSE. America is changing all the time.

Ansel Adams cannot be considered a leader in my opinion, for the same reason why Michael Jordan cannot be considered a leader either. We talked about this in class, and the fact that you actually have to do something for society to benefit from in order to be looked upon as a leader in society today- in my opinion.

STUDENT PROJECTS

New Canaan High

To view work by student, choose the link below...

After visiting the museum, I found I had a great interest in analyzing Ansel Adam's photographs. The "tours" were helpful, along with the beginning background information. If I had to change one thing however, I would have given us more free time to analyze a particular photograph (either) drawing or writing about it. I would also probably have given us more time as a group to see and talk about more than just 3 or 4 photographs (to hear more of one another's ideas).

-Thank you.


Ansel Adams Assignment
By Brittany

The photographs by Ansel Adams are very symbolic of many topics we have discussed throughout the year. The one that stood out the most to me was the idea of the American Way. One way to define the American Way would be a constant hope for the future. Many immigrants came to this country in search of a better opportunity than they had been previously given. This optimism has been instilled in our society. We as Americans are constantly preparing for our futures with high hopes of the best for ourselves. Ansel Adams' photographs had a strong emphasis on hope. There were few photographs of people in rough circumstances because he wanted to concentrate on people overcoming obstacles, not people taken down by them. He concentrated mainly on nature and landscapes. In each of these landscapes there were various sections of light and dark contrasts. In many various cases the dark sections are towards the bottom and they lead to the light at the top. One example was a photograph of the Japanese relocation camp at Manzanar. They were many large rocks towards the base which represented the obstacles that must be faced in order to reach the beautiful mountains in the distance. These mountains were illuminated and there was a clearing in the clouds. This was symbolic of the road to freedom the Japanese Americans had to travel. It was a light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a better future. Another photograph that expressed this hope was the "Clearing Winter Storm". It was the good that comes after the bad. It symbolizes the fact that you need to suffer though bad times once in a while, but their will always be that hope of something better once the storm clears.

Ansel Adams only photographed American scenes. He loved the American landscapes and the powerful aura they created. The peaceful and serene qualities of the endless deserts and the majestic fruits of the immense mountains. In many of the photographs of Ansel Adams' there is a sense of hope and beauty beyond the shadows. The American Way is to find a way to achieve a perfect future. There are many different ways to interpret how one would reach the "illuminate mountains", but it does not matter how one gets there. Everyone will take a different path, but they are all looking towards these same mountains.


"Don't Judge a Book By its Cover"
By Kaleigh M.

Through many of his photographs, the idea of similarities and equality, yet differences and individualism was illustrated.

All of these landscapes we looked at today relate to an idea of groups and conformity. Like his photographs, everything and everyone can appear so tranquil, simple, happy, beautiful, and comforting. Yet by looking deeper into the minds of people or the photographs, there is difference, individualism and chaos.

Relating to life issues and people, they appear just from the outside as happy and perfect, but deep inside there is anger, sadness and/or confusion.

In the "Rose and Driftwood" photograph in San Francisco, I wrote (in my postcard) how this scene was so calm with no distraction and no problems. The rose, representing beauty, seemed so soft, tranquil and delicate. However, looking more and more at the romantic contrast in colors of the rose, I felt like the rose represented more sadness and loss for whoever left it there.

In the next photograph, "Death Valley", I began to see more of these sharp contrasts that were hidden, likes those in the "Rose and Driftwood". The most significant part of this piece was that there were very smooth textured areas and rough areas, which intersected in a very sharp edge. This again gave me the feeling of a strong contrast. When first looking at the photograph it seemed plain and almost boring. Looking further into it, it came alive.

The final photograph is "Mount Williamson" in Nevada. In the scene, there are millions of rocks leading up to mountains, etc. The technique again used in this picture is the millions of different grays. From a quick glance, the rocks are sort of mlurred away and the mountains draw the attention. However, for me, these rocks were the most significant part of the scenery. Of these many rocks, they look all the same, yet everyone is completely different in its coloring. Ironically, this landscape is exactly where Japanese internment camps were set up. To look out at this land, knowing this fact, the idea of the many different rocks all appearing to look the same relates to the horizontal event. The rocks symbolize the Japanese people who were being interned just because of the way they looked. To the officers to put them there, Japanese were all the same. Yet, imagining myself looking out from a fenced in almost jail, this view shows at this piece at first glance, it seems so beautiful and calm and comfortable. Yet 50 years ago, those lens would be taking a picture of something much much different. Like the other tow photographs, "Mount Williamson" shows how things can appear so perfect, but end up showing something sad and distressful.

From today, I learned a lot more about art. Because I am not much of an artist, I saw these pictures to be beautiful, but not have much a story behind it. Today I began to so deeper into the picture, seeing things that the camera could not do. I realized that many of his photographs show so much more than a pretty, comforting place.


Ansel Adams
By Dana J.

If rugged individualism is the main characteristic of a typical American, then Ansel Adams fits perfectly into that description. Though most of the people we have studied in class were made legends for their action, Ansel is a legend because of his creations. Not only is his work amazingly perfect and beautiful, but it is also that which may only be completed by a true American. The reason why I believe that that is true, is because all of Ansel's photos contained American landscapes and/or ideals. My favorite photo of his that looked like an American landscape is called "Clearing Winter Storm". In the picture, there are trees, mountains, and a waterfall. All images which can be considered very peaceful, and western but most of all American. Alnsel's pictures are also taken straight from scenes in nature which is proof that he loved nature in a similar way to that of Thoreau. Some pictures show nature as an overwhelming and overpowering force, bigger than man, while others simply stand to show the many faces of nature that few are able to ever see and even fewer can ever comprehend. Another theme which stood out in Ansel's work besides nature, was the theme of Manifest Destiny and Expansion. In another one of my favorite photos taken by Ansel, are hills outlined in tall trees and there is a thick fog hovering over the land in the background. In the distance, the sky is clear and the sun in shining. To me, it seemed as though Ansel wanted to show the foreground as a dark, scary place and the background as the promised land. This was the same idea I got while looking at the "View from Manzanar" picture where the inside of the camp is rocky, symbolizing challenging times and obstacles. But again, the background has tall hills that seem to glow in the sunlight, as if that was the land given by God, every person's dreamland. Both of these pictures emphasize hope and promise as they one also uninhabited by humans, very untouched looking. Ansel's photography gives his viewers a feeling of awe. They have been created, each with a specific style to exhibit textures, shapes, tones, angels, spaces and volumes. Looking at these masterpieces up close, it become obvious that Ansel was a nature lover, a perfectionist, a unique individual with an unbelievable talent and a true American.


 A New Perspective of History
By Callie T.

After visiting the display of Ansel Adams' photographs it amazed me how many different ideas came from one piece of his work. Adams' pieces were unique because they forced you to use your own imagination. After seeing several of his seventy-five pieces, I realized that Adams' took his photographs from new perspectives, which is why they were incomparable. His work which held a common theme of nature and also displayed America during the early 1900's, created a new perspective and vision of life and history.

Ansel Adams' seventy-five selected pieces of nature clearly held a connection to events which have occurred in history. His first piece of work which I saw was definitely one of the most differentiating pieces from the entire collection. This photograph entitled "Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada," was taken in California in 1945. The photograph, probably taken during the early morning, display's at first a perfect serene place, almost as if it were nonexistent. Immediately, the mountain in the background became the dominant feature in this photograph; to me, it represented an American, almighty and powerful. This "powerful" American was someone who represented and lived by the "American Way." Perhaps it could have been the American Government, or rather some powerful leader.

When I found out that this photograph was taken of a Japanese Internment camp, I realized the effect nature had on life during the mid 1900's. For the Japanese, their lives were difficult; "The infamous decision of the government (in the time of feat and hysteria following Pearl Harbor) to transport American citizens of Japanese ancestry to several detention camps resulted in most severe hardships among the Japanese American population of the West Coast." A new image was then put in my head. The small rocks scattered everywhere just beneath and along the mountain, became people, they represented the Japanese, the minority. There were so many of them, and just one big powerful America. However, through it all, the Americans demonstrated selfishness, doing anything, taking away the Japanese's lives, in order to gain power. Overall, from my perspective, this photograph was deliberately taken to portray the unique relationship between a group of minorities and Americans. We have always lived by the "American Way," taking any step necessary for our own survival.

I found this piece to be the most interesting out of all of Adams' work. The way that he took an incredibly devastating situation in American history and photographed a picture which resembled paradise, took talent, it took Adams'. From this photograph, it seems as if Adams' was trying to show how the Japanese, though nature, created a happier environment. The Americans, however, acted as selfish individuals, doing anything it took to get to the top. The "American Way," in this particular photograph forced the Japanese to use new ideas, and created a better lifestyle for themselves. From Adams' perspective, he wanted to show the accomplishments of the Japanese-Americans during the 1900's. How they took a horrible situation and nature, to create a serene, less chaotic situation; He recognized the Japanese attempt to use nature, America, to create a different life. Ignoring the powerful "American Way" was something the Japanese were able to do. Ansel Adams was someone who recognized this fact, and acknowledged such an accomplishment.


Ansel Adams the American Photographer
By Keith P.

Ansel Adams was self taught, he dropped out of schooling system in the 8th grade, and from there he went on to become one of the most famous and recognizable artist in the world. He had a great way of using the sunlight and other things that make each picture unique so when you look at it you might not see any significance but when you look a little harder you see a lot. The best example of that was the picture of the old lady and the piece of wood in the background and how he was comparing her face to the wood. At first Ansel went along with society. He would blur his pictures to make them look like a painting because at that time period photography was not considered an art.

Ansel Adams can be connected to many different people for many different things. On the more obvious note he can easily be connected to Thoreau because of his experiences in nature and his mediation process. He can also be connected to Thoreau because of how he went against society and dropped out of 8th grade against society's rules and went on to self educate himself to greatness. He can also be connected to propaganda and how his picture of the Japanese interment camp's outer terrain looked. What I mean by this is that in the Propaganda it looked like the camps were a nice neat place to live, while Ansel's picture shows what was on the outside of the camp that was land covered with large boulders and rocks-terrain very hard to escape from one of the camps. So in a way, Ansel's picture contradicts what the propaganda movie was trying to tell the people of America.

Ansel's pictures can be considered the American Way in one main thing that I noticed in his pictures, and that is also the main terrain in America. That terrain is an example of how open we are literally and in our minds. We are not enclosed like a Rain Forest for example. His pictures are also examples of what diversity we have in terrain; we have deserts, Rocky Mountains, snow capped trees, beaches, forests, and waterfalls. These different terrains noted in each of his different pictures are an example of the diversity we have here in America. One picture sticks out in my mind and that is the one off the coast of California, it was a picture of the waves breaking on the coast. On the shore there is rough terrain of rocks and dirt, then there is the smooth almost silky part where the water has smoothed the sand out, then there is the actual ocean itself, which in my mind represents confusion. These different types of terrain represent what America is made up of with their terrain, their people, their way of life, and the NYSE. America is changing all the time.

Ansel Adams cannot be considered a leader in my opinion, for the same reason why Michael Jordan cannot be considered a leader either. We talked about this in class, and the fact that you actually have to do something for society to benefit from in order to be looked upon as a leader in society today- in my opinion.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Peck Place School

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Caitlin E...
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Miss A...
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Peck Place School

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Caitlin E...
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Miss A...
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Platt Regional Technical Vocational School

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David H...
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Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

Trailer Camp Children:

I would call them, James, Sam and Andy.
They are sad, scared, abandoned. It's dark.
The older one is depressed, he knows what's going on.
The little boy doesn't know what's going on.
The middle one is scared and has a little perspective.
Heather D.

Mary is four, Anne 2 and John 12. Their expression is scared. They look like they're
watching something burn. Probably something belonging to them.
Thongsabai


Write a four-line poem...

Mountain
Wind blowing
Like a hero running
Peaceful

Isolated
Among many trees
One single tree separate from the rest
Lonely
Kristen L.

Clouds
Moving by
Like a cluster of people
Trying to get through
Kristen L.

Storm
Thunder crashing
A flowing stream
Moving
Marilyn


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Mt. Williamson, from Manzanar

I have no where to go. All around me are rocks. It's hot. I can't walk anymore. The rocks
are always there. The sun bears down on me and there's no place to sit.
Susan M.

It is very rocky here, very dry and hostile. Rocks everywhere. Fields of boulders for
miles. It's too hot with no water. Sandstorms, you can't move. Rocks block your path in
all directions.
Michael S.

There is bitter-sweet beauty. The sun comes up bringing with it false new hope for the
day to come, but always it retreats without every bearing the day's gifts. There's a place
of safety and tragedy where the moon protects when the sun betrays it. I see myself
beginning to fly over, but my feet, they cannot get far enough off the ground, and my legs
instead hit each rock with new intensity.
Erica W.

Stuck. Surrounded by heavy objects so large that it's difficult to walk. Desire to walk
towards the rays oflight. They pour over rocks and mountains and clouds, and, like them,
I am a fixed part of nature.
Lauren W.

Beautiful day. I feel small and big at the same time. Ray of sunlight cutting through the
clouds. It's a long way a way.
Dean M.

Endless valley
Tumultuous contrast
Peaceful danger
Rusty B.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Platt Regional Technical Vocational School

To view work by student, choose the link below...

David H...
artwork by student
Steve F...
artwork by student
Greg...
artwork by student
Heather D...
artwork by student
Thongsbai...
artwork by student

Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

Writing Prompt: If the picture could talk, what would it say?

Trailer Camp Children:

I would call them, James, Sam and Andy.
They are sad, scared, abandoned. It's dark.
The older one is depressed, he knows what's going on.
The little boy doesn't know what's going on.
The middle one is scared and has a little perspective.
Heather D.

Mary is four, Anne 2 and John 12. Their expression is scared. They look like they're
watching something burn. Probably something belonging to them.
Thongsabai


Write a four-line poem...

Mountain
Wind blowing
Like a hero running
Peaceful

Isolated
Among many trees
One single tree separate from the rest
Lonely
Kristen L.

Clouds
Moving by
Like a cluster of people
Trying to get through
Kristen L.

Storm
Thunder crashing
A flowing stream
Moving
Marilyn


Writing prompt: Imagine yourself in this scene. What do you sense?

Mt. Williamson, from Manzanar

I have no where to go. All around me are rocks. It's hot. I can't walk anymore. The rocks
are always there. The sun bears down on me and there's no place to sit.
Susan M.

It is very rocky here, very dry and hostile. Rocks everywhere. Fields of boulders for
miles. It's too hot with no water. Sandstorms, you can't move. Rocks block your path in
all directions.
Michael S.

There is bitter-sweet beauty. The sun comes up bringing with it false new hope for the
day to come, but always it retreats without every bearing the day's gifts. There's a place
of safety and tragedy where the moon protects when the sun betrays it. I see myself
beginning to fly over, but my feet, they cannot get far enough off the ground, and my legs
instead hit each rock with new intensity.
Erica W.

Stuck. Surrounded by heavy objects so large that it's difficult to walk. Desire to walk
towards the rays oflight. They pour over rocks and mountains and clouds, and, like them,
I am a fixed part of nature.
Lauren W.

Beautiful day. I feel small and big at the same time. Ray of sunlight cutting through the
clouds. It's a long way a way.
Dean M.

Endless valley
Tumultuous contrast
Peaceful danger
Rusty B.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Read School

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Ivan S...
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Kevin S...
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Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

7TH GRADE

Write a poem from one of the scenes...

I hustle when the rain is falling
Yet silent that I stay
The others try to keep me company
Still silent that I lay
Nor do I need words for I believe
Color speaks for itself
For being different from the others
Helps this secret of mine, well kept.

Tall Building Sky
This picture makes me want to think about a Tall Building Sky. It has the sense of beauty
that has captured my eyes in a weird way. It has tones of white and gray. The whites
seem like the prettiness of a dove. It is a kind of building that you would want to visit -
that of a Tall Building Sky.
Zeluck F. Z.

Pure Beauty (Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite)
It has texture, but no color. It's more beautiful than others. It catches my deepest
feelings. I look at it with my past thoughts, and ask myself how it came about. The
sensation is unimaginable. I picture fainting and lots of obstacles. I have the urge to take
it home without making a sound. I picture myself in it. The power it holds is so fierce it
captures my eyes and makes me feel weird. The photo was not easy, it is PURE
BEAUTY.
Louay M.

Here is a church in the west abandoned by the east but God and Jesus haven't given up.
The roads have rocks and dirt and old tire marks. The church seems hurt and the cabin
behind the doors have been locked but will open without a key. This church only needs
you and me.
Francine

STUDENT PROJECTS

Read School

To view work by student, choose the link below...

Ivan S...
artwork by student

Kevin S...
artwork by student

Unsigned...
artwork by student

Student writing inspired by viewing the Ansel Adams exhibit...

7TH GRADE

Write a poem from one of the scenes...

I hustle when the rain is falling
Yet silent that I stay
The others try to keep me company
Still silent that I lay
Nor do I need words for I believe
Color speaks for itself
For being different from the others
Helps this secret of mine, well kept.

Tall Building Sky
This picture makes me want to think about a Tall Building Sky. It has the sense of beauty
that has captured my eyes in a weird way. It has tones of white and gray. The whites
seem like the prettiness of a dove. It is a kind of building that you would want to visit -
that of a Tall Building Sky.
Zeluck F. Z.

Pure Beauty (Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite)
It has texture, but no color. It's more beautiful than others. It catches my deepest
feelings. I look at it with my past thoughts, and ask myself how it came about. The
sensation is unimaginable. I picture fainting and lots of obstacles. I have the urge to take
it home without making a sound. I picture myself in it. The power it holds is so fierce it
captures my eyes and makes me feel weird. The photo was not easy, it is PURE
BEAUTY.
Louay M.

Here is a church in the west abandoned by the east but God and Jesus haven't given up.
The roads have rocks and dirt and old tire marks. The church seems hurt and the cabin
behind the doors have been locked but will open without a key. This church only needs
you and me.
Francine

STUDENT PROJECTS

Middle School Talented and Gifted Students From Oxford and Derby

To view work by student, choose the link below...

GRADES 8 - 12

Writing Prompt: What do you observe in the photograph and how does it make you
feel?

Trailer Camp Children

The children look sad and lonely. They look as though they live in poverty. The oldest boy looks to be the provider and protector of the younger children. The older children almost seem to be ashamed of the state they were living in. The baby doesn't know any better so he's looking at the camera.
Ashleigh S., Oxford

It looks like these children are awestruck by something. Whatever light is illuminating their terrified faces provides no protection or distraction from what they have seen. The emotional faces are the focus of the picture but the background is black and irrelevant.
Anthony S., Derby


Prompt: Write a Diamante Poem

Ghost down
Deserted, tranquil
Dying, resting, wandering
Like an unreal dream
Exquisite
Valen D., Oxford

Void
Unreal, Frozen
Glinting, Stalking
Like a moon penetrating
Stunning
Megan Rose K., Oxford


Prompt: Write a postcard from this scene.

Mt. Williamson From Manzanar

I am looking over a vast plain of rocks with a gorgeous mountain in the background. It makes me see that we are all of different shapes, skies and colors. We all, however are all stretching out toward a common goal the pinnacle of success We are called different yet we are also the same.
Bret P., Derby

Rays of light illuminate the triangular fog filled mountains. A rock quarry surrounds me. All of the shiny marble rocks appear monolithic beside me. The heavens look as if they were crying their joy upon this very area. The mountains look like pyramids, ancient structures.
Uli W., Oxford


Prompt: Write about what moves you

Buddhist Graves

Silver is not just a stone
Or a color all alone
Silver is something more
Than just a hinge on a door
Silver is a single moon
Single shrub on barren dune
Silver is a tattered cloud,
Mountains skulking 'neath its shroud
Silver is a glinting light,
In the midst of petrifying night

STUDENT PROJECTS

Middle School Talented and Gifted Students From Oxford and Derby

To view work by student, choose the link below...

GRADES 8 - 12

Writing Prompt: What do you observe in the photograph and how does it make you
feel?

Trailer Camp Children

The children look sad and lonely. They look as though they live in poverty. The oldest boy looks to be the provider and protector of the younger children. The older children almost seem to be ashamed of the state they were living in. The baby doesn't know any better so he's looking at the camera.
Ashleigh S., Oxford

It looks like these children are awestruck by something. Whatever light is illuminating their terrified faces provides no protection or distraction from what they have seen. The emotional faces are the focus of the picture but the background is black and irrelevant.
Anthony S., Derby


Prompt: Write a Diamante Poem

Ghost down
Deserted, tranquil
Dying, resting, wandering
Like an unreal dream
Exquisite
Valen D., Oxford

Void
Unreal, Frozen
Glinting, Stalking
Like a moon penetrating
Stunning
Megan Rose K., Oxford


Prompt: Write a postcard from this scene.

Mt. Williamson From Manzanar

I am looking over a vast plain of rocks with a gorgeous mountain in the background. It makes me see that we are all of different shapes, skies and colors. We all, however are all stretching out toward a common goal the pinnacle of success We are called different yet we are also the same.
Bret P., Derby

Rays of light illuminate the triangular fog filled mountains. A rock quarry surrounds me. All of the shiny marble rocks appear monolithic beside me. The heavens look as if they were crying their joy upon this very area. The mountains look like pyramids, ancient structures.
Uli W., Oxford


Prompt: Write about what moves you

Buddhist Graves

Silver is not just a stone
Or a color all alone
Silver is something more
Than just a hinge on a door
Silver is a single moon
Single shrub on barren dune
Silver is a tattered cloud,
Mountains skulking 'neath its shroud
Silver is a glinting light,
In the midst of petrifying night

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927

Plate 2 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 2-4


A. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?
B. How did Adams visualize Monolith?
C. Was Monolith significant to Adams' "visualization theory?
D. How was his visualization carried out in the dark room?
E. Did Adams almost lose the negative of Monolith in a fire?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?

When Adams was twenty-five and weighed 125 pounds he spent a day climbing with friends and his fiancee, Virginia. He carried a great deal of photographic equipment. "Those were the days when I could climb thousands of feet with a heavy pack and think nothing of it….nothing daunted us."

When about noon they finally reached a view of Half Dome, it was in full shadow. Adams describes it in Elements as a "wondrous place… a great shelf of granite, slightly overhanging, and nearly 4000 feet above its base…the most exciting subject awaiting me." But he had already used or ruined nine of the twelve plates he carried that day. "In early mid-afternoon, while the sun was creeping upon it, I set up and composed my image…I did not have much space to move about in: an abyss was on my left, rocks and brush on my right."
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B. How did Adams visualize Monolith?

What he saw was "the majesty of the sculptural shape of the Dome in the solemn effect of half sunlight and half shadow." After taking the shot he realized that what he saw in his mind's eye would not be properly conveyed with the yellow filter he used. Now he had only one plate left. It had to work.

"I saw the photograph as a brooding form, with deep shadows and a distant sharp white peak against a dark sky." He realized that the only way to achieve this visualization was to use a deep red filter. Since the red filter reduced the light by a factor of 16, to allow enough light to hit the negative he had to keep the shutter open for a 5 seconds. "Fortunately there was no wind to disturb the camera during the long exposure."
...back to top

C. Was Monolith significant to Adams' "visualization" theory?

On this day in the early part of his career, Adams began to develop the theory of "visualization" that led to the Zone system. "This photograph represents my first conscious visualization; in my mind's eye I saw (with reasonable completeness) the final image as made with the red filter…The red filter did what I expected it to do." His knowledge of filters allowed him to produce a negative in which the sky is dark, creating the dramatic effect that corresponded with his feeling about the scene.
...back to top

D. How was his visualization carried out in the dark room?

Adams said he was able to "apply the numerous controls of the craft in precise ways that contribute to achieving the desired result." Adams continues to explain in Elements, "I can still recall the excitement of seeing the visualization 'come true' when I removed the plate from the fixing bath for examination. The desired values were all there in their beautiful negative interpretation. This was one of the most exciting moments of my photographic career."
...back to top

E. Did Adams almost lose the negative of Monolith in a fire?

Adams suffered a serious loss of his work in a darkroom fire in1937. He and a couple of friends with whom he had just returned from a hiking trip south of Yosemite, managed to save a good number, but many early images were burned. They spent several days washing and drying the salvaged ones. In Examples Adams describes, "The negative of Monolith was slightly damaged on the top and left-hand edge, and it was necessary to trim off about 1/4 inch from each…The negative is still printable…and is especially effective in a very large (40 X 50 inch) print."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects
  • Camera: 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 Korona View camera
  • Glass plates: Wratten Panchromatic
  • Lens: Tesar formula lens of 8 1/2 focal length
  • Filter: red Wratten No. 29 filter
  • Exposure: 5 seconds at f/22

...back to top

G. Related links in this site

  • Resources:
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
    • See Glossary: for definitions of vocabulary words and photography terms.

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927

Plate 2 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 2-4


A. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?
B. How did Adams visualize Monolith?
C. Was Monolith significant to Adams' "visualization theory?
D. How was his visualization carried out in the dark room?
E. Did Adams almost lose the negative of Monolith in a fire?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?

When Adams was twenty-five and weighed 125 pounds he spent a day climbing with friends and his fiancee, Virginia. He carried a great deal of photographic equipment. "Those were the days when I could climb thousands of feet with a heavy pack and think nothing of it….nothing daunted us."

When about noon they finally reached a view of Half Dome, it was in full shadow. Adams describes it in Elements as a "wondrous place… a great shelf of granite, slightly overhanging, and nearly 4000 feet above its base…the most exciting subject awaiting me." But he had already used or ruined nine of the twelve plates he carried that day. "In early mid-afternoon, while the sun was creeping upon it, I set up and composed my image…I did not have much space to move about in: an abyss was on my left, rocks and brush on my right."
...back to top

B. How did Adams visualize Monolith?

What he saw was "the majesty of the sculptural shape of the Dome in the solemn effect of half sunlight and half shadow." After taking the shot he realized that what he saw in his mind's eye would not be properly conveyed with the yellow filter he used. Now he had only one plate left. It had to work.

"I saw the photograph as a brooding form, with deep shadows and a distant sharp white peak against a dark sky." He realized that the only way to achieve this visualization was to use a deep red filter. Since the red filter reduced the light by a factor of 16, to allow enough light to hit the negative he had to keep the shutter open for a 5 seconds. "Fortunately there was no wind to disturb the camera during the long exposure."
...back to top

C. Was Monolith significant to Adams' "visualization" theory?

On this day in the early part of his career, Adams began to develop the theory of "visualization" that led to the Zone system. "This photograph represents my first conscious visualization; in my mind's eye I saw (with reasonable completeness) the final image as made with the red filter…The red filter did what I expected it to do." His knowledge of filters allowed him to produce a negative in which the sky is dark, creating the dramatic effect that corresponded with his feeling about the scene.
...back to top

D. How was his visualization carried out in the dark room?

Adams said he was able to "apply the numerous controls of the craft in precise ways that contribute to achieving the desired result." Adams continues to explain in Elements, "I can still recall the excitement of seeing the visualization 'come true' when I removed the plate from the fixing bath for examination. The desired values were all there in their beautiful negative interpretation. This was one of the most exciting moments of my photographic career."
...back to top

E. Did Adams almost lose the negative of Monolith in a fire?

Adams suffered a serious loss of his work in a darkroom fire in1937. He and a couple of friends with whom he had just returned from a hiking trip south of Yosemite, managed to save a good number, but many early images were burned. They spent several days washing and drying the salvaged ones. In Examples Adams describes, "The negative of Monolith was slightly damaged on the top and left-hand edge, and it was necessary to trim off about 1/4 inch from each…The negative is still printable…and is especially effective in a very large (40 X 50 inch) print."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects
  • Camera: 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 Korona View camera
  • Glass plates: Wratten Panchromatic
  • Lens: Tesar formula lens of 8 1/2 focal length
  • Filter: red Wratten No. 29 filter
  • Exposure: 5 seconds at f/22

...back to top

G. Related links in this site

  • Resources:
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
    • See Glossary: for definitions of vocabulary words and photography terms.

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929

Plate 32 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 90-93


A. What impressed Adams about this structure?
B. Why was this church included in his book Taos Pueblo?
C. What role did intuition play in this photograph and other by Adams?
D. How did Adams achieve such extraordinary luminosity?
E. Did Adams follow archival procedures?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. What impressed Adams about this structure?
When he first saw the church, Adams was impressed by it's "magnificent form" and its "rigorous and simple design and structure." The photograph of this church was shot from the rear, which was the angle that Adams thought made it "one of the great architectural monuments of America." He wrote in Elements, "it is not really large, but it appears immense. The forms are fully functional; the massive rear buttress and the secondary buttress to the left are organically related to the basic masses of adobe, and all together seem an outcropping of the earth rather than merely an object constructed upon it."
...back to top

B. Why was this church included in his book Taos Pueblo?
First published in 1930, Taos Pueblo included twelve original prints by Adams and text by Mary Austin. Though this church is not actually in the Pueblo, it held significance for the entire area. Constructed in 1776, it is in the little Mexican American settlement of Ranchos de Taos a few miles south of the Pueblo. It had been interpreted by many painters and photographers, and Adams said he could not resist the challenge.
...back to top

C. What role did intuition play in this photograph and other by Adams?
Adams wrote in Elements, "We should never deny the power of intuition or hesitate to follow its revelations... It is essential that the artist trust the mechanisms of both intellect and creative vision. The conscious introspective critical attitude has no place in the luminous moments of creative expression, but should be reserved for later, when the work is complete." He stated, "I seemed to know precisely the square yard of earth on which to place my tripod." He said, "Some intuitive thrust made this picture possible."
...back to top

D. How did Adams achieve such extraordinary luminosity?
Adams stated in Elements that "this image is an experience in light." He described how he had used yellow and red filters before in many images in special high-altitude light of the Southwest. "But on this occasion some gentle angel whispered 'no filter' and I obeyed." Taking the shot with no filter allowed the blue sky to appear quite light, and the shadows were softened... A darker sky would have depreciated the feeling of light." He asks a good question himself: "What mechanism of the eye and mind selects patterns and relationships in an unfamiliar world about us and composes them as expressive images?" He doesn't claim to have the answers.
...back to top

E. Did Adams follow archival procedures?
Adams chose the highest quality paper and equipment and held to the most rigorous standards of his craft from taking the photograph to making the print. "But," he wrote in Elements, "in those days we were not aware of archival procedures. Countless formulas, many based on bathtub chemistry, and arcane procedures flourished, and a few were effective."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 Korona View
  • Lens: 8 1/2 inch Tessar-type lens
  • Film: orhochromatic (sensitive only to blue and green light)
  • Filter: none
  • Paper: Dassonville Charcoal Black on mildly textured rag paper of highest quality Developer Amidol


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

  • Resources
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
  • About Photography
    • See Glossary for definitions of vocabulary words and photographic terms.

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, c. 1929

Plate 32 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 90-93


A. What impressed Adams about this structure?
B. Why was this church included in his book Taos Pueblo?
C. What role did intuition play in this photograph and other by Adams?
D. How did Adams achieve such extraordinary luminosity?
E. Did Adams follow archival procedures?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. What impressed Adams about this structure?
When he first saw the church, Adams was impressed by it's "magnificent form" and its "rigorous and simple design and structure." The photograph of this church was shot from the rear, which was the angle that Adams thought made it "one of the great architectural monuments of America." He wrote in Elements, "it is not really large, but it appears immense. The forms are fully functional; the massive rear buttress and the secondary buttress to the left are organically related to the basic masses of adobe, and all together seem an outcropping of the earth rather than merely an object constructed upon it."
...back to top

B. Why was this church included in his book Taos Pueblo?
First published in 1930, Taos Pueblo included twelve original prints by Adams and text by Mary Austin. Though this church is not actually in the Pueblo, it held significance for the entire area. Constructed in 1776, it is in the little Mexican American settlement of Ranchos de Taos a few miles south of the Pueblo. It had been interpreted by many painters and photographers, and Adams said he could not resist the challenge.
...back to top

C. What role did intuition play in this photograph and other by Adams?
Adams wrote in Elements, "We should never deny the power of intuition or hesitate to follow its revelations... It is essential that the artist trust the mechanisms of both intellect and creative vision. The conscious introspective critical attitude has no place in the luminous moments of creative expression, but should be reserved for later, when the work is complete." He stated, "I seemed to know precisely the square yard of earth on which to place my tripod." He said, "Some intuitive thrust made this picture possible."
...back to top

D. How did Adams achieve such extraordinary luminosity?
Adams stated in Elements that "this image is an experience in light." He described how he had used yellow and red filters before in many images in special high-altitude light of the Southwest. "But on this occasion some gentle angel whispered 'no filter' and I obeyed." Taking the shot with no filter allowed the blue sky to appear quite light, and the shadows were softened... A darker sky would have depreciated the feeling of light." He asks a good question himself: "What mechanism of the eye and mind selects patterns and relationships in an unfamiliar world about us and composes them as expressive images?" He doesn't claim to have the answers.
...back to top

E. Did Adams follow archival procedures?
Adams chose the highest quality paper and equipment and held to the most rigorous standards of his craft from taking the photograph to making the print. "But," he wrote in Elements, "in those days we were not aware of archival procedures. Countless formulas, many based on bathtub chemistry, and arcane procedures flourished, and a few were effective."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 Korona View
  • Lens: 8 1/2 inch Tessar-type lens
  • Film: orhochromatic (sensitive only to blue and green light)
  • Filter: none
  • Paper: Dassonville Charcoal Black on mildly textured rag paper of highest quality Developer Amidol


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

  • Resources
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
  • About Photography
    • See Glossary for definitions of vocabulary words and photographic terms.

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932
Plate 9 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 11-13


A. What do you observe?
B. Does the scene strike you the same as it did Ansel Adams?
C. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?
D. How did the philosophy of Group f/64 affect his vision?
E. What problems did he face in the years before he developed the Zone System?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. What do you observe?

This image is a striking organization of contrasting shapes, textures and values. The smooth reflecting water contrasts with the craggy cliff; the white floating ice and the black lake form a calm horizontal against the tense vertical of the abruptly rising gray rocks. The irregularly shaped mound of snow acts as a visual buffer. Adams used these elements of art - shape, texture, and value - to create a composition that, although of a recognizable subject, could be termed abstract.
...back to top

B. Does the scene strike you the same as it did Ansel Adams?

Are the looming cliffs, extreme cold and isolation threatening? Or are other feelings aroused, such as wonder and curiosity? Does the photograph stir any association or memories? Adams said in Examples, "…I believe I was able to express in this photograph the monumental qualities of the subject that I responded to so intensely at first sight." He asked himself the question, "why do I see certain events in the world about me that others do not see?" There were several good photographers nearby, and "the scene was before us all, but no one else responded with creative interest…With all art expression, when something is seen, it is a vivid experience, sudden, compelling and inevitable." The visualization is "called forth by some miracle of the mind-computer," not consciously, but is "a summation of total experience and instinct.".
...back to top

C. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?

On a hiking outing with the Sierra Club, in the most spectacular region of the Sierra, he came across this scene at what was later given the descriptive name of Precipice Lake, which lies at the base of Eagle Scout Peak. "The lake was partially frozen and snow banks rested in the recesses of the cliffs. I was impressed with the solemn beauty of the scene and saw the image quite clearly in my mind."
...back to top

D. How did the philosophy of Group f/64 affect his vision?

Adams joined with Edward Weston and other like-minded photographers who were disgusted with pictorialism, which they thought was soft-focused, romantic and sentimental and imitative of other media such as painting and drawing. They promoted straight" or "pure" photography, which they defined in their manifesto as photography that did not derive from any other art form, but must "develop along lines defined by the actualities and limitations of the photographic medium…"

James Alinder, in Ansel Adams - Classic Images, wrote that for Adams, Group/64 provided a unity of thought and style, and "proposed methods that would produce images with the most distinctively photographic characteristics." They used large 8X 10" negatives, lenses that gave extreme optical sharpness, and contact prints with a full tonal range. Adams' work underwent change. Adams took the group's convention of doing close-up views, and transferred it to landscape, his preferred subject, in Frozen Lake and Cliffs. Alinder observes, "Without a defining horizon, the frame filled with fragmented granite shapes takes on a new sense of abstraction."

Did Adams himself see this photograph as "abstract?' He says in Examples, "I was not conscious of any such definition at the time. I prefer the term extract over abstract, since I cannot change the optical realities but only manage them…For photographic compositions I think in terms of creating configurations out of chaos, rather than following any conventional rules of composition."
...back to top

E. What problems did he face in the years before he developed the Zone System?

Adams describes in Examples how "the deeply shadowed recesses of the cliffs contrasted with the blinding sunlit snow" and taxed his "intuition and the range of the film as well." The ice of the lake was glaring. He had not yet developed his Zone system, and couldn't precisely measure the luminance. He made an educated guess and "hoped for the best." He said he was "fortunate" in his results in these years of his "technical insufficiencies." After he developed the "Zone System, the guesswork was removed from unfamiliar situations, and good control of results became possible."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

Frozen Lake and Cliffs was taken early in his career when Adams said he "did not yet have the necessary craft to relate exposure and development precisely for optimum results." He had not yet developed the well-known Zone system. The negative is degraded from being developed in exhausted developer, which makes it "very difficult to print." It requires considerable craft in burning in areas to balance the tones. "Making the print involves the use of many controls and trials to obtain results that approximate what I saw and felt when I made the exposure." 

  • Camera: 4X 5 Korona View camera
  • Lens: 10-inch Goerz Double Anastigmat lens, with a component with a focal length of 19 inches, which gave him precisely the composition he visualized. A normal focal length of 6 1/4 inches would have included a much larger field of view.
  • Paper: Oriental Seagull Grade 4 

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Frozen Lake and Cliffs, The Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park, California, 1932
Plate 9 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 11-13


A. What do you observe?
B. Does the scene strike you the same as it did Ansel Adams?
C. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?
D. How did the philosophy of Group f/64 affect his vision?
E. What problems did he face in the years before he developed the Zone System?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. What do you observe?

This image is a striking organization of contrasting shapes, textures and values. The smooth reflecting water contrasts with the craggy cliff; the white floating ice and the black lake form a calm horizontal against the tense vertical of the abruptly rising gray rocks. The irregularly shaped mound of snow acts as a visual buffer. Adams used these elements of art - shape, texture, and value - to create a composition that, although of a recognizable subject, could be termed abstract.
...back to top

B. Does the scene strike you the same as it did Ansel Adams?

Are the looming cliffs, extreme cold and isolation threatening? Or are other feelings aroused, such as wonder and curiosity? Does the photograph stir any association or memories? Adams said in Examples, "…I believe I was able to express in this photograph the monumental qualities of the subject that I responded to so intensely at first sight." He asked himself the question, "why do I see certain events in the world about me that others do not see?" There were several good photographers nearby, and "the scene was before us all, but no one else responded with creative interest…With all art expression, when something is seen, it is a vivid experience, sudden, compelling and inevitable." The visualization is "called forth by some miracle of the mind-computer," not consciously, but is "a summation of total experience and instinct.".
...back to top

C. How did Adams arrive at taking this photograph?

On a hiking outing with the Sierra Club, in the most spectacular region of the Sierra, he came across this scene at what was later given the descriptive name of Precipice Lake, which lies at the base of Eagle Scout Peak. "The lake was partially frozen and snow banks rested in the recesses of the cliffs. I was impressed with the solemn beauty of the scene and saw the image quite clearly in my mind."
...back to top

D. How did the philosophy of Group f/64 affect his vision?

Adams joined with Edward Weston and other like-minded photographers who were disgusted with pictorialism, which they thought was soft-focused, romantic and sentimental and imitative of other media such as painting and drawing. They promoted straight" or "pure" photography, which they defined in their manifesto as photography that did not derive from any other art form, but must "develop along lines defined by the actualities and limitations of the photographic medium…"

James Alinder, in Ansel Adams - Classic Images, wrote that for Adams, Group/64 provided a unity of thought and style, and "proposed methods that would produce images with the most distinctively photographic characteristics." They used large 8X 10" negatives, lenses that gave extreme optical sharpness, and contact prints with a full tonal range. Adams' work underwent change. Adams took the group's convention of doing close-up views, and transferred it to landscape, his preferred subject, in Frozen Lake and Cliffs. Alinder observes, "Without a defining horizon, the frame filled with fragmented granite shapes takes on a new sense of abstraction."

Did Adams himself see this photograph as "abstract?' He says in Examples, "I was not conscious of any such definition at the time. I prefer the term extract over abstract, since I cannot change the optical realities but only manage them…For photographic compositions I think in terms of creating configurations out of chaos, rather than following any conventional rules of composition."
...back to top

E. What problems did he face in the years before he developed the Zone System?

Adams describes in Examples how "the deeply shadowed recesses of the cliffs contrasted with the blinding sunlit snow" and taxed his "intuition and the range of the film as well." The ice of the lake was glaring. He had not yet developed his Zone system, and couldn't precisely measure the luminance. He made an educated guess and "hoped for the best." He said he was "fortunate" in his results in these years of his "technical insufficiencies." After he developed the "Zone System, the guesswork was removed from unfamiliar situations, and good control of results became possible."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

Frozen Lake and Cliffs was taken early in his career when Adams said he "did not yet have the necessary craft to relate exposure and development precisely for optimum results." He had not yet developed the well-known Zone system. The negative is degraded from being developed in exhausted developer, which makes it "very difficult to print." It requires considerable craft in burning in areas to balance the tones. "Making the print involves the use of many controls and trials to obtain results that approximate what I saw and felt when I made the exposure." 

  • Camera: 4X 5 Korona View camera
  • Lens: 10-inch Goerz Double Anastigmat lens, with a component with a focal length of 19 inches, which gave him precisely the composition he visualized. A normal focal length of 6 1/4 inches would have included a much larger field of view.
  • Paper: Oriental Seagull Grade 4 

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as an Acrobat Reader PDF file, click on the image...

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938
Plate 12 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams- An Autobiography; and Ansel Adams - Classic Images, and Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, p 113 (on close-ups in general). Please see Bibliography.


A. Why did Adams take close-ups of nature?
B. Does the poet Whitman share Adams' love of details?
C. Were his close-ups appreciated by others?
D. Is the subject dominant in photography?
E. What's the difference between taking close-ups in the studio or in nature?
F. Related links in this site


A. Why did Adams take close-ups of nature?
Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature. The creative photographers of the early twentieth century were known for close-up shots and he followed suit. He wrote poetically in his autobiography, "One can never assert the superiority ... of torrents swollen by the floods of spring against the quiescent scintillations of an autumn stream."
...back to top

B. Does the poet Whitman share Adams' love of details?
Adams quoted an American poet who shared his tendency to look for beauty in small and unassuming places as well as in the grand and dramatic.

"These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distant and in its place."
From "Miracles," by Walt Whitman
...back to top

C. Were his close-ups appreciated by others?
While he himself found "subtle beauty in quiet, simple things," it was typical of "modern conceit to demand the maximum dimension." He believed that people in Asia involved with aesthetics "would never question the exquisite charm of those pale threads of water patterned on shining stone," but that Americans' preference for the "theatrical" limits their appreciation of the beauty in small details.

Adams was disturbed by this attitude even among some close acquaintances. They could see a "grand vision in a photograph of a mountain", for instance, but not in fragments or details of nature. Adams says that to them, "A close-up composition of a pinecone" was "simply not as important as a whole tree."
...back to top

D. Is the subject dominant in photography?
Adams conceded that for most people the subject matter is the dominant consideration in any photograph. The successful transmission of more sophisticated creative concepts "depends upon the sensitivity of the viewer." A photograph begins to lose some of its illusion of realism when taken in black and white because the reality around us is in color. The more the photographer focuses on the beauty of the light, texture, shape, value and other formal elements, the less the image is tied to the reality of the subject.
...back to top

E. What's the difference between taking close-ups in the studio or in nature?
Adams wrote in Examples that a composition that is arranged in the studio is "contrived" and is "a synthetic creation in that it involves putting together elements to make an argreeable arrangement." On the other hand, a composition from the external world, is "created by an analytic process in that we select and manage the elements of the photograph in the existing surround."
...back to top

F. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as an Acrobat Reader PDF file, click on the image...

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Dogwood, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938
Plate 12 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams- An Autobiography; and Ansel Adams - Classic Images, and Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, p 113 (on close-ups in general). Please see Bibliography.


A. Why did Adams take close-ups of nature?
B. Does the poet Whitman share Adams' love of details?
C. Were his close-ups appreciated by others?
D. Is the subject dominant in photography?
E. What's the difference between taking close-ups in the studio or in nature?
F. Related links in this site


A. Why did Adams take close-ups of nature?
Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature. The creative photographers of the early twentieth century were known for close-up shots and he followed suit. He wrote poetically in his autobiography, "One can never assert the superiority ... of torrents swollen by the floods of spring against the quiescent scintillations of an autumn stream."
...back to top

B. Does the poet Whitman share Adams' love of details?
Adams quoted an American poet who shared his tendency to look for beauty in small and unassuming places as well as in the grand and dramatic.

"These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distant and in its place."
From "Miracles," by Walt Whitman
...back to top

C. Were his close-ups appreciated by others?
While he himself found "subtle beauty in quiet, simple things," it was typical of "modern conceit to demand the maximum dimension." He believed that people in Asia involved with aesthetics "would never question the exquisite charm of those pale threads of water patterned on shining stone," but that Americans' preference for the "theatrical" limits their appreciation of the beauty in small details.

Adams was disturbed by this attitude even among some close acquaintances. They could see a "grand vision in a photograph of a mountain", for instance, but not in fragments or details of nature. Adams says that to them, "A close-up composition of a pinecone" was "simply not as important as a whole tree."
...back to top

D. Is the subject dominant in photography?
Adams conceded that for most people the subject matter is the dominant consideration in any photograph. The successful transmission of more sophisticated creative concepts "depends upon the sensitivity of the viewer." A photograph begins to lose some of its illusion of realism when taken in black and white because the reality around us is in color. The more the photographer focuses on the beauty of the light, texture, shape, value and other formal elements, the less the image is tied to the reality of the subject.
...back to top

E. What's the difference between taking close-ups in the studio or in nature?
Adams wrote in Examples that a composition that is arranged in the studio is "contrived" and is "a synthetic creation in that it involves putting together elements to make an argreeable arrangement." On the other hand, a composition from the external world, is "created by an analytic process in that we select and manage the elements of the photograph in the existing surround."
...back to top

F. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
Plate 37 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography, p. 247; Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 56-58


A. What did Adams see when he arrived to take the shot?
B. How and why did Adams photograph Sand Dunes at sunrise?
C. Why do you think photographers find deserts a difficult subject?
D. What does it mean to "visualize" the photograph in the mind's eye?
E. Why is Sand Dunes a photograph sometimes termed abstract?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site

A. What did Adams see when he arrived to take the shot?
First, what do YOU see when you first look at the photograph? Adams describes in Examples what he saw: "A searing sun rose over the Funeral Range, and I knew it was to be a hot day. Fortunately I had just arrived at a location where an exciting composition was unfolding. The red-golden light struck the dunes, and their crests became slightly diffuse with sand gently blowing in the early wind." In his autobiography he adds, "Just then, almost magically, I saw an image become substance: the light of sunrise traced a perfect line down a dune that alternatively glowed with the light and receded in shadow."
...back to top

B. How and why did Adams photograph Sand Dunes at sunrise?
Adams described how he was able to be on the spot just as the sun rose. He parked nearby and spent the night sleeping on top of his car. "Arising long before dawn, I made some coffee and reheated some beans, then gathered my equipment and started on the rather arduous walk through the dunes." Adams termed the effect of the dune sunrise "legendary." He had tried to get there for that special moment several times before, struggling "through the steep sands with a heavy pack only to find (he) was too late for the light." On this morning he just made it on time. Fifteen minutes after he made his exposure, "the light flattened out on the dunes."
...back to top

C. Why do you think photographers find deserts a difficult subject?
Ansel Adams wrote about the light. "For most photographers Death Valley presents difficulties. The desert experience is primarily one of light; heroic, sunlit desolation and sharp intense shadows are the basic characteristics of the scene... In many desert photographs of sunlit subjects, the shadows appear as empty black areas." Adams also wrote about the shifting sands. "The dunes are constantly changing, and there is no selected place to return to after weeks or months have passed." Another difficulty can be strong winds that blow the sands about and damage the lens. And of course there's the extreme heat that makes it uncomfortable for the photographer and can damage film.
...back to top

D. What does it mean to "visualize" the photograph in the mind's eye?
Adams understood his craft and the entire process of developing and printing so well that he would "visualize" the end result he desired. He then used his light meter to determine scientifically the intensity of the light. About Sand Dunes, he said, "we should thus visualize the desired shadow values and adjust exposure and development of the negative thereto."

Does the human eye or the camera capture a truer picture? According to Adams, the eye actually "perceives great luminosity and texture" in shadows in deserts. Through the limitations of the camera apparatus, shadows appear almost solid black which is "visually untrue.
...back to top

E. Why is Sand Dunes a photograph sometimes termed abstract?
What struck you first when you looked at it? The shapes? The tones? The textures? These are elements of art that apply to most images, whether we can recognize the subject (figurative) or not (abstract). When artists arrange formal elements in aesthetic (artful) ways so that they please the eye, often the result is an effect of abstraction. Did you recognize that the image was of sand dunes at first? Is it an "important" subject? Not really, not like a mighty mountain or famous person or historical event. What's important in this photograph is the way of SEEING. The choices the artist made about angle and lighting and composition (the way the shapes and textures are arranged) make it an exquisite image.
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Lens: 7 " Dagor lens.
  • Film: 4X 5 Kodachrome, Kodak Plus-X filmpack film at ASA 64
  • Filter: Wratten No. 8 (K2) filter
  • Exposure: 1/8 second at f/22-32.
  • Development: Normal-plus-one development


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
Plate 37 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography, p. 247; Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 56-58


A. What did Adams see when he arrived to take the shot?
B. How and why did Adams photograph Sand Dunes at sunrise?
C. Why do you think photographers find deserts a difficult subject?
D. What does it mean to "visualize" the photograph in the mind's eye?
E. Why is Sand Dunes a photograph sometimes termed abstract?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site

A. What did Adams see when he arrived to take the shot?
First, what do YOU see when you first look at the photograph? Adams describes in Examples what he saw: "A searing sun rose over the Funeral Range, and I knew it was to be a hot day. Fortunately I had just arrived at a location where an exciting composition was unfolding. The red-golden light struck the dunes, and their crests became slightly diffuse with sand gently blowing in the early wind." In his autobiography he adds, "Just then, almost magically, I saw an image become substance: the light of sunrise traced a perfect line down a dune that alternatively glowed with the light and receded in shadow."
...back to top

B. How and why did Adams photograph Sand Dunes at sunrise?
Adams described how he was able to be on the spot just as the sun rose. He parked nearby and spent the night sleeping on top of his car. "Arising long before dawn, I made some coffee and reheated some beans, then gathered my equipment and started on the rather arduous walk through the dunes." Adams termed the effect of the dune sunrise "legendary." He had tried to get there for that special moment several times before, struggling "through the steep sands with a heavy pack only to find (he) was too late for the light." On this morning he just made it on time. Fifteen minutes after he made his exposure, "the light flattened out on the dunes."
...back to top

C. Why do you think photographers find deserts a difficult subject?
Ansel Adams wrote about the light. "For most photographers Death Valley presents difficulties. The desert experience is primarily one of light; heroic, sunlit desolation and sharp intense shadows are the basic characteristics of the scene... In many desert photographs of sunlit subjects, the shadows appear as empty black areas." Adams also wrote about the shifting sands. "The dunes are constantly changing, and there is no selected place to return to after weeks or months have passed." Another difficulty can be strong winds that blow the sands about and damage the lens. And of course there's the extreme heat that makes it uncomfortable for the photographer and can damage film.
...back to top

D. What does it mean to "visualize" the photograph in the mind's eye?
Adams understood his craft and the entire process of developing and printing so well that he would "visualize" the end result he desired. He then used his light meter to determine scientifically the intensity of the light. About Sand Dunes, he said, "we should thus visualize the desired shadow values and adjust exposure and development of the negative thereto."

Does the human eye or the camera capture a truer picture? According to Adams, the eye actually "perceives great luminosity and texture" in shadows in deserts. Through the limitations of the camera apparatus, shadows appear almost solid black which is "visually untrue.
...back to top

E. Why is Sand Dunes a photograph sometimes termed abstract?
What struck you first when you looked at it? The shapes? The tones? The textures? These are elements of art that apply to most images, whether we can recognize the subject (figurative) or not (abstract). When artists arrange formal elements in aesthetic (artful) ways so that they please the eye, often the result is an effect of abstraction. Did you recognize that the image was of sand dunes at first? Is it an "important" subject? Not really, not like a mighty mountain or famous person or historical event. What's important in this photograph is the way of SEEING. The choices the artist made about angle and lighting and composition (the way the shapes and textures are arranged) make it an exquisite image.
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Lens: 7 " Dagor lens.
  • Film: 4X 5 Kodachrome, Kodak Plus-X filmpack film at ASA 64
  • Filter: Wratten No. 8 (K2) filter
  • Exposure: 1/8 second at f/22-32.
  • Development: Normal-plus-one development


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940
Plate 29 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 23-26


A. How did Adams arrive at taking Surf Sequence?
B. Why is Surf Sequence significant?
C. What special problems and opportunities did the subject bring?
D. What difficulties were presented during printing?
E. How did Adams meet the darkroom challenges?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. How did Adams arrive at taking Surf Sequence?
One morning Adams was driving along the coast and frequently stopped the car to look out from the cliffs at the lively surf below. "At one location I noted that below me was a nice curve of rockfall fronting the beach. The surf was streaming over the beach, barely touching the rocks and creating one beautiful pattern after another. I realized that I could perehaps make a series of images that might become a sequence..." He set up his camera and waited for an "appealing arrangement of flowing water and foam."
...back to top

B. Why is Surf Sequence significant?
According to James Alinder in his introduction to Ansel Adams - Classic Images, the book on which this exhibition is based, this series is the product of one of his "most innovative moments... It has quiet musical and poetic changes," relating to his love of music and poetry. Alinder add that "Adams created a consecutive image relationship that was unprecedented, one that prefigured sequential concerns among creative photographrs some thirty years later."
...back to top

C. What special problems and opportunities did the subject bring?
The weather concerned Adams. "It was a crisp shining day with an approaching band of fog over the sea. There was a question of exposure because as the white water came in and out, the light readings varied. He chose an average. This subject was moving, unlike most of his other subjects. He set the shutter at a fast speed, at 1/100 second. The movement caused Adams to "try to anticipate the position of these moving shapes in time." He failed with several of the exposures, ending up with five satisfactory compositions out of nine negatives made. The movement presented a new opportunity for Adams - the possibility of sequential patterns. Adams became "aware of the relation of one image to those preceding and following," as he imagined the final prints. He believes they can be displayed in any order desired.
...back to top

D. What difficulties were presented during printing?
Adams said that printing was not as easy as expected. If the prints were to be shown as a sequence, there was need for tonal balance. But the density was not even in each negative for two reasons due to the conditions during the twenty minutes during which Adams took all five exposures. The first reason was that "the sun continued to rise and the general luminance value increased; each negative was a bit more exposed than the preceding one..." The second reason was that as "foam and water receded from the beach, the revealed sand would change value , gradually growing lighter as the sand absorbed the water. After the next wave it would return to its darker value." Another problem was that he found on three of the negatives a distracting detail..
...back to top

E. How did Adams meet the darkroom challenges?
In addition to trying combinations of various papers and developers (see technical aspects), he engaged in "rather intricate dodging and burning." This means he increased (burning), or decreased (dodging) the light from the enlarger through the negative to the photographic paper to achieve the balance of values he visualized. In this case he also used cropping. Because he wanted all five prints to be precisely the same size, and he had to crop (cut off) the right side of three of the prints to eliminate a distracting shape, he had to crop all five. He says this attention to small detail is a matter of his "desire for perfection."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 4 X 5 view camera
  • Film: ASA 64
  • Lens: 10-inch (250mm) Dagor - long focus
  • Light meter: Weston. Set for an average of 200 candles per square foot
  • Exposure: 1/100 second at f/11
  • Paper: Agfa Brovira Grade 3 with Kodak D-23 Developer
    Then Ilford Gallerie Grade 1 with quite full development in Dektol
    Grade 3 Gallerie with Kodak Selectrol-Soft developer
  • Toning: All prints were toned in selenium

To correct for darkroom difficulties, if he were to retake the photograph he would use:

  • Camera: Hasselblad with the prism finder
  • Lens: 120 mm or 150 mm
  • Film: medium speed, Plus X
  • Exposure: very fast shutter speed to arrest motion
  • Developer: Normal-plus-one in fairly concentrated developer solution.


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Surf Sequence 4, San Mateo County Coast, California, c.1940
Plate 29 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 23-26


A. How did Adams arrive at taking Surf Sequence?
B. Why is Surf Sequence significant?
C. What special problems and opportunities did the subject bring?
D. What difficulties were presented during printing?
E. How did Adams meet the darkroom challenges?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. How did Adams arrive at taking Surf Sequence?
One morning Adams was driving along the coast and frequently stopped the car to look out from the cliffs at the lively surf below. "At one location I noted that below me was a nice curve of rockfall fronting the beach. The surf was streaming over the beach, barely touching the rocks and creating one beautiful pattern after another. I realized that I could perehaps make a series of images that might become a sequence..." He set up his camera and waited for an "appealing arrangement of flowing water and foam."
...back to top

B. Why is Surf Sequence significant?
According to James Alinder in his introduction to Ansel Adams - Classic Images, the book on which this exhibition is based, this series is the product of one of his "most innovative moments... It has quiet musical and poetic changes," relating to his love of music and poetry. Alinder add that "Adams created a consecutive image relationship that was unprecedented, one that prefigured sequential concerns among creative photographrs some thirty years later."
...back to top

C. What special problems and opportunities did the subject bring?
The weather concerned Adams. "It was a crisp shining day with an approaching band of fog over the sea. There was a question of exposure because as the white water came in and out, the light readings varied. He chose an average. This subject was moving, unlike most of his other subjects. He set the shutter at a fast speed, at 1/100 second. The movement caused Adams to "try to anticipate the position of these moving shapes in time." He failed with several of the exposures, ending up with five satisfactory compositions out of nine negatives made. The movement presented a new opportunity for Adams - the possibility of sequential patterns. Adams became "aware of the relation of one image to those preceding and following," as he imagined the final prints. He believes they can be displayed in any order desired.
...back to top

D. What difficulties were presented during printing?
Adams said that printing was not as easy as expected. If the prints were to be shown as a sequence, there was need for tonal balance. But the density was not even in each negative for two reasons due to the conditions during the twenty minutes during which Adams took all five exposures. The first reason was that "the sun continued to rise and the general luminance value increased; each negative was a bit more exposed than the preceding one..." The second reason was that as "foam and water receded from the beach, the revealed sand would change value , gradually growing lighter as the sand absorbed the water. After the next wave it would return to its darker value." Another problem was that he found on three of the negatives a distracting detail..
...back to top

E. How did Adams meet the darkroom challenges?
In addition to trying combinations of various papers and developers (see technical aspects), he engaged in "rather intricate dodging and burning." This means he increased (burning), or decreased (dodging) the light from the enlarger through the negative to the photographic paper to achieve the balance of values he visualized. In this case he also used cropping. Because he wanted all five prints to be precisely the same size, and he had to crop (cut off) the right side of three of the prints to eliminate a distracting shape, he had to crop all five. He says this attention to small detail is a matter of his "desire for perfection."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 4 X 5 view camera
  • Film: ASA 64
  • Lens: 10-inch (250mm) Dagor - long focus
  • Light meter: Weston. Set for an average of 200 candles per square foot
  • Exposure: 1/100 second at f/11
  • Paper: Agfa Brovira Grade 3 with Kodak D-23 Developer
    Then Ilford Gallerie Grade 1 with quite full development in Dektol
    Grade 3 Gallerie with Kodak Selectrol-Soft developer
  • Toning: All prints were toned in selenium

To correct for darkroom difficulties, if he were to retake the photograph he would use:

  • Camera: Hasselblad with the prism finder
  • Lens: 120 mm or 150 mm
  • Film: medium speed, Plus X
  • Exposure: very fast shutter speed to arrest motion
  • Developer: Normal-plus-one in fairly concentrated developer solution.


...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
Plate 32 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 41-43


A. Why do you think this is the most famous photograph by Ansel Adams?
B. How did chance lead him to take this photograph?
C. How did scientific analysis of the moon help Adams date this photograph?
D. How important is "the moment" in photography?
E. Once the photograph is taken, is the development and printing a mechanical process?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. Why do you think this is the most famous photograph by Ansel Adams?
What do you notice first? The white clouds? The moon in a black sky? The white gravestones? The mountains? What feeling do you get from all these elements put together?

Do you notice how the photograph is divided according to the "Rule of Thirds?"
Many artists believe it is boring to look at images that are absolutely symmetrical, with images divided exactly in half. In Moonrise, Adams has stimulated our eye by offering three layers, each with a different tone: the black sky, the white clouds, and the gray landscape. Adams made an interesting composition, which became very popular.

Moonrise is "certainly my most popular single image", said Adams. It "combined serendipity and immediate technical recall." Serendipity means lucky chance. He "felt at the time it was an exceptional image" and when he took it, he felt "an almost prophetic sense of satisfaction."

Are photographs sold like paintings? What value do they have? There are patrons and collectors of photographs as well as for other fine arts. Ansel Adams was lucky to have attracted many influential and wealthy people who financed the production of the portfolios of his work, who arranged for exhibitions, and who purchased his work. When he was a young creative photographer, his original prints sold for $10, and in the 1960s for $50 - $100. The price for a print of Moonrise in the early 1970s was $500. Then the value of the creative photographs of Ansel Adams skyrocketed. At an auction in 1981, the sale of Moonrise set a record price for a photograph - $71,500!
...back to top

B. How did chance lead him to take this photograph?
Ansel Adams was returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico after a discouraging day of photography. From the highway he glanced left and "saw an extraordinary situation - an inevitable photograph! I almost ditched the car and rushed to set up my 8 X 10" camera. I was yelling to my companions to bring me things from the car…I had a clear visualization of the image I wanted but…I could not find my exposure meter! The situation was desperate: the low sun was trailing the edge of clouds in the west, and shadow would soon dim the white crosses." He felt at a loss to guess the correct exposure, but suddenly realized he knew the luminance of the moon and quickly took the shot.
...back to top

C. How did scientific analysis of the moon help Adams date this photograph?
Adams said he often disregarded the dates of his negatives, causing dismay among historians. Moonrise was dated anywhere between 1940 and 1944. "Dr. Elmore of the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, Colorado, put a computer to work on the problem. Using data from a visit to the site, analysis of the moon's position in the photograph, and lunar azimuth tables, he determined that the exposure was made at approximately 4:05 P.M. on October 31, 1941."
...back to top

D. How important is "the moment" in photography?
Adams and wanted to take a second shot because he realized he had "an unusual photograph which deserved a duplicate negative." But he was a few seconds too late! "The sunlight passed from the white crosses." It can be very frustrating for a photographer to miss an expression, a movement, or the right light. Luckily, conditions were just right for the one precious shot and Moonrise is the fortunate result. Adams said it "is a romantic/emotional moment in time."
...back to top

E. Once the photograph is taken, is the development and printing a mechanical process?
No, it is not mechanical. Although there is a procedure, there is much judgment involved on the part of the artist. Ansel said that the negative for Moonrise was difficult to print. He tried many methods using different chemicals and times and papers. With the negative in the enlarger, he increased the light hitting certain areas (burning-in) which made the sky blacker and the clouds less bright so the moon would stand out more. With all these artistic adjustments, Adams said "it is safe to say that no two prints are precisely the same."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 8 X 10 view camera
  • Lens: Cooke triple convertible lens.
  • Light meter: lost!
  • Film: Speed: ASA 64
  • Filter: Wratten No. 15 (G) filter
  • Exposure: 1 second at f/32.
  • Development: dilute D-23 and ten developer to water sequences.
    Years later - refixed, washed the negative, and treated the lower section with a dilute solution of Kodak IN-5 intensifier.

...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
Plate 32 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Main Source: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, pp 41-43


A. Why do you think this is the most famous photograph by Ansel Adams?
B. How did chance lead him to take this photograph?
C. How did scientific analysis of the moon help Adams date this photograph?
D. How important is "the moment" in photography?
E. Once the photograph is taken, is the development and printing a mechanical process?
F. Technical Aspects
G. Related links in this site


A. Why do you think this is the most famous photograph by Ansel Adams?
What do you notice first? The white clouds? The moon in a black sky? The white gravestones? The mountains? What feeling do you get from all these elements put together?

Do you notice how the photograph is divided according to the "Rule of Thirds?"
Many artists believe it is boring to look at images that are absolutely symmetrical, with images divided exactly in half. In Moonrise, Adams has stimulated our eye by offering three layers, each with a different tone: the black sky, the white clouds, and the gray landscape. Adams made an interesting composition, which became very popular.

Moonrise is "certainly my most popular single image", said Adams. It "combined serendipity and immediate technical recall." Serendipity means lucky chance. He "felt at the time it was an exceptional image" and when he took it, he felt "an almost prophetic sense of satisfaction."

Are photographs sold like paintings? What value do they have? There are patrons and collectors of photographs as well as for other fine arts. Ansel Adams was lucky to have attracted many influential and wealthy people who financed the production of the portfolios of his work, who arranged for exhibitions, and who purchased his work. When he was a young creative photographer, his original prints sold for $10, and in the 1960s for $50 - $100. The price for a print of Moonrise in the early 1970s was $500. Then the value of the creative photographs of Ansel Adams skyrocketed. At an auction in 1981, the sale of Moonrise set a record price for a photograph - $71,500!
...back to top

B. How did chance lead him to take this photograph?
Ansel Adams was returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico after a discouraging day of photography. From the highway he glanced left and "saw an extraordinary situation - an inevitable photograph! I almost ditched the car and rushed to set up my 8 X 10" camera. I was yelling to my companions to bring me things from the car…I had a clear visualization of the image I wanted but…I could not find my exposure meter! The situation was desperate: the low sun was trailing the edge of clouds in the west, and shadow would soon dim the white crosses." He felt at a loss to guess the correct exposure, but suddenly realized he knew the luminance of the moon and quickly took the shot.
...back to top

C. How did scientific analysis of the moon help Adams date this photograph?
Adams said he often disregarded the dates of his negatives, causing dismay among historians. Moonrise was dated anywhere between 1940 and 1944. "Dr. Elmore of the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, Colorado, put a computer to work on the problem. Using data from a visit to the site, analysis of the moon's position in the photograph, and lunar azimuth tables, he determined that the exposure was made at approximately 4:05 P.M. on October 31, 1941."
...back to top

D. How important is "the moment" in photography?
Adams and wanted to take a second shot because he realized he had "an unusual photograph which deserved a duplicate negative." But he was a few seconds too late! "The sunlight passed from the white crosses." It can be very frustrating for a photographer to miss an expression, a movement, or the right light. Luckily, conditions were just right for the one precious shot and Moonrise is the fortunate result. Adams said it "is a romantic/emotional moment in time."
...back to top

E. Once the photograph is taken, is the development and printing a mechanical process?
No, it is not mechanical. Although there is a procedure, there is much judgment involved on the part of the artist. Ansel said that the negative for Moonrise was difficult to print. He tried many methods using different chemicals and times and papers. With the negative in the enlarger, he increased the light hitting certain areas (burning-in) which made the sky blacker and the clouds less bright so the moon would stand out more. With all these artistic adjustments, Adams said "it is safe to say that no two prints are precisely the same."
...back to top

F. Technical Aspects

  • Camera: 8 X 10 view camera
  • Lens: Cooke triple convertible lens.
  • Light meter: lost!
  • Film: Speed: ASA 64
  • Filter: Wratten No. 15 (G) filter
  • Exposure: 1 second at f/32.
  • Development: dilute D-23 and ten developer to water sequences.
    Years later - refixed, washed the negative, and treated the lower section with a dilute solution of Kodak IN-5 intensifier.

...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944
Plate 50 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Source: Chapter 17, Documentary Photography in Ansel Adams - An Autobiography pp 257- 269 (See Bibliography under Resources.)


A. What Do You See in This Photograph?
B. Did Adams often Take Photographs Like This?
C. Why Did Adams take Documentary Photography?
D. Is Trailer Camp Children Art?
E. What Was His Most Well-Known Documentary?
F. Did Adams Dislike Documentary Photography?
G. Related links in this site

A. What Do You See in This Photograph?

  • How old are these children?
  • Where are their parents?
  • What would it be like to live in a trailer?
  • Do you think the children are hungry or not? Why?
  • What details do you notice?
  • Choose one child; what would he or she be thinking?


...back to top

B. Did Adams often Take Photographs Like This?
This is an unusual photograph for Ansel Adams, who is known for his images of nature. Yet he was outspoken in his political views. In 1983, Adams told an interviewer:

American society has "consistently overlooked the enormous importance of the farmer, the technician, the educator, the artist, and the laborer...I'm calling for greater equality to all citizens."


...back to top

C. Why Did Adams take Documentary Photography?
Documentary photography was very popular in American in the middle of the 20th century. In the 1930s Life magazine started and "helped expand the photograph as document into full visual essays with heart and social intention, nourishing the new American photo-journalist." In 1934 Adams met Margaret Bourke-White, one of the most successful photographers with Life magazine. Adams needed to do commercial photography in order to make a living, and most of his assignments came from Life or Fortune Magazine.

Adams partnered with Dorothea Lange for a number of stories. She had become well-known for her "great" photograph, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1938, which Adams considered compelling because of its art and documentary value. Lange was working as a photographer in the Farm Security Administration (FSA) project during the Depression.

One joint assignment with Lange for Fortune was on the agricultural situation in San Joaquin Valley of California. They were instructed to stress agribusiness, but Dorothea depicted the far less privileged small farmer, while Adams was "left with the large farms and the corporate spirit." Afterwards he had a clearer vision of the struggle. Always sensitive to nature, he said, "over exploitation will exhaust our soil and water and is certain to impoverish California..."
...back to top

D. Is Trailer Camp Children Art?
Photographs of people are a small part of the work for which Adams is most known. Here in this portrait of transient children, he reveals his social conscience. Although an image with political ramifications, Adams used his knowledge of art to capture moving expressions, organize the composition, and visualize the range gray tones.
...back to top

E. What Was His Most Well-Known Documentary?
Adams took pictures of the Japanese-Americans detained during World War II in the Manzanar Relocation Center in California . He published a book in 1944, Born Free and Equal, with his photographs and text critical of the detention. "I was profoundly affected by Manzanar." He found it very disturbing, but chose to emphasize the "admirable strength of spirit of the Nisei." Born Free and Equal was his first attempt at "the photographic essay" (telling the story with images). Adams found the form to be "the most complex task in (his) professional career."
...back to top

F. Did Adams Dislike Documentary Photography?
For Adams the form had limitations. In a letter to Dorothea lange in 1962, he wrote, "The connotations of much of documentary photography are - to me - quite rigid...I resent being told that certain things have significance...I resent the implications that unless photography has a politico-social function it is not of value to people at large. I resent the very obvious dislike of elements of beauty." Adams praised Lange as a "fine artist" which he said was "more important to the world than being merely an extension of a sociological movement."
...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Trailer Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944
Plate 50 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Source: Chapter 17, Documentary Photography in Ansel Adams - An Autobiography pp 257- 269 (See Bibliography under Resources.)


A. What Do You See in This Photograph?
B. Did Adams often Take Photographs Like This?
C. Why Did Adams take Documentary Photography?
D. Is Trailer Camp Children Art?
E. What Was His Most Well-Known Documentary?
F. Did Adams Dislike Documentary Photography?
G. Related links in this site

A. What Do You See in This Photograph?

  • How old are these children?
  • Where are their parents?
  • What would it be like to live in a trailer?
  • Do you think the children are hungry or not? Why?
  • What details do you notice?
  • Choose one child; what would he or she be thinking?


...back to top

B. Did Adams often Take Photographs Like This?
This is an unusual photograph for Ansel Adams, who is known for his images of nature. Yet he was outspoken in his political views. In 1983, Adams told an interviewer:

American society has "consistently overlooked the enormous importance of the farmer, the technician, the educator, the artist, and the laborer...I'm calling for greater equality to all citizens."


...back to top

C. Why Did Adams take Documentary Photography?
Documentary photography was very popular in American in the middle of the 20th century. In the 1930s Life magazine started and "helped expand the photograph as document into full visual essays with heart and social intention, nourishing the new American photo-journalist." In 1934 Adams met Margaret Bourke-White, one of the most successful photographers with Life magazine. Adams needed to do commercial photography in order to make a living, and most of his assignments came from Life or Fortune Magazine.

Adams partnered with Dorothea Lange for a number of stories. She had become well-known for her "great" photograph, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1938, which Adams considered compelling because of its art and documentary value. Lange was working as a photographer in the Farm Security Administration (FSA) project during the Depression.

One joint assignment with Lange for Fortune was on the agricultural situation in San Joaquin Valley of California. They were instructed to stress agribusiness, but Dorothea depicted the far less privileged small farmer, while Adams was "left with the large farms and the corporate spirit." Afterwards he had a clearer vision of the struggle. Always sensitive to nature, he said, "over exploitation will exhaust our soil and water and is certain to impoverish California..."
...back to top

D. Is Trailer Camp Children Art?
Photographs of people are a small part of the work for which Adams is most known. Here in this portrait of transient children, he reveals his social conscience. Although an image with political ramifications, Adams used his knowledge of art to capture moving expressions, organize the composition, and visualize the range gray tones.
...back to top

E. What Was His Most Well-Known Documentary?
Adams took pictures of the Japanese-Americans detained during World War II in the Manzanar Relocation Center in California . He published a book in 1944, Born Free and Equal, with his photographs and text critical of the detention. "I was profoundly affected by Manzanar." He found it very disturbing, but chose to emphasize the "admirable strength of spirit of the Nisei." Born Free and Equal was his first attempt at "the photographic essay" (telling the story with images). Adams found the form to be "the most complex task in (his) professional career."
...back to top

F. Did Adams Dislike Documentary Photography?
For Adams the form had limitations. In a letter to Dorothea lange in 1962, he wrote, "The connotations of much of documentary photography are - to me - quite rigid...I resent being told that certain things have significance...I resent the implications that unless photography has a politico-social function it is not of value to people at large. I resent the very obvious dislike of elements of beauty." Adams praised Lange as a "fine artist" which he said was "more important to the world than being merely an extension of a sociological movement."
...back to top

G. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945
Plate 40 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography; Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, p. 65-69


A. Did you know that during World War II, the American government set up a detention center for Japanese Americans?
B. Do you think nature has the power to inspire the imprisoned?
C. What time of day and weather conditions did Adams prefer?
D. Do you think Adams merely recorded the scene with a mechanical device (the camera)? If not what artistic decisions did he make?

E. Technical Aspects
F. Related links in this site


A. Did you know that during World War II, the American government set up a detention center for Japanese Americans?
Ansel Adams took this photograph from Manzanar, a camp for Japanese-Americans detained during World War II. He was invited to the camp by Ralph Merritt, the newly appointed director, who ran the camp with an enlightened attitude. The view of the Sierra is "grand." The peaks rise more than eleven thousand feet above the desert floor. Ansel Adams said he made some of his "best photographs of 1943-1945 within and close to Manzanar." These were the mountains that the detainees, with permission and under guard, could "gather stones and plants for the Japanese garden they constructed in the desert." (See Lesson Plan- Photography and History- The Photo Essay)
...back to top

B. Do you think nature has the power to inspire the imprisoned?
Mazanar was set in a desolate desert, but surrounded by mountain ranges and the Sierra Nevada that Adams knew intimately and had spent decades photographing out of love for nature. He believed the Japanese-Americans, a nature-loving people, must have been inspired and strengthened by the setting, which gave the people "a certain respite from their mood of isolation and concern for the future." Adams was impressed by the efforts of the inhabitants to make the camp more livable and functional by creating a Japanese garden, farms, schools, churches (Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto), a playground, and small industries.
...back to top

C. What time of day and weather conditions did Adams prefer?
Adams describes the light on the mountains. "…seen from a frontal distance (the Sierra) appears as a gray rise of land engraved with clefts and gorges of vast proportions. Early morning shadows give way to flat sun glare; this in turn yields to the complex confusion of mid-day sun and shadow, which is better remembered in the mind that on film. In the afternoon the shadows lengthen and the range finally become a giant wall of subtle textures and jagged crests."

"It is difficult to photograph on the ordinary bright, clear desert days, as the value of the rock may blend with that of the sky. But in days of storm it is magnificent, especially under the thunderstorms of summer…The huge clouds and curtains of rain over the summits are spectacular."
...back to top

D. Do you think Adams merely recorded the scene with a mechanical device (the camera)? If not, what artistic decisions did he make?
"I drove my station wagon to a place I had often visited. Never before had the conditions been right for me at this location, but his time there was a glorious storm going on in the mountains. I set up my camera on the rooftop platform of my car…I pointed the camera down a little and tilted the back to hold both the near rocks and the distant peaks in sharp focus.

"Several times I moved the car a few feet to position the camera precisely for the composition of boulders and peaks." A problem with photographing mountains, is that "the granite and metamorphic rock blends gently with the near-horizon sky". Such conditions are "usually disappointing in black-and-white, and "cry for near-far composition of significant foreground, with the mountains relegated to non-dominant proportions in the image." He said he made several negatives of this scene. "In all but one the cloud positions and the lighting on the mountains were not satisfactory and the negatives were discarded."
...back to top

E. Technical Aspects
By this time Adams had developed his Zone theory in which heused his knowledge of the possibilities of the entire process to visualize the final print. He used a light meter to read the light of the subject, then determined where areas of light to shadow should fall on his gray scale.

  • Camera: 8 X 10 view camera
  • Lens: Cooke Series XV lens (a 12 1/4 -inch triple convertible with components of 19- and 23-inch focal length).
  • S.E.I Exposure Photometer
  • Film: Kodak Super-Panchro Press film (ASA 200)
  • Filter: Wratten No. 15 (G) filter
  • Exposure: 1/10 second at f/32.
  • Development: water-bath (holds the high values within printable range, but also strengthens the shadow-area contrasts.
  • Paper: Ilford Gallerie Grade 2 with Dektol or
    Oriental Seagull Grade 2 with Selectrrol-Soft and Dektol
  • Exhibition: Mount Williamson was installed in the Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, (1955), curated by Edward Steichen, but Adams was disappointed with what he considered a "badly enlarged blow-up" of his work.


...back to top

F. Related links in this site

  • Lesson Plans
    • *See Photography and History - the Photo Essay for more information about the approach Ansel Adams took in photographing the Japanese-Americans in detention camps. He published the proud photographs with his accompanying critical text in a book called Born Free and Equal. (See Bibliography)
  • Resources
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For a book with more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
    • See Glossary for definitions of vocabulary words and photography terms.
ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

 

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945
Plate 40 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Ansel Adams - An Autobiography; Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams, p. 65-69


A. Did you know that during World War II, the American government set up a detention center for Japanese Americans?
B. Do you think nature has the power to inspire the imprisoned?
C. What time of day and weather conditions did Adams prefer?
D. Do you think Adams merely recorded the scene with a mechanical device (the camera)? If not what artistic decisions did he make?

E. Technical Aspects
F. Related links in this site


A. Did you know that during World War II, the American government set up a detention center for Japanese Americans?
Ansel Adams took this photograph from Manzanar, a camp for Japanese-Americans detained during World War II. He was invited to the camp by Ralph Merritt, the newly appointed director, who ran the camp with an enlightened attitude. The view of the Sierra is "grand." The peaks rise more than eleven thousand feet above the desert floor. Ansel Adams said he made some of his "best photographs of 1943-1945 within and close to Manzanar." These were the mountains that the detainees, with permission and under guard, could "gather stones and plants for the Japanese garden they constructed in the desert." (See Lesson Plan- Photography and History- The Photo Essay)
...back to top

B. Do you think nature has the power to inspire the imprisoned?
Mazanar was set in a desolate desert, but surrounded by mountain ranges and the Sierra Nevada that Adams knew intimately and had spent decades photographing out of love for nature. He believed the Japanese-Americans, a nature-loving people, must have been inspired and strengthened by the setting, which gave the people "a certain respite from their mood of isolation and concern for the future." Adams was impressed by the efforts of the inhabitants to make the camp more livable and functional by creating a Japanese garden, farms, schools, churches (Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto), a playground, and small industries.
...back to top

C. What time of day and weather conditions did Adams prefer?
Adams describes the light on the mountains. "…seen from a frontal distance (the Sierra) appears as a gray rise of land engraved with clefts and gorges of vast proportions. Early morning shadows give way to flat sun glare; this in turn yields to the complex confusion of mid-day sun and shadow, which is better remembered in the mind that on film. In the afternoon the shadows lengthen and the range finally become a giant wall of subtle textures and jagged crests."

"It is difficult to photograph on the ordinary bright, clear desert days, as the value of the rock may blend with that of the sky. But in days of storm it is magnificent, especially under the thunderstorms of summer…The huge clouds and curtains of rain over the summits are spectacular."
...back to top

D. Do you think Adams merely recorded the scene with a mechanical device (the camera)? If not, what artistic decisions did he make?
"I drove my station wagon to a place I had often visited. Never before had the conditions been right for me at this location, but his time there was a glorious storm going on in the mountains. I set up my camera on the rooftop platform of my car…I pointed the camera down a little and tilted the back to hold both the near rocks and the distant peaks in sharp focus.

"Several times I moved the car a few feet to position the camera precisely for the composition of boulders and peaks." A problem with photographing mountains, is that "the granite and metamorphic rock blends gently with the near-horizon sky". Such conditions are "usually disappointing in black-and-white, and "cry for near-far composition of significant foreground, with the mountains relegated to non-dominant proportions in the image." He said he made several negatives of this scene. "In all but one the cloud positions and the lighting on the mountains were not satisfactory and the negatives were discarded."
...back to top

E. Technical Aspects
By this time Adams had developed his Zone theory in which heused his knowledge of the possibilities of the entire process to visualize the final print. He used a light meter to read the light of the subject, then determined where areas of light to shadow should fall on his gray scale.

  • Camera: 8 X 10 view camera
  • Lens: Cooke Series XV lens (a 12 1/4 -inch triple convertible with components of 19- and 23-inch focal length).
  • S.E.I Exposure Photometer
  • Film: Kodak Super-Panchro Press film (ASA 200)
  • Filter: Wratten No. 15 (G) filter
  • Exposure: 1/10 second at f/32.
  • Development: water-bath (holds the high values within printable range, but also strengthens the shadow-area contrasts.
  • Paper: Ilford Gallerie Grade 2 with Dektol or
    Oriental Seagull Grade 2 with Selectrrol-Soft and Dektol
  • Exhibition: Mount Williamson was installed in the Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, (1955), curated by Edward Steichen, but Adams was disappointed with what he considered a "badly enlarged blow-up" of his work.


...back to top

F. Related links in this site

  • Lesson Plans
    • *See Photography and History - the Photo Essay for more information about the approach Ansel Adams took in photographing the Japanese-Americans in detention camps. He published the proud photographs with his accompanying critical text in a book called Born Free and Equal. (See Bibliography)
  • Resources
    • See Bibliography for more material by and about Ansel Adams. For a book with more information on the technical aspects - cameras, films, lenses, filters, darkroom techniques, printing, papers, etc. - please refer to Examples, The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Boston, Toronto, London: Little, Brown and Co, 1983).
    • See Glossary for definitions of vocabulary words and photography terms.
ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948
Plate 23 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley; Ansel Adams- An Autobiography; and Ansel Adams - Classic Images. Please see Bibliography


A. What drew Ansel Adams to the Yosemite Valley?
B. How did Ansel Adams Persuade Presidents to Preserve the Environment?
C. How else was Adams active in protecting the environment?
D. Were the posters he made for environment causes propaganda or art?
E. Is the popularization of the National Parks a cause for environmental concern?
F. Related links in this site


A. What drew Ansel Adams to the Yosemite Valley?
At age fourteen, Ansel visited Yosemite with his family and on the same trip received his first camera. His early snapshots were to be the beginning of fifty years of a creative career in photographing Yosemite and other natural scenes in the United States. One of his first jobs was as a custodian at Yosemite, and as a young man he took strenuous hikes through the mountains, leading many groups and friends to the vistas he loved.

Adams wrote:

"Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting, or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of the granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.

"After the initial excitement we begin to sense the need to share the living realities of this miraculous place. We may resent the intrusion of urban superficialities. We may be filled with regret that so much has happened to despoil, but we can also respond to the challenge to re-create, to protect, to re-interpet the enduring essence of Yosemite, to re-establish it as a sanctuary from the turmoil of the time.

"Here are worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and the revelations of great art are equally difficult to define; we can grasp them only in the depths of our perceptive spirit.

"Each represents, for me, a moment of wonder."

B. How did Ansel Adams Persuade Presidents to Preserve the Environment?
Throughout the second half of his life, Adams "fought an unending series of battles - losing some, winning others - to preserve America for future generations," James Alinder states in Ansel Adams - Classic Images. As soon as Adams was elected to the board of the Sierra Club, he reports in his autobiography, they began the battle to establish the Kings River area as a national park. "An important conference was called in 1936 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of both our national and state parks." He traveled to Washington to lobby, using his photographs as a lobbying tool. After the publication of his book in 1938, The Sierra Nevada and the John Muir Trail," which Stieglitz called " truly perfect workmanship," he sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, a friend of the environment. Ickes showed the book to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in 1940 they joined together to pressure Congress to pass the Kings River National Park bill.

Adams was a man full of passionate conviction for the environment and tried to effect change in any way possible from photographs to publications to personal persuasion. He met with many government officials in power, including Presidents Gerald Ford, and President Jimmy Carter, who presented Adams with a the National Medal of Freedom in 1980. He reluctantly met in 1983 with President Ronald Reagan who Adams believed "had little or no personal interest in the environment or its protection." He considered his Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, "one of the most dangerous government officials in history." The near hour he spent with Reagan was filled with tension and his criticism of the Reagan administration as reported in the Washington Post the next morning, "was reproduced world-wide, not without effect."
...back to top

C. How else was Adams active in protecting the environment?
Adams served for thirty-seven years as board member of The Sierra Club, which by 1980 claimed 400,000 members in fifty chapters. In addition, it is a major publishing house, promotes travel to enjoy nature, and has great political impact.
...back to top

D. Were the posters he made for environment causes propaganda or art?
Many of the photographs Adams took of the parks and the beauty of nature, although not taken for the purpose of making posters with a message, were used, with Adams' permission, to raise awareness regarding the environment.
...back to top

E. Is the popularization of the National Parks a cause for environmental concern?
Adams popularized the parks. In the early 1980s he wrote in his autobiography that now "Yosemite Valley is a national shrine, with millions of people each year coming under its spell." Is the stress of millions of campers going to damage, ironically, the very natural beauty he sought to preserve and make available to Americans.?
...back to top

F. Related links in this site

ANSEL ADAMS: Classic Images
Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948
To learn more about this photograph see the information below. To see a larger view of this image as a PDF file format, click on the image...

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948 by Ansel Adams

This image is copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photograph is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1948
Plate 23 in Ansel Adams - Classic Images

Sources: Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley; Ansel Adams- An Autobiography; and Ansel Adams - Classic Images. Please see Bibliography


A. What drew Ansel Adams to the Yosemite Valley?
B. How did Ansel Adams Persuade Presidents to Preserve the Environment?
C. How else was Adams active in protecting the environment?
D. Were the posters he made for environment causes propaganda or art?
E. Is the popularization of the National Parks a cause for environmental concern?
F. Related links in this site


A. What drew Ansel Adams to the Yosemite Valley?
At age fourteen, Ansel visited Yosemite with his family and on the same trip received his first camera. His early snapshots were to be the beginning of fifty years of a creative career in photographing Yosemite and other natural scenes in the United States. One of his first jobs was as a custodian at Yosemite, and as a young man he took strenuous hikes through the mountains, leading many groups and friends to the vistas he loved.

Adams wrote:

"Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting, or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of the granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.

"After the initial excitement we begin to sense the need to share the living realities of this miraculous place. We may resent the intrusion of urban superficialities. We may be filled with regret that so much has happened to despoil, but we can also respond to the challenge to re-create, to protect, to re-interpet the enduring essence of Yosemite, to re-establish it as a sanctuary from the turmoil of the time.

"Here are worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and the revelations of great art are equally difficult to define; we can grasp them only in the depths of our perceptive spirit.

"Each represents, for me, a moment of wonder."

B. How did Ansel Adams Persuade Presidents to Preserve the Environment?
Throughout the second half of his life, Adams "fought an unending series of battles - losing some, winning others - to preserve America for future generations," James Alinder states in Ansel Adams - Classic Images. As soon as Adams was elected to the board of the Sierra Club, he reports in his autobiography, they began the battle to establish the Kings River area as a national park. "An important conference was called in 1936 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of both our national and state parks." He traveled to Washington to lobby, using his photographs as a lobbying tool. After the publication of his book in 1938, The Sierra Nevada and the John Muir Trail," which Stieglitz called " truly perfect workmanship," he sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, a friend of the environment. Ickes showed the book to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in 1940 they joined together to pressure Congress to pass the Kings River National Park bill.

Adams was a man full of passionate conviction for the environment and tried to effect change in any way possible from photographs to publications to personal persuasion. He met with many government officials in power, including Presidents Gerald Ford, and President Jimmy Carter, who presented Adams with a the National Medal of Freedom in 1980. He reluctantly met in 1983 with President Ronald Reagan who Adams believed "had little or no personal interest in the environment or its protection." He considered his Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, "one of the most dangerous government officials in history." The near hour he spent with Reagan was filled with tension and his criticism of the Reagan administration as reported in the Washington Post the next morning, "was reproduced world-wide, not without effect."
...back to top

C. How else was Adams active in protecting the environment?
Adams served for thirty-seven years as board member of The Sierra Club, which by 1980 claimed 400,000 members in fifty chapters. In addition, it is a major publishing house, promotes travel to enjoy nature, and has great political impact.
...back to top

D. Were the posters he made for environment causes propaganda or art?
Many of the photographs Adams took of the parks and the beauty of nature, although not taken for the purpose of making posters with a message, were used, with Adams' permission, to raise awareness regarding the environment.
...back to top

E. Is the popularization of the National Parks a cause for environmental concern?
Adams popularized the parks. In the early 1980s he wrote in his autobiography that now "Yosemite Valley is a national shrine, with millions of people each year coming under its spell." Is the stress of millions of campers going to damage, ironically, the very natural beauty he sought to preserve and make available to Americans.?
...back to top

F. Related links in this site

Ansel Adams: Classic Images

HMA Archive From February 4, 2001 through March 16, 2001

A special exhibit on loan from SNET and SBC Communications Inc.

MT. Williamson by Ansel Adams, copyright the Ansel Adams Trust

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Partners in Education

SNET/SBC

People's Bank

Housatonic Community College Foundation

Copyright Notice These images are copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photographs is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

This website was the collaborative effort of
Janet Luongo, educational content
Susan Greene, web design and graphics
Robbin Zella, Museum Director
ARGraphics, web development

MT. Williamson by Ansel Adams, copyright the Ansel Adams Trust

Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, c. 1948
© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Partners in Education

SNET/SBC

People's Bank

Housatonic Community College Foundation

Copyright Notice These images are copyrighted by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and cannot be printed or reproduced in any way. The use of the photographs is limited to viewing in the context of this web site.

This website was the collaborative effort of
Janet Luongo, educational content
Susan Greene, web design and graphics
Robbin Zella, Museum Director
ARGraphics, web development

HMA Lecture Series

Throughout the year the HMA offers lectures that coincide with gallery exhibitions. This series provides an opportunity for intellectual and social interaction amongst students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. Recent lecture topics have included...

Bob Leverett - Sierra Club Author discussed the complex ecosystems of forests which are intrinsically connected to climatic stability and biological diversity, the controversies over their protection and the consequences of forest destruction. (in coordination with the exhibit PRILLA SMITH BRACKET: Remnants: Ancient Forests & City Trees )

Jonathan Talbot - (in coordination with the exhibit JONATHAN TALBOT / COLLAGE PAINTINGS / 1980-2000)

Kim Shichel - Associate Professor of Art History, Boston University - " Landscape Photographs in the American West " (in coordination with the exhibit ANSEL ADAMS: CLASSIC IMAGES)

Peter Ulisse, Professor of English and Chairperson of the Humanities department, HCC - "Emerson, Thoreau & Adams: Nature & Transcendentalism" (in coordination with the exhibit ANSEL ADAMS: CLASSIC IMAGES)

Robbin Zella, Director, Housatonic Museum of Art - "Ansel Adams: American Identity & Ideals" (in coordination with the exhibit ANSEL ADAMS: CLASSIC IMAGES)

Philip Trager, photographer - "Photographic Techniques: Zone System to Digital Imaging" (in coordination with the exhibit ANSEL ADAMS: CLASSIC IMAGES)

Dr. Ruth Macdonald, Academic Dean Housatonic Community College, specialist in children's literature - "PICTURE-BOOKS: READING BOOKS, READING WORDS" (in coordination with the exhibit Innocence of Vision A 25 year retrospective of Kathy Jakobsen, American folk artist)

Susan Sharp - "Evolution: From Figuration to Abstraction", gallery talk with the artist (in coordination with the exhibit FLUIDITY AND FANTASY Paintings by Susan Sharp)

Peter Ulisse, Professor of English and Chairperson of the Humanities department, HCC - Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" and the 1960s (in coordination with the exhibit LEST WE FORGET IMAGES OF THE BLACK CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT)

Thomas Hoepker - Magnum photographer and organizer of the book New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers will discuss the power of images, how they inform our perceptions and understanding of current events and history. (in coordination with the exhibit OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY Documentary Photographic Images: New York September 11)

Alberta Cifolleli - (in coordination with the exhibit ALBERTA CIFOLELLI)

Lois Goglia and Dr. Leonard Milstone, Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology - The aesthetics of experimental genetics (in coordination with the exhibit Genesis by Lois Goglia )

Housatonic Museum of Art Education


Text for Education will go here.