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Photographer Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams was born February 20, 1902 in San Francisco. He was a photographer best known for technical innovations in his work and for masterly representations of mountainous terrain. He started out as a student of music rather than photography, but photography was an avocation until 1927 when he published his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. This consisted of photographs in the style of the old Pictorialists who had imitated Impressionist painting by suppressing detail in factor of soft, misty effects often achieved in the darkroom rather than in the camera.

Trained as a pianist, Adams divided his time between music and photography until 1930. That was when he was first impressed by the work of photographer Paul Strand, an American whose work emphasized beauty of tone and sharp detail. Adams then decided to concentrate fully on photography. He adopted the approach of Strand, a style called "straight photography." In 1932 he had his first solo show in a major museum and, with Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Willard Van Dyke, and others, founded the influential Group F/64. This was an association of photographers who used large cameras and small apertures to capture the infinite variety of nature's light and textures. Adams held daguerreotypes and the landscapes of the nineteenth century photographers Timothy H. O'Sullivan and William Henry Jackson for the crisp brilliance of their work. Adams would become one of the major technicians in the history of photography. In 1935 his book Making a Photograph, the first of many books in which Adams would discuss photographic technique, using reproductions of his own prints as examples. He always worked to increase the public acceptance of photography as a medium and as a fine art, and in 1940 he helped found the world's first museum collection of photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the California School of Fine Arts in San Franci...

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Photographer Ansel Adams. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:07, May 27, 2020, from