For anyone with a love of the American wilderness and an interest in the life and work of the country’s most revered landscape photographer and environmental advocate, Looking at Ansel Adams is an essential and deeply satisfying book.
Edited and with commentary by Andrea G. Stillman, the foremost expert on Adams’ work, this landmark publication includes quotations by Adams on the making of numerous photographs and essays by Wallace Stegner, William A. Turnage of The Ansel Adams Trust, and journalist and critic Richard B. Woodward. This is a must-own for Ansel Adams fans and all those who, like Adams, treasure America’s wilderness.
“These mountains are breathtaking – utterly different than anything we have seen. The peaks and forest and ‘tone’ fulfill almost every ideal I have had of what ‘my’ mountains could be. . . These are the great mountains we dream about.” — Ansel Adams to his wife Virginia, 1928
The Sierra Club’s twenty-seventh annual outing or “High Trip” was Ansel Adams’s first as official photographer. It was during this expedition to the Canadian Rockies in 1928 that Ansel began to find his voice as a photographer. In Ansel Adams in the Canadian Rockies, we discover images of celebrated natural sites including Mount Robson, Amethyst Lake, Drawbridge Peak, and Bennington Glacier that foreshadow the majestic mountain vistas for which Adams would become renowned.
A fine chronicle of one of Ansel Adams’s earliest major photographic expeditions, and the only one he ever made outside of the United States, this book also serves as a record of Ansel’s emerging style during these crucial years in his artistic development.
Ansel Adams first visited Yosemite in 1916, at the age of fourteen, and returned every year throughout his life. It was in Yosemite that he fell in love with Western wilderness and became a photographer; he made more photographs at Yosemite than at any other place.
Roughly 150 breathtaking images are exquisitely reproduced in this large-format clothbound book. There are notable portraits of El Captain (the famous rock face whose Dawn Wall was recently free-climbed for the first time), Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, Royal Arches, and other distinctive rock formations that frame the valley; grand views in all seasons and all states of weather; intimate details of nature from the Valley floor; the waterfalls–Bridaveil, Yosemite, Vernal, Nevada; studies of trees, from the giants of the Mariposa Grove to the exquisite white blossoms of the dogwood. There are gathering and clearing storms, snow and ice, bright sunshine, and the subtle shades of dawn and dusk.
The photographs have been selected and sequenced by Peter Galassi, former Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. His abundantly illustrated introduction sets Adams's pictures within the rich history of imagery of Yosemite.
The photographs are arranged chronologically into five major periods, from his first photographs made in Yosemite and the High Sierra in 1916 to his work in the National Parks in the 1940s up to his last important photographs from the 1960s. An introduction and brief essays on selected images provide information about Adams’ life, document the evolution of his technique, and give voice to his artistic vision.
Few artists of any era can claim to have produced four hundred images of lasting beauty and significance. It is a testament to Adams’ vision and lifetime of hard work that a book of this scale can be compiled. Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs is a must-have for anyone who appreciates photography and the allure of the natural world.