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Artist Focus: Ansel Adams

Image: From Brittanica.com

Ansel Adams was born February 20, 1902 in San Francisco and died April 22, 1984 in Carmel, California. His father was a business man named Charles Hitchcock Adams and his mother was Olive Bray. His grandfather was a wealthy timber baron. He was born when his parents were much older in age and also lived with his maiden Aunt. It was a very conservative, Victorian household. When he was 4 years old, he fell during a large aftershock after the earthquake in 1906 and his nose was broken giving him a very distinctive look.

Ansel was a very intelligent person but wasn’t very good in school. Later in life he thought that his issues were hyperactivity and possibility dyslexia. His father brought him home to be tutored by his father and aunt. He earned what would be equivalent of an 8th grade education, graduating with a “legitimizing diploma” from a private school. He was a self taught pianist and music reader until he was given lessons. Music was his original idea for a vocation until abandoning the idea for photography.  He spent much time hiking and exploring what was the once wild place close to his home including the sand dunes. With his Kodak Brownie that his parents gave him, he started his love of nature and photography in the sierras. 

He joined the Sierra Club in 1919 and spent summers in Yosemite valley as a keeper of the club’s lodge. This is where he met his wife, Virginia Best, with whom he had two children. The Sierra Club  was his start as a professional photographer. Environmental issues were important to Adams. His photographs were his powerful image of nature and their importance of being preserved and taken care of for future generations. They are his testimony to their magnificence. 

In my opinion:

Whenever we were able to visit Yosemite Valley in California we always had to stop in the Ansel Adams museum and store. I had to purchase a few reproductions of his wonderful photography. He captured the essence of the nature and wonder of Yosemite. It is a beautiful place, despite the crowds of visitors and it still inspires many current photographers. You often see people with their cameras in the park, walking in Adam’s footsteps.

Ansel Adams captures the “atmosphere”. I find his images beautiful and provocative. They inspire and I can see their power in saving the precious land we enjoy. He was truly gifted at capturing the essence of his subject.

If you want to find out more about this amazing photographer and enjoy more of his art please visit the following websites:


For all the Amazon offers on Ansel Adams please click the following link:

Ansel Adams

Thank you so much for reading. Take some time to enjoy some nature today.

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