February 20 ~  Myths and Creeds Ansel Adams

"Myths and creeds are heroic struggles to comprehend the truth in the world." ~ Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Celebrated photographer and conservationist Ansel Easton Adams (1902-1984) was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Trained as a pianist, he was best known for his spectacular black and white photos of American western landscapes.

"There are always two people in every picture," he said. "The photographer and the viewer."

Adams published his first collection of photographs in 1927. With sharp focus and attention to detail, he invented the scientific Zone System of exposure, a development which allowed him to modulate the levels of gray in his photographs.

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept," he explained.

Known for the technical perfection and poetic grace of his work, he was the official photographer for The Sierra Club and his photographs celebrated the splendor of Yosemite National Park.

"I knew my destiny when I first experienced Yosemite," he said and believed in the transcendentalist philosophy of Thoreau and Emerson.

John Szarkowski of New York City's Museum of Modern Art explained that Adams was the last of those Romantic artists who has "seen the great spaces of wilderness as a metaphor for freedom and heroic aspirations."

About the spectacular views captured in a career which spanned 70 years with over 40,000 negatives, Adams once revealed, "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."

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