Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams
A photo of a bearded Ansel Adams with a camera on a tripod and a light meter in his hand. Adams is wearing a dark jacket and a white shirt, and the open shirt collar is spread over the lapel of his jacket. He is holding a cable release for the camera, and there is a rocky hillside behind him. The photo was taken by J. Malcolm Greany and first appeared in the 1950 Yosemite Field School Yearbook.
Adams c. 1950
Born
Ansel Easton Adams

(1902-02-20)February 20, 1902
DiedApril 22, 1984(1984-04-22) (aged 82)
Resting placeAdams's ashes were placed on the summit of Mount Ansel Adams in California's Ansel Adams Wilderness area.[citation needed]
Known forPhotography and conservationism
MovementGroup f/64
Spouse(s)
Virginia Rose Best
(m. 1928)
AwardsPresidential Medal of Freedom
1980
ElectedBoard of Directors, Sierra Club
Patron(s)Albert M. Bender
Memorial(s)Ansel Adams Wilderness, Mount Ansel Adams
Website
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Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed during exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography.

Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy. At age 12, he was given his first camera during his first visit to Yosemite National Park. He developed his early photographic work as a member of the Sierra Club. He was later contracted with the United States Department of the Interior to make photographs of national parks. For his work and his persistent advocacy, which helped expand the National Park system, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.

Adams was a key advisor in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in securing photography's institutional legitimacy. He helped to stage that department's first photography exhibition, helped found the photography magazine Aperture, and co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.


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