Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy 110th Birthday, Ansel Adams!

February 20th marks the anniversary of the birthday of legendary landscape photographer, Ansel Adams. Most everyone associated with photography as a profession or an art form has at least heard his name or seen his magnificent works.

Like many of us in the profession, Adams was bitten early in life. He first visited Yosemite National Park as an early teen; during the trip his father gave him a Kodak Brownie Box Camera. The next year, he revisited Yosemite on his own, this time with a better cameras and a tripod. That winter while working part-time for a San Francisco photo finisher, he learned to love the darkroom as well.

In the 1930s, Ansel Adams became a vocal supported of preserving the wilderness; his photographs and testimony before the US Congress played a vital role in designating the Sequoia and Kings Canyon areas as national parks.

"Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature."
Ansel Adams, The Portfolios Of Ansel Adams
His lasting legacy includes helping to elevate photography to an art comparable with painting and music, and equally capable of expressing emotion and beauty. As he reminded his students, "It is easy to take a photograph, but it is harder to make a masterpiece in photography than in any other art medium." (Wikipedia)

Today, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of this talented artist and photographer, each of us in the profession should pause for a moment and reflect on the beauty and importance of what we do and how Ansel Adams has been - even in a small way - an inspiration to so many photographers across the world.

- David Grupa

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, David, thank you! Seems we all want to honor Ansel's legacy in some way. One of the things I admired most about Ansel was his absolute commitment to sharing his passion and his craft with anyone at any level. If you're interested, here's how I am honoring his spirit of generosity on what would have been his 110th birthday

    ~ Alan Ross,