Ansel Easton Adams (1902-1984)

Adams, Ansel Easton (1902-1984), American photographer, known for his photographs of the landscape of the American West. Born in San Francisco, Adams was inspired by a 1916 trip to Yosemite, California, to photograph the American wilderness in black and white. His pictures show raw mountains, harsh deserts, enormous clouds, and towering trees in sharp detail, dramatized by light and shadow.

Adams studied photography and music until 1930, when he turned his full attention to photography. In 1932 he and other photographers of the American landscape, including Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, formed a society called Group f/64, the members of which devoted themselves to taking straightforward photographs in sharp focus. The group had a strong influence on American photography in subsequent years. In 1946, at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (now the San Francisco Art Institute), Adams helped establish the first academic department to teach photography. His books include My Camera in the National Parks (1950), This Is the American Earth (1960), Ansel Adams: Images 1923-1974 (1974), Photographs of the Southwest (1976), Yosemite and the Range of Light (1979), and a series of books on photographic techniques.

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