Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ansel Adams In the National Parks

Title: Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America'Wild Places 
Authors: Edited by Andrea G. Stillman
Pages:  344
Source: Hatchette Book Groups

Description:  With more than two hundred photographs - many rarely seen and some never before published - this is the most comprehensive collection of Ansel Adams' photographs of America's national parks and wilderness areas. For many people, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and other iconic American wildlands exist in the mind's eye as Ansel Adams photographs. The legendary photographer explored more than forty national parks in his lifetime, producing some of the most indelible images of the natural world ever made. One of the twentieth century's most ardent champions of the park and wilderness systems, Adams also helped preserve additional natural areas and protect existing ones through his photographs, essays, and letter-writing campaigns.

Edited and with commentary by Andrea G. Stillman, the foremost expert on Adams' work, this landmark publication includes quotations by Adams on the making of numerous photographs and essays by Wallace Stegner, William A. Turnage of The Ansel Adams Trust, and journalist and critic Richard B. Woodward. This is a must-own for Ansel Adams fans and all those who, like Adams, treasure America's wilderness.

My Take:  In a world without photoshop, Ansel Adams knew how to make a good photograph by peering through the lens of a camera.  With a background as an emerging concert pianist, Ansel could compose a breathtaking picture by capitalizing on content, perfect exposure, composition of background, foreground and everything in between.

Adams' photographs in black and white provide beautiful contrasts and balance before the shutter button is ever pushed. A well known environmentalist, Adams was as poetic in speech and written word as behind the camera:
"The dawn wind in the High Sierra is not just a passage of cool air through the forest conifers, but within the labyrinth of human consciousness becomes a stirring of some world-magic of most delicate persuasion.  The grand lift of the Tetons is more than a mechanistic fold and faulting of the earth's crust; it becomes a primal gesture of the earth beneath a greater sky.  And on the ancient Acadian coast an even more ancient Atlantic surge disputes the granite headlands with more than the slow, crumbling erosion of the sea.  Here are the forces familiar with the aeons of creation, and with the aeons of the ending of the world."  - Ansel Adams, from The Meaning of the National Parks,1950.
 In breathtaking clarity, Adams describes the wilderness.  Through his photographs, he uses f/64 to capture even the smallest detail of the landscape before him.


A copy of this book was provided to me by Hatchette Book Groups in exchange for an honest review.


CountessLaurie said...

Wow - gorgeous shots!!!
Another 5 hearts!

CountessLaurie said...

Wow - gorgeous shots!!!
Another 5 hearts!

CountessLaurie said...

and duplicate comments from me. your day is complete!

stinkin blogger.