Ansel Adams was a twentieth century photographer and conservationist. Not only did he become widely known in both areas, but he combined the two fields so that they each enhanced the other.Adams was born in San Francisco in 1902. He lacked formal education and was taught solely by his parents, save a little training as a pianist. As a teenager, he visited Yosemite Valley. Struck by the Sierra "range of light," he returned often to this site. Through these trips, he launched his career as a photographer and conservationist. He strongly thought that people needed something to believe in, and he saw conservation as his cause.
He developed this point, while also communicating a sense of beauty, through his photography.
Adams' technique as an artist was impeccable. In fact, Adams was sometimes criticized for this. He was also denounced for his optimism. An example of his cautious style is the fact that he made all of his prints himself, sometimes taking up to a day per print. He produced over 13,000 of these works throughout his life.
Adams work introduced many people to the beautiful American landscape and its diversity. However, in addition to his happier works, Adams also used photography to display negative images, such as overgrazing in the southwest and the Japanese-Americans at the Manzanar internment camp. Above all, he used his prints to further the cause of conservation. As one example, in the 1930s, his pictures helped establish Kings Canyon National Park.
Adams involved himself in conservation in other ways as well. He was on the Board of the Sierra Club for some time, and played a large role in many of its decisions.
Ansel Adams died in 1984, having devoted his life to the environment, both by sparking increased interest in conservation and by documenting the character of the wilderness around him.
An exhibit on Adams
30 screensavers with his work