Who was Ansel Adams? This question gives way to an answer that is as vast as his photographs. Adams is one of the most popular and influential photographers of the 20th century. Well known for his heart and contribution for conservation. Anyone that knew Ansel found him to be funny and could only explain his personality as eccentric. However, one could always find him somewhere in the vast expanse of his second love (first being music); the Yosemite mountains sculpted Adams into the man that he was and overtook every part of him even to his soul.
Adams would say all the time that “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance.” Customarily, he would devote one day just to one print, striving to make it the best that it could be. Several times Adams would make the foreground pop with darkening the sky to draw out the mountains or the beautiful landscapes. When it came to printing, Ansel’s “performance” was like no other, and a great deal of photographers have fallen short in their attempts.
In his later years, Adams had accumulated much popularity. In 1979 he was given a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Also, he was presented with the “Presidential Medal of Honor”, this high award is given to people who have had “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”. Ansel was a big advocate of training and educating future photographers and those who desire to get the nest out of this medium. In his 82 years, Adams had published over 20 books and had countless followers. Today, his ashes rest where he loved the most, in the high Sierra Mountains on Mount Ansel Adams.
If you have the time this video is in depth documentary on Ansel Adams and well worth your time. American Experience: Ansel Adams: PBS