Ansel Adams: Favorite Photographer Bio

Ansel Adams was born in 1902.  As a child he developed a keen interest in the natural world and would spend a great deal of time outdoors.  Visiting Yosemite National Park in 1916, before it was a national park, Ansel would find a place to capture and inspire him for decades to come.  But first he had to learn his craft.

At first though, it seemed music would be Adams’ creative passion, however time spent in Yosemite with a camera slowly turned Adams’ towards photography.  Joining the Sierra Club in 1919, Adams would be deeply involved in the club and in the conversation moment for the rest of his life.  Adams began photographing the Sierra Club’s hiking excursions and made enough money to devote himself to photography as a profession.  In 1927 Adams met Albert M. Bender, wealthy patron of the arts and Mr. Bender would be instrumental in getting Adams first portfolio published, entitled Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. 

With Bender’s influence Ansel slowly grew as a photographer.  Ansel would branch out into taking photos of the Southwest and in 1930 would meet the man who would exert a mentor-like influence on him, Paul Strand.  Strand, a fellow photographer, would help move Adams into produce photos that would become hallmarks of Adams’ photography, namely a strong emphasis on clarity.  Adams critical star soared, but finances would start giving him trouble as the 1930s wore continued.   Adams would turn to commercial photography to pay bills.

However, Adams would become photography’s grandmaster, writing technical manuals and developing his own system of photography, called the zone system.   Dozens of professionals in the field would consult with Adams.  Adams would also never compromise on his beliefs that his photographs were art, and to that practicing his art uplifted him. 

Adams would die April 22, 1984.


Sources include and .           


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