Ansel Adam is one of the most known photographers in history. Most of his work was studied in protected areas, and national parks in west America and his popularity raised after his death. He was a hardworking leader of the conservation movement. At the age of 12, his father removed him from school, and he started concentrating on music. Musicologist and composers like Henry Cowell considered Adam as very a qualified and gifted pianist in his music career. He started using his first camera in 1916 and became a very good and gifted photographer (Stillman, 9).In 1920 Adam worked as a person who had responsibility for taking care of sierra club which was situated in Yosemite national park, and he made good looking photographs. While working there he formed an attachment to Yosemite valley and high sierra who were responsible for guarding the valley.
In the year 1930, he decided to concentrate more on photography but once in a while he would also play piano and did some recording. During this time he met another photographer Paul Strand who showed him negatives that he was making in New Mexico. After viewing the negatives Adam became impressed with the simple work and the good style used by Paul. As a result, this style and experience influenced Adam to make photography in a more realistic style (Alinder, 15). He also helped in the formation of a group of photographers. The group mostly focused on sharpness of the picture and the transformation from black to white. The group avoided using traditional arts like painting
Adam`s popularity rised in the year 1935, and he became very famous in the photography industry. This popularity was fueled by articles which were written by the press about nature and the problems facing the photography industry. Adam was commissioned by studio publications to create a book based on photographic methods using his photographs(Stillman, 6). The book was very successful because of the qualities used and by the time the book was ready, Adam had acknowledged the main subject-the Westcoast pure environment. Adam works were very different from his predecessors who used to take photographs before him, e.g. Carleton Watkins. Adam mostly photographed weather while Carleton photographed geology of a place.
The value of Adams work started in 1936. First, he was awarded a show by Alfred Stiegliz. During that time many people thought that photographers and painters were supposed to make pictures relating to economic and political issues. Later they came to understand that pictures of peoples character and natural landscape were very important in society. Adam used his spot in the photography domain to increase the public approval of the industry. In 1940 he helped in the formation of department of photography. He established a department which taught photography at the school of fine art in California (Alinder, 7). Adam came up with a new method of using original prints. The portfolio he produced in 1948 had 12 original prints of very high quality, and he used to sell it for 100 dollars and afterwards he made more portfolios in 1976.
Adam spend most of his energy concentrating on the photography industry revising some of his work and on editing his books. Some of his major titles are “my camera in the national parks “ and “photographs of the southwest” (Stillman, 12). Adam was awarded the presidential medal which acknowledged his good work.
Alinder, Mary Street. Ansel Adams: a biography. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2014. 1-20.
Stillman, Andrea Gray. Looking at Ansel Adams: The photographs and the man. Little, Brown and Company, 2016. 5-16.