Who Was Ansel Adams?

Ansel Easton Adams was an American environmentalist and landscape photographer who became internationally famous for his black-and-white photographs that he took of the American West. Adams helped create the anti-pictorialist Group f/64, which is an association of photographers that advocate pure photography that favours full tonal range and sharp focus.

Adams pioneered a system of creating imagery known as the Zone System, which described a method of achieving a print through a deep technical understanding of tonal range, and how its developed in exposure as well as negative development.

Adams was also a lifelong advocate for conservation, and his photography was directly connected with his belief of looking after and protecting the environment. He has become one of the most well known photographers to have ever lived, and much of his work is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which is worth seeing at least once, especially if you land a big win while enjoying wagering at Australian betting sites and can afford to travel a bit!

Early Life

Adams was the only child of Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray Adams, and was born in the Western Addition of San Francisco, California, in 1902. His mother’s side of the family originally came from Baltimore, and his father’s from New England, having migrated from Northern Ireland during the early 18th century.

His passion of imagery came when his father bought a three-inch telescope, and the two enthusiastically shared a hobby of amateur astronomy, often visiting the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton. Adams became a fan of reading photography magazines, attending camera club meetings, and often went to art and photography exhibits.

He explored the High Sierra with retired geologist Francis Holman, during which Adams developed the stamina and skill to photograph both at high elevation and during difficult weather conditions.


In 1927, Adams began working with a San Francisco insurance magnate and arts patron, who helped him produce his first portfolio of his new style. The portfolio included his famous image Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, which was taken with his Korona view camera using a dark red filter and glass plates. His portfolio was a success, and he began earning around $3900 through promotions and sponsorships.

His work matured throughout the 1930’s, and he put on his first solo museum exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute. The exhibition featured 60 prints taken in the High Sierra, and gained a number of favourable reviews. Despite his newly acquired success, Adams felt that he wasn’t yet on the same level of friend, Paul Strand, and decided the broaden his subject matter.

A decade later, Adams released A Pageant of Photography, which at the time was considered the most important and largest photography in the West, which was attended by millions of visitors. He also began a stint of teachings t the Art Centre School of Los Angeles, where he also trained military photographers.

His Later Life

Adams continued working well into the 1960s, where his work was still extremely popular around the country, making it into a number of museums. He later died of cardiovascular disease on April 22, 1984, at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, in California.