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See ya on the Net,
Ansel Adams was a twentieth-century photographer known for his black-and-white landscapes, efforts to preserve America’s wilderness, and his association with the Sierra Club. Adams understood how publishing could expand the audience for his work, and much of his popularity is due to the high-quality books and portfolios he published at prices much lower than those of an original print.
Ansel Adams at 100
This outstanding multimedia exhibit from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art focuses on seven important Adams works, and is my pick of the day. With every click, there is something beautiful to explore: a photo, an idea, an audio clip, a video, or an interactive activity. To enlarge the thumbnail photos, use your mouse to manipulate the orange “Zoom” and “Pan” controls. Unfortunately the size of the photos is limited by the fixed size of the exhibit browser.
Ansel Adams DOI Photographs
In 1941, the National Park Service commissioned Adams to create a photographic mural.
Ansel Adams Biography
“Adams, Ansel (Feb. 20 1902 Apr. 22 1984), photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles Hitchcock Adams, a businessman, and Olive Bray.” This biography (adapted from American National Biography Online) tells the story of a boy who did not fit in any of the schools he tried, and was most likely hyperactive and dyslexic. Adams’ first love was music; he taught himself to play the piano at age twelve. Adams visited Yosemite at the age of fourteen with a Kodak Brownie camera given him by his parents, and eventually gave up a career in music for one in photography.
PBS: Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film
The Emmy-nominated PBS documentary about Adams’ life and work first aired on April 21, 2002. Although designed as a companion to the film, this site also stands alone. It includes a transcript of the film, a timeline that starts in 1839 with the invention of daguerreotype portraits, a gallery of ten photos, and a teacher’s guide. Best clicks are the special features such as the interactive tour of a view camera, early footage of Adams hiking through Yosemite, and a discussion on the nature of photography. “Is it a fine art, equivalent to the other visual arts, or a documentary tool, best suited for recording the facts?”
Suffering Under a Great Injustice
In 1943, Adams documented the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California that interned Japanese Americans during World War II. This Library of Congress exhibit presents “side-by-side digital scans of both Adams’s 242 original negatives and his 209 photographic prints, allowing viewers to see his darkroom technique and in particular how he cropped his prints.” To view the photos, follow the link to Collection Highlights.