Legacy: Ansel Adams: Photographer

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Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist, best known for his richly detailed black-and-white photographs of the American West and National Parks, especially Yosemite National Park.

The photograph Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park (1942), shown above, demonstrates the signature Ansel Adams style of black-and-white photography.

One of his most famous photographs was Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California. With Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterized his photographs and the work of those to whom he taught the system.

Adams primarily used large-format cameras despite their size, weight, setup time, and film cost, because their high resolution helped ensure sharpness in his images. Adams founded the Group f/64 along with fellow photographers Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, which in turn created the Museum of Modern Art’s department of photography.

Adams’s photographs are still reproduced with great frequency today on calendars, posters, and in books, making his photographs widely distributed.

Graphics Magazine’s Legacy series profiles notable people from the past who have made a significant contribution to the visual arts.

Source: US Department of State: Art in Embassies, Photos Wikipedia Commons

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