Fort Lytton

12 November 2013

Photographer Ansel Adams

I've been into monochrome photography ever since I was in my early 20s in Switzerland when I had my own darkroom. An interest, I recently redeveloped, when our camera club discussed the subject of Black and White Photography.  We looked at the works of Ansel Adams. What a surprise then when we got to the National Maritime Museum recently on my visit to Sydney and discovered they had an Ansel Adams Exhibition, 'From Mountains to the Sea'.

Ansel Adams was a gifted American photographer and passionate conservationist born in San Francisco in 1902. A solitary and shy child, he left school at the age of 12 to be tutored at home where he could also explore the nearby beaches, sand dunes and waterways of San Francisco Bay. In his 20s, Adams became interested in photography, attending camera club meetings and visiting photographic exhibitions.

In the picture below, one of the most epic of Adams's landscapes, humanity is signalled by a field of scattered crosses in the foreground. The settlement itself makes an irregular rhythm from left to right, in contrast to the fling horizontals of the mountain range and the swift, painterly markings in the sky.
Moonrise over Hernandez, New Mexico 1941

Adams is famous for his photographs of the vast and dramatic landscapes of Yosemite National Park he visited for the first time in 1916. In 1919 he became a member of the Sierra Club, a group of dedicated to wilderness conservation and activism, an important influence in his 60 years career.

Water was one of Ansel Adams favourite subjects. He photographed it consistently and repeatedly from his first picture in 1915 until his death in 1984. He became fascinated in shipwrecks he discovered on the Pacific headlands and in crashing waves and seascapes.


With his pictures of water, Adams pioneered new directions in photography. he was a leading figure in a groundbreaking group of Modern artists who believed that photographers should embrace the mechanical qualities of camera and lens, making pictures that looked like no other art form



Seeing this exhibition alone was worth the trip to Sydney


1 comment:

  1. I myself was in Sydney (9/21 to 10/5); took pictures of the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge as well but they're no where as good as your photographs !!

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