Ansel Easton Adams (February
20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist, best known for his
black-and-white photographs of the
American West, especially in Yosemite
One of his most famous photographs was
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico
With Fred Archer, Adams developed the zone
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 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
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.
timeless and visually stunning photographs are reproduced on
calendars, posters, and in books, making his photographs widely
Adams was born in the Western Addition of
San Francisco, California
to distinctly upper-class
parents Charles and Olive Adams. He
was an only child and was named after his uncle Ansel Easton. The
Adams family came from New England, having migrated from the north
of Ireland in the early 1700s, but was not connected with the
Presidential Adams family. His grandfather founded and built a
prosperous lumber business, which his father later ran, though his
father’s natural talents lay more with sciences than with business.
Later in life, Adams would condemn that very same industry for
cutting down many of the great redwood forests.
His mother’s family came from Baltimore and his maternal
grandfather had a successful freight-hauling business but
squandered his wealth in failed mining and real estate ventures in
Ansel Adams was born in his parents' bed. When he was four years
old, he was tossed face-first into a garden wall during an aftershock
from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
breaking his nose. Among his earliest memories was watching the
ensuing fire that destroyed much of the city a few miles away. His
left-leaning broken nose was never corrected and remained crooked
for his entire life.
Adams was a hyperactive child and prone to frequent sickness. He
had few friends but his family home and surroundings on the heights
facing San Francisco Bay provided ample childhood activities.
Although he had no patience for games or sports, the curious child
took to nature at an early age, collecting bugs and exploring the
nearby beach. His father bought a telescope and they shared the
hobby enthusiastically. His parents raised him to follow the ideas
of Ralph Waldo Emerson
, to live
a modest, moral life guided by a social responsibility to man and
After the death of his grandfather and the aftermath of the
Panic of 1907
, his father’s business
suffered great financial losses and by 1912, the family’s standard
of living had dropped sharply. After young Ansel was dismissed from
several private schools for his restlessness and inattentiveness,
his father decided to pull him out of school in 1915, at the age of
12. Adams was then educated by private tutors, his Aunt Mary, and
by his father. During the Panama-Pacific
in 1915, his father insisted that, as
part of his education, Adams spend a good part of each day studying
the exhibits. After a while, Adams resumed and then completed his
formal education by attending another private school until eighth
Music became the main focus of his later youth. Possessing a
photographic memory, Adams quickly learned to read music and play
the piano. Through a series of dedicated piano teachers, the
regimen of grueling piano exercises and strict discipline quieted
his hyperactivity and his musical skills blossomed. Music also
provided the channeled emotional outlet he had craved. He applied
himself seriously toward becoming a concert pianist.
Adams first visited Yosemite National Park
in 1916 with his family. The famous valley was the first place in
the United States to be designated a protected nature area by a
Congressional act, signed by Abraham
in 1864. He wrote of his first view of the valley which
so inspired him, “the splendor of Yosemite burst upon us and it
glorious... One wonder after another descended upon
us... There was light everywhere... A new era began for me." His
father gave him his first camera, a Kodak Brownie box camera
, during that stay and he
took his first photographs with his “usual hyperactive enthusiasm”.
He returned to Yosemite on his own the following year with better
cameras and a tripod. In the winter, he learned basic darkroom
technique working part-time for a San Francisco photo finisher.
Adams avidly read photography magazines, attended camera club
meetings, and went to photography and art exhibits. With his Uncle
Frank he explored the High Sierra, in summer and winter, developing
the stamina and skill needed to photograph at high altitude and
under difficult weather conditions.
Close-up of leaves In Glacier
While in Yosemite, he had frequent contact with the Best family,
owners of Best's Studio, who allowed him to practice on their old
. In 1928, Ansel Adams
married Virginia Best in Best's Studio in Yosemite Valley. Virginia
inherited the studio from her artist father on his death in 1935,
and the Adams continued to operate the studio until 1971. The
studio, now known as the Ansel Adams Gallery, remains in the hands
of the Adams family.
At age 17, Adams joined the Sierra Club
a group dedicated to preserving the natural world's wonders and
resources, and he was the custodian of the organization’s
headquarters at Yosemite, for four years. He remained a member
throughout his lifetime and served as a director, as did his wife.
He was first elected to the Sierra Club's board of directors in
1934, and served on the board for 37 years. Adams participated in
the club's annual "high trips", and was later responsible for
several first ascents
in the Sierra
During 1919, he contracted the lethal influenza
which ravaged the world. Adams
fell seriously ill but recovered after several months to resume his
During his twenties, most of his friends came from musical
connections, particularly violinist and amateur photographer Cedric
Wright, who became his best friend as well as his philosophical and
cultural mentor. Their shared philosophy came from Edward Carpenter
, a literary work which espoused the pursuit of
beauty in life and art. Adams always carried a pocket edition with
him while at Yosemite. It soon became his personal philosophy as
well, as Adams later stated, “I believe in beauty. I believe in
stones and water, air and soil, people and their future and their
fate.” He decided that the purpose of his art from now on, whether
photography or music, was to reveal that beauty to others and to
inspire them to the same calling.
In summer, Adams would enjoy a life of hiking, camping, and
photographing, and the rest of the year he worked to improve his
piano playing, expanding his piano technique and musical
expression. He also gave piano lessons to make some income, finally
affording a grand piano suitable to his musical ambitions. An early
piano student was mountaineer and fellow Sierra Club leader
His first photographs were published in 1921 and Best’s Studio
began selling his Yosemite prints the following year. His early
photos already showed careful composition and sensitivity to tonal
balance. In letters and cards to family, he also expresses his
daring to climb to the best view points and brave the worst
elements. At this point, however, Adams was still planning a career
in music, even though his small hands, easily bruised by bravura
playing, limited his repertoire to practiced works which benefited
from his strengths of fine touch and excellent musicality. It took
seven more years, though, for Adams to finally concede that at best
he might become a concert pianist of limited range, an accompanist,
or a piano teacher.
In the mid-1920s, Adams experimented with soft-focus, etching,
, and other
techniques of the pictorial
photographers, such as Photo-Secession
leader Alfred Stieglitz
who strived to put
photography on an equal artistic plane with painting by trying to
mimic it. However, Adams steered clear of hand-coloring which was
also popular at the time. Adams used a variety of lenses to get
different effects, but eventually rejected pictorialism for a more
realist approach which relied more heavily on sharp focus,
heightened contrast, precise exposure, and darkroom
Adams contracted for his first portfolio, in his new style, which
included his famous image Monolith, the vertical western
face of Half
Dome taken with his Korona view camera utilizing glass
plates and a dark red filter (to heighten the tonal
On that excursion, he had only one plate left
and he “visualized” the effect of the blackened sky before risking
the last shot. As he stated, “I had been able to realize a desired
image: not the way the subject appeared in reality but how it
to me and how it must appear in the finished print”.
As he wrote confidently in April, 1927, “My photographs have now
reached a stage when they are worthy of the world’s critical
examination. I have suddenly come upon a new style which I believe
will place my work equal to anything of its kind.”
With the sponsorship and promotion of Albert Bender, an
arts-connected businessman, Adams’s first portfolio was a success
(earning nearly $3,900) and soon he received commercial assignments
to photograph the wealthy patrons who bought his portfolio. Adams
also came to understand how important it was that his carefully
crafted photos were reproduced to best effect. At Bender’s
invitation, he joined the prestigious Roxburghe Club, an
association devoted to fine printing and high standards in book
arts. He learned much about printing techniques, inks, design, and
layout which he later applied to other projects. Unfortunately, at
that time, most of his darkroom work was still being done in the
basement of his parent’s home, and he was somewhat limited by
barely adequate equipment.
After a cooling off period with Virginia Best during 1925–6, during
which he had short-lasting relationships with various women, many
of them students of colleague Cedric Wright, he married Virginia in
1928. The newlyweds moved in with his parents to save expenses. His
marriage also marked the end of his serious attempt at a musical
career, as well as her ambitions to be a classical singer.
Between 1929 and 1942, Adams’s work matured and he became more
established. In the course of his 60-year career, the 1930s were a
particularly productive and experimental time. Adams expanded his
works, focusing on detailed close-ups as well as large forms from
mountains to factories. In 1930 Taos Pueblo, Adams second portfolio, was published with text by
writer Mary Austin.
In New Mexico, he was introduced to
notables from Stieglitz’s circle, including painter Georgia O’Keeffe
, artist John Marin
, and photographer Paul Strand
, all of whom created famous works
during their stays in the Southwest. Adams’s talkative,
high-spirited nature combined with his excellent piano playing made
him a hit within his enlarging circle of elite artist friends.
Strand especially proved influential, sharing secrets of his
technique with Adams, and finally convincing Adams to pursue
photography with all his talent and energy. One of Strand’s
suggestions which Adams immediately adopted was to use glossy paper
rather than matte to intensify tonal values.
Through a friend with Washington connections, Adams was able to put
on his first solo museum exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution
in 1931, featuring 60 prints taken in the High Sierra. He received
an excellent review from the Washington Post, “His photographs are
like portraits of the giant peaks, which seem to be inhabited by
mythical gods”. Despite his success, Adams felt he was not yet up
to the standards of Strand. He decided to broaden his subject
matter to include still life and close-up photos, and to achieve
higher quality by “visualizing” each image before taking it. He
emphasized the use of small apertures and long exposures in natural
light, which created sharp details with a wide range of focus, as
demonstrated in Rose and Driftwood
(1933), one of his
finest still-life photographs.
Adams had a group show at the M. H. de Young Museum with Imogen
Cunningham and Edward Weston and
they soon formed Group f/64, which
espoused “pure or straight photography” over pictorialism ( being a very small aperture setting that gives great depth of field).
The group’s manifesto
stated that “Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities
of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art
form”. In reality, “pure photography” did borrow from some of the
established principles of painting, especially compositional
balance and perspective, and some manipulation of subject and
effect. By these standards, not only were “soft focus” lenses
prohibited but Adams earlier photo Monolith
, which used a
strong red filter to create a black sky, would have been considered
Following Stieglitz’s example, in 1933 Adams opened his own art and
photography gallery in San Francisco which eventually became the
Danysh Gallery after Adams commitments grew too burdensome. Adams
also began to publish essays in photography magazines and wrote his
first instructional book Making a Photograph
During the summers, he often participated in Sierra Club outings,
as a paid photographer for the group, and the rest of the year a
core group of the Club members socialized regularly in San
Francisco. During 1933, his first child Michael was born, followed
by Anne two years later.
During the 1930s, many photographers including Dorothea Lange
and Walker Evans
believed they had a social
obligation to reveal the harsh times of the Depression through
their art. Mostly resistant to the “art for life’s sake” movement,
Adams did begin in the 1930s to deploy his photographs in the cause
of wilderness preservation. In part, he was inspired by the
increasing desecration of Yosemite Valley by commercial
development, including a pool hall, bowling alley, golf course,
shops, and automobile traffic. He created a limited-edition book in 1938,
Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail, as part of the Sierra
Club's efforts to secure the designation of Sequoia and Kings Canyon as national parks.
This book and his
testimony before Congress played a vital role in the success of the
effort, and Congress designated the area as a National Park in
In 1935, Adams created many new photos of the Sierra and one of his
most famous photographs, Clearing Winter Storm
the entire valley just as a winter storm relented, leaving a fresh
coat of snow. After courting Stieglitz for three years, Adams
gathered his recent work and had a solo show at the Stieglitz
gallery “An American Place” in New York in 1936. The exhibition
proved successful with both the critics and the buying public, and
earned Adams strong praise from the revered Stieglitz. During the
balance of the 1930s, Adams took on many commercial assignments to
supplement the income from the struggling Best’s Studio. Until the
1970s, Adams was financially dependent on commercial projects. Some
of his clients included Kodak, Fortune magazine, Pacific Gas and
Electric, AT&T, and the American Trust Company. In 1939, he was
named an editor of U.S. Camera
, the most popular photography magazine at
In 1940, Ansel put together A Pageant of Photography
most important and largest photography show in the West to date,
attended by millions of visitors. With his wife, Adams completed a
children’s book and the very successful Illustrated Guide to
during 1940 and 1941. Adams also began his
first serious stint of teaching in 1941 at the Art Center School of
Los Angeles, which included the training of military photographers.
In 1943, Adams had a camera platform mounted on his station wagon,
to afford him a better vantage point over the immediate foreground
and a better angle for expansive backgrounds. Most of his
landscapes from that time forward were made from the roof of his
car rather than from summits reached by rugged hiking, as in his
On a trip in New Mexico weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor in
1941, Adams shot a scene of the Moon rising above a modest village
with snow-covered mountains in the background, under a dominating
black sky. The photograph is one of his most famous and is named,
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico
. The photograph’s fame was
probably enhanced by Adams’s description in his later booksof how
it was made: the light on the crosses in the foreground was rapidly
fading, and he could not find his exposure meter; however, he
remembered the luminance
of the Moon, and
used it to calculate the proper exposure. Adams’s earlier account
was less dramatic, stating simply that the photograph was made
after sunset, with exposure determined using his Weston Master
meter.However the exposure was actually determined, the foreground
was underexposed, the highlights in the clouds were quite dense,
and the negative proved difficult to print.The initial publication
was in U.S. Camera Annual
, after being selected by the "photo judge" for
. This gave Moonrise an audience
before its first formal exhibition at the Museum of Modern
Art in 1944.
Over nearly 40 years, Adams
re-interpreted the image, his most popular by far, using the latest
darkroom equipment at his disposal, making over 1300 unique prints,
most in 16″ by 20″ format. Many of the prints were made in the
1970s, finally giving Adams financial independence from commercial
projects. The total value of these original prints exceeds
$25,000,000; the highest price paid for a single print reached
US$609,600 at Sotheby's New York auction in 2006.
In September 1941, Adams contractedwith the Department of
the Interior to make photographs of National Parks, Indian
reservations, and other locations for use as mural-sized prints for
decoration of the Department’s new building.
Part of his
understanding with the Department was that he might also make
photographs for his own use, using his own film and processing.
Although Adams kept meticulous records of his travel and
expenses,he was less disciplined about recording the dates of his
images, and neglected to note the date of Moonrise
, so it
was not clear whether it belonged to Adams or to the U.S.
Government. But the position of the Moon allowed the image to
eventually be dated from astronomical calculations, and it was
determined that Moonrise
was made on November 1, 1941,a
day for which he had not billed the Department, so the image
belonged to Adams. The same was not true for many of his other
negatives, including The Tetons and the Snake River
which, having been made for the Mural Project, became the property
of the U.S. Government.
distressed by the Japanese
American Internment that occurred after the Pearl Harbor attack. He requested permission to visit the
War Relocation Center in the Owens Valley, at the foot of Mount Williamson. The resulting photo-essay first appeared in
a Museum of
Modern Art exhibit, and later was published as Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal
He also contributed to the war
effort by doing many photographic assignments for the military,
including making prints of secret Japanese installations in the
Aleutians. Adams was the recipient of three Guggenheim
during his career, the first in 1946 to photograph every National
Park. This series of photographs produced
memorable images of “Old Faithful Geyser”, Grand Teton, and Mount McKinley.
Adams was asked to form the first fine art photography department
at the California School of Fine
Adams invited Dorothea Lange
, Imogen Cunningham
and Edward Weston
to be guest lecturers and
to be lead instructor. The
photography department produced numerous notable photographers
including Philip Hyde
, Charles Wong, Bill
Heick, Ira Latour, Cameron McCauley, Gerald Ratto and many
In 1952 Adams was one of the founders of the magazine Aperture
, which was intended as a
serious journal of photography showcasing its best practitioners
and newest innovations. He was also a contributor to Arizona Highways
, a photo-rich travel
magazine which continues today. His article on Mission San
Xavier del Bac, with text by longtime friend Nancy Newhall, was enlarged into a book
published in 1954.
This was the first of many collaborations
with her. In June 1955, Adams began his annual workshops, teaching
thousands of students until 1981.
By the 1950s, Adams came to believe that he was on the down side of
his creative life. He continued with commercial assignments for
another twenty years and became a consultant on a monthly retainer
for Polaroid Corporation, founded by good friend Edwin Land
. He made thousands of photographs with
Polaroid products, El Capitan, Winter, Sunrise
being the one he considered his most memorable. In the final twenty
years of his life, the Hasselblad was his camera of choice, with
Moon and Half Dome
(1960) being his favorite photo made
with that brand of camera.
1960s, a few mainstream art galleries (without a photographic
emphasis) which originally would have considered photos unworthy of
exhibit alongside fine paintings decided to show Adams's
images—notably the Kenmore Gallery in Philadelphia.
In March 1963, Ansel Adams and Nancy
Newhall accepted a commission from Clark
, the President of the University of California
produce a series of photographs of the University's campuses to
commemorate its centennial celebration. The collection,
titled Fiat Lux after the University's motto, was
published in 1967 and now resides in the Museum of Photography at
the University of California,
Adams had a major retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
Much of his time during the 1970s was
spent curating and re-printing negatives from his vault, in part to
satisfy the great demand of art museums which had finally created
departments of photography and desired his iconic works.
devoted his considerable writing skills and prestige to the cause
of environmentalism, focusing particularly on the Big Sur coastline of California and the protection of
Yosemite from over-use.
President Carter commissioned Adams
to make the first official portrait of a president made by a
Adams is renowned for his photography in Yosemite Valley.
Here is a part of a quote from him to show
his love for Yosemite Valley."Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a
sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of
stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that
exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of
granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and
of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At
first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and
respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature."
Contributions and influence
landscape artists Albert Bierstadt
and Thomas Moran portrayed the Grand Canyon and Yosemite at the end of
their reign, and were subsequently displaced by daredevil
photographers Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and George
But it was Adams's black-and-white photographs of the
West which became the foremost record of what many of the National
Parks were like before tourism, and his persistent advocacy helped
expand the National Park system. He skillfully used his works to
promote many of the goals of the Sierra Club and of the nascent
environmental movement, but always insisted that, as far as his
photographs were concerned, “beauty comes first”. His stirring
images are still very popular in calendars, posters, and
Realistic about development and the subsequent loss of habitat,
Adams advocated for balanced growth, but was pained by the ravages
of “progress”. He stated, “We all know the tragedy of the
dustbowls, the cruel unforgivable erosions of the soil, the
depletion of fish or game, and the shrinking of the noble forests.
And we know that such catastrophes shrivel the spirit of the
people… The wilderness is pushed back, man is everywhere. Solitude,
so vital to the individual man, is almost nowhere.”
Adams co-founded Group f/64
masters like Edward Weston
, Willard Van Dyke
, and Imogen Cunningham
. With Fred Archer
, he pioneered the
, a technique for
translating perceived light into specific densities on negatives
and paper, giving photographers better control over finished
photographs. Adams also advocated the idea of
(which he often called ‘previsualization’,
though he later acknowledged that term to be a redundancy
) whereby the final image
is “seen” in the mind’s eye before taking the photo, toward the
goal of achieving all together the aesthetic, intellectual,
spiritual, and mechanical effects desired. He taught these and
other techniques to thousands of amateur photographers through his
publications and his workshops. His many books about photography,
including the Morgan & Morgan Basic Photo Series (The
, The Negative
, The Print
, and Artificial Light Photography
have become classics in the field.
elected in 1966 a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 1980 Jimmy
awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom
the nation's highest civilian honor.
The Tetons and the Snake River
Adams's photograph The Tetons and the Snake River
distinction of being one of the 115 images recorded on the Voyager Golden Record
Voyager spacecraft. These images were selected to convey
information about humans, plants and animals, and geological
features of the Earth to a possible alien civilization. These
photographs eloquently mirror his favorite saying, a Gaelic mantra,
which states “I know that I am one with beauty and that my comrades
are one. Let our souls be mountains, Let our spirits be stars, Let
our hearts be worlds.”
His lasting legacy includes helping to elevate photography to an
art comparable with painting and music, and equally capable of
expressing emotion and beauty. As he reminded his students, “It is
easy to take a photograph, but it is harder to make a masterpiece
in photography than in any other art medium”.
“Ansel Adams,” wrote John
, of the N.Y. Museum of Modern Art, “attuned himself
more precisely than any photographer before him to a visual
understanding of the specific quality of the light that fell on a
specific place at a specific moment. For Adams the natural
landscape is not a fixed and solid sculpture but an insubstantial
image, as transient as the light that continually redefines it.
This sensibility to the specificity of light was the motive that
forced Adams to develop his legendary photographic
Ansel Adams died on April 22, 1984, at the age of 82 from heart
failure aggravated by cancer. When he died he left behind his wife,
two children (Michael born August 1933, Anne born 1935) and five
Publishing rights for Adams’s photographs are handled by the
trustees of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.
Minarets Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest was renamed the Ansel Adams Wilderness in 1985 in his honor. Mount Ansel
Adams, an peak in the Sierra Nevada, was named for him in
archive of Ansel Adams’s work is located at the Center for Creative
Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
John Szarkowski states in the introduction to Ansel Adams:
(1985, p. 5), "The love that Americans poured
out for the work and person of Ansel Adams during his old age, and
that they have continued to express with undiminished enthusiasm
since his death, is an extraordinary phenomenon, perhaps even
unparalleled in our country's response to a visual artist."
Ansel Adams received a number of awards during his lifetime and
posthumously, and there have been a few awards named for him. Some
of the highlights include:
- Doctor of Arts, Harvard
- Doctor of Arts, Yale University
- Conservation Service Award, Department of Interior — 1968
- Presidential Medal of
Freedom — 1980
- Mount Ansel Adams — 1985
- Ansel Adams Wilderness — 1985
- Ansel Adams Award, Sierra Club
- Sierra Club John Muir
- Ansel Adams Award for Conservation, the Wilderness
- On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady
Maria Shriver inducted Adams into the
California Hall of Fame,
located at The
California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier
National Park (1942)
- Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, 1927.
- Rose and Driftwood, 1932.
- Yosemite Valley, Clearing Winter Storm, 1937 or
earlier, probably 1935.
- Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941.
- Ice on Ellery Lake, Sierra Nevada, 1941.
- Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine,
- Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox at Canyon de Chelly,
- Aspens, New Mexico, 1958.
Photographic books (partial listing)
- Sierra Nevada the John Muir Trail, 1938, (reprinted
2006 as ISBN 0-8212-5717-X).
- Born Free and Equal, 1944. ISBN 1-893343-05-7.
- Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, text from writings of
John Muir, 1948.
- The Land of Little Rain, text by Mary Austin,
- This is the American Earth, with Nancy Newhall, 1960
(Sierra Club Books. (reprinted by
Bulfinch, ISBN 0-8212-2182-5)
- These We Inherit: The Parklands of America, with
Nancy Newhall, 1962.
- The Eloquent Light (unfinished biography of Adams by
Nancy Newhall), 1963.
- Polaroid Land Photography, 1978. ISBN
- Ansel Adams: Classic Images, 1986. ISBN
- Our Current National Parks, 1992.
- Ansel Adams: In Color, 1993. ISBN 0-8212-1980-4.
- Photographs of the Southwest, 1994. ISBN
- The National Park Photographs, 1995. ISBN
- Yosemite, 1995. ISBN 0-8212-2196-5.
- California, 1997. ISBN 0-8212-2369-0.
- America's Wilderness, 1997. ISBN 1-56138-744-4.
- Born Free and
Equal, 2002. ISBN 1-893343-05-7.
- Ansel Adams: The Spirit of Wild Places, 2005. ISBN
- Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, 2007. ISBN 0316117722,
- Seven Portfolios of Original Photographic prints (1948, 1950,
1960, 1963, 1970, 1974, 1976)
- Making a Photograph, 1935.
- Camera and Lens: The Creative Approach, 1948. ISBN
- The Negative: Exposure and Development, 1948. ISBN
- The Print: Contact Printing and Enlarging, 1950. ISBN
- Natural Light Photography, 1952. ISBN
- Artificial Light Photography, 1956. ISBN
- The Camera, 1995. ISBN 0-8212-2184-1
- The Negative, 1995. ISBN 0-8212-2186-8
- The Print, 1995. ISBN 0-8212-2187-6
- Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, 1983. ISBN
- Alinder, Mary Street, 1996. Ansel Adams: a Biography.
New York: Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-4116-8, p. 4.
- Ansel Adams, 1983a. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography.
Boston: Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 0-8212-1596-5, p. 4
- Adams, 1983a, p. 14.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 11.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 9.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 18.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 24.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 19.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 53.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 36.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 57.
-  Ansel Adams and the Sierra Club: About Ansel
Adams, retrieved October 3, 2009
- Alinder, 1996, p. 47.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 9.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 27.
- Alinder and Stillman, 1988. Ansel Adams: Letters and Images
1916–1984. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 0-8212-1691-0,
- Adams, 1983a, p. 28.
- Alinder, 1996, pp. 38–42.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 76.
- Alinder and Stillman, 1988, p. 30.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 62.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 68.
- Alinder, 1996, pp. 73–4.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 77.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 87
- Adams, 1983a, p. 115.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 114.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 102.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 120.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 158.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 159.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 312.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 239.
- Ansel Adams, 1981. The Negative. Boston: New York
Graphic Society. ISBN 0-8212-1131-5, p. 127.
- Adams, 1983a, pp. 273–75.
- Ansel Adams, 1983b. Examples: The Making of 40
Photographs. Boston: New York Graphic Society. ISBN
0-8212-1750-X, pp. 40–3.
- T.J. Maloney, ed., Lt. Comdr. Edward Steichen, photo judge,
1942. U.S. Camera 1943 annual. New York: Duell, Sloan
& Pearce, pp. 88–9.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 192, states that the image caption for
Moonrise in U.S. Camera 1943 was inaccurate,
citing discrepancies in several technical details.
- Adams, 1983b, p. 42.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 192
- Alinder, 1996, p. 193
- Alinder, 1996, pp. 185–99.
- Peter Wright and John Armor, 1988. The Mural Project.
Santa Barbara, California: Reverie Press ISBN 1-55824-162-0, p. vi.
Although verbal agreement was given on September 30, 1941, the
contract was actually approved on November 3 and backdated to
- Wright and Armor, 1989, p. vi.
- Sean Callahan, 1981. “Short Takes: Countdown to Moonrise,”
American Photographer, January 1981, pp. 30–31. David
Elmore of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado,
determined that Moonrise was taken on October 31, 1941, at
- Dennis di Cicco, 1991. “Dating Ansel Adams’ Moonrise,” Sky
& Telescope, November 1991, pp. 529–33. Di Cicco
noticed that the Moon’s position at the time Elmore had determined
did not match the Moon’s position in the image, and after an
independent analysis, determined the time to be 4:49:20 P.M. on
November 1, 1941. He reviewed his results with Elmore, who agreed
with di Cicco’s conclusions.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 201.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 175.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 217.
- Vernacular Language North. SF Bay Area Timeline.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 251.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 316.
- Alinder, 1996, p. 260.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 375.
- Goldbloom, J. "Remembering the Kenmore" in "Philly Art Walks"
Fall 1990, Pg 3.
- Alinder, 1996, pp. 294–95.
- The Portfolios Of Ansel Adams
- Alinder, 1996, p. 33.
- Adams, 1983a, pp. 290–91.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 385.
- Adams, 1983a, p. 327.
- Szarkowski, John, Looking at Photographs (1976), N.Y.
Graphics Society Books.
- Sierra Club Award - List By Award, retrieved
October 3, 2009
- Read, Michael, editor. Ansel Adams, New light: Essays on
His Legacy and Legend (1993), The Friends of Photography, San