Ansel Adams

"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist widely regarded as the most important landscape photographer of the twentieth century, best known for his iconic images of the American West, including Yosemite National Park, which he used to promote conservation of wilderness areas. His iconic black & white images helped to establish photography among the fine arts in the second half of the twentieth century, and he is perhaps the most widely known and beloved photographer in the history of the United States; the popularity of his work has only increased since his death. Adams helped form f/64, a group whose common style of 'pure' photography favoured sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph, with images carefully framed through a particularly Western (USA) viewpoint. He developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System which involved a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed in exposure, negative development and printing. Adams made his name by producing the extraordinary resulting clarity and depth of his images seen in the final prints, the most famous of which is 'Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico' which he made in 1941. Adams was a key advisor in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in security photography's collectable status within the art world, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.