65 Comments

My photography professor in college interned for Ansel Adams and had some wonderful stories about learning from him in the field, including one where accidentally flipped the lights on in the print lab. I also love the behind-the-scenes story of how Moonrise was made, it's inspired me to bring life into my photos both in-camera and in post. Loved this newsletter, thanks for doing this giveaway. –Alex from Manhattan Beach, CA

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Dec 21, 2023·edited Dec 21, 2023Liked by Andy Adams

I was adopted at one month old. Recently, through DNA, I found out that my Cousin is Hans Halberstadt and his Father, my Uncle, was Hal Halberstadt, who was a Photographer and colleague of Ansel Adams. I was scheduled to meet Ansel and take one of his workshops when he passed. Had it happened, I'm sure Hal would have said I look like his Cousin, Steven, my Biological Father. He was a Photographer and an Artist. His Father, my Grandfather, was Ernest Halberstadt, a Photographer and Artist, who worked with Diego Rivera and Frido Kahlo.

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Wow. What a post! Thank you. Ansel Adams influenced not just how I feel about photography, but how I see and create in the world. I’m always on the edge of balancing acutance vs resolution and hold Adams deeply in my heart. I’m in Bristol UK.

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Ansel Adams' works brought me into the incredible world of landscape photography. For me it has become an art form unto itself. It suggests mood, temperament, perspective, and a sense of transcendence. Thank you for these beautiful posts!

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Andy, I'm blown away by the amount of resources you share with us. It's a visual Ansel Christmas-fest! Thank you. Ansel Adams photography gave (gives) me courage to explore. I created a black and white lookbook based on my safari trip and found success with a few small galleries for my images. I love how the lack of color tells a different, even vivid, story.

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This post is an incredible treasure trove! I live in Rochester, NY and have always lived on the east coast. Before going to college to study photography, Ansel’s work built a great fascination and eventual love for the west coast within me although I’ve always enjoyed admiring it in small doses. In college, at Rochester Institute of Technology, the zone system was a pillar of my first few years across multiple classes and professors. The combination of creative vision and hyper technical craft greatly informed the nuance of impactful, timeless photography.

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Firstly, Happy Holidays Andy! Thanks to you and Claudia for the wonderful Ansel Adams post. It was Ansel’s landscape photographs that encouraged me to explore the amazing US wilderness when I moved to SoCal nine years ago. The move to SoCal and the discovery of the SW deserts sparked my journey to become a professional landscape photographer. I’ve read (and re-read) his trilogy: The Camera. The Negative. The Print. Ansel set the bar high for the aspiring landscape photographer - but also shared a wealth of learning with us all. Wishing you all the best for 2024.

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Dec 22, 2023Liked by Andy Adams

When I lived in Indianapolis I was taking classes & developing my film, dodging & burning to achieve the best possible photograph and it was there that I developed an appreciation for Ansel Adams because it takes an enormous amount of developing work to achieve greatness like Adams. I now live in SW Wisconsin and retired this past Sept. I plan to pull out my digital 35mm which has been in storage for too many years. I know I'll have to re-educate myself on everything because I've relied on my phone for years but I'm looking forward to the process.

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I went to that exhibit... skeptical. I wondered if the ‘then and now’ was an excuse to put on another Ansel Adams show. But I took a docent tour and was blown away by a) what the exhibit had to say and b) the scope of Adam’s work beyond what everyone knows.

My other experience with Ansel Adams was in college. At RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) there is a large photo school and the school owns an original set of Adam’s prints. I discovered this when working for the library and found out that anyone could go to the archives and view the set there--even us non photo students. I brought a Adams book with me to compare the reproductions with the original. What an amazing different and what a treat to get to compare side-by-side.

Finallyl, everythime I think about Ansel Adams I think of the amazing Donald Kinney and the strory of how a chance meeting with Adam’s influenced his photography. https://www.harveymilkphotocenter.org/events/atmospherics-donald-kinney-photography-exhibit/

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Ansel Adams was a legend when, at age nine, I began my photography journey after receiving a Kodak Brownie for Christmas.

His work still inspires awe in this 84 years old woman. An Ansel Adams calendar for 2024 would be a treasure.

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Dec 20, 2023Liked by Andy Adams

Great post!

Like so many, I was introduced to Ansel Adams while in high school—an art teacher showed us his work… I’d lived out west as a young kid, but my parents had moved back east—Adams’ photography helped reinforce my desire to move back out west one day, which I did for grad school and have stayed out west ever since… Being able to combine hiking and running with photography while immersed in wide open spaces, big mountains and big skies—so much richness to life… —from Tucson, AZ

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Dec 20, 2023Liked by Andy Adams

Perhaps like many people one of my first exposures to "art" photography and landscape photography in particular was the work of Ansel Adams. I learned about him and admired his work long before I got my first 35mm SLR 30 years ago, even though I didn't really understand what I was doing until long after that.

It was reading Adams' books and reading about his work that I truly started to understand photography as more than just the act of pointing the camera and clicking a button. That intention and vision matter much more than just point and click/spray and pray shooting. Yes of course sometimes you get lucky but that luck is the result of consistently applying a skill set, an approach, a vision for the kind of images you want to create.

All these years later my shelf is filled with books by and about Ansel Adams. He was the jumping off point into what has become an essential element of my life, the making and sharing of photographs. I hope to still be creating photographs using the ideas I've learned from Ansel Adams 30 years from now (and hopefully with the same film cameras I love so much).

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Ansel Adams is hands down my favorite photographer. Monolith is my favorite. His life and advocacy stood strong next to his work.

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Dec 20, 2023Liked by Andy Adams

Ansel Adams' "Moonrise, Hernandez" started it all for me. To this day, it still moves me every time I see it. Like you, I was able to see the exhibit at the De Young, and stood in front of that image for a long time. The image is so profound. It speaks to you in so many ways, be it in meaning, composition, or aesthetic. It tells such a personal story that is different for every viewer, I'm sure. It certainly inspired my photography and life.

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Nice post, nice photo. We have a framed image of it. You can stand right there, on the road, and look across the Snake at the Tetons.

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Jan 23Liked by Andy Adams

My goodness what a post. Ansel Adams was the one who opened my eyes to dynamic range and I still think about that while shooting.

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