Ansel Adams: It’s All Black and White

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Photo from http://sfr.ee.teiath.gr/htmSELIDES/Art/Photos/Adams/images/AnselAdams1975.jpg
Ansel Adams Slideshow

My daughter and I had a chance to sneak away for a girl’s day out a few weeks ago and we decided to take in a museum exhibit. I knew that the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento was showing an exhibit of Ansel Adams‘ photos from a trip he took with Georgia O’Keeffe and a few other friends in 1938. They took a 10 day backpacking trip into the High Sierra to enjoy the landscape and each other’s company. Ansel made photo albums for the other guests when he returned home. The exhibit was actually one of the photo albums taken apart, matted, and displayed in frames. It was so awesome to see his actual work and handwriting up close. Ansel Adams is known for his black and white images with dramatic shadow and line. I love the crispness of his work and the simplicity of his eye. He can take something ordinary and make it interesting. He can take some awesome and touch your heart.

I am very familiar with the part of the world he photographs and I felt as if I could have been on the trip with them. The photos were both of the landscape and formal and informal portraits of his friends. Here are some links to some of his photographs for you to enjoy.
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Image from http://www.afterimagegallery.com/adamsportf3dogwood.htm

Moon and Half Dome

Collection at LACMA for Ansel Adams

O’Keeffe and Tree (we saw this one at the exhibit)

Georgia O’Keeffe and Oroville Cox

So that is your introduction to Ansel Adams if you have never seen his work before. If you ever get to Yosemite National Park, make sure to visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. Ansel Adams was also very active in trying to preserve the national parks and used his photography as a way of expressing his outrage at certain events that impacted the national parks and land use. He was an example of how artists can impact lives of many people and influence their thinking.

I am thinking about doing a unit on Ansel Adams and having my boys do some black and white photography. It would be awesome to do this in connection with a trip to a national park…hmmm. It would make a great nature journal project too.

 

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