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Ansel Adams Prints at Amazon

Updated on December 3, 2012

Ansel Adams prints are of stunning landscape photos taken by himself in the last century. A photographic pioneer in what is called the zone system - techniques to determine the best exposure and contrast of the final print, Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) has left an incredible photographic legacy to the entire world.

Visit the Ansel Adams gallery in Yosemite National Park, where many of his photographs were taken, to see the amazing collection this superb artist left for the world to see, and learn from.

Ansel Adams prints are becoming increasingly popular and even when he was alive he had earned the accolade of being the photographer whose work was viewed by the most people throughout the world.. His works can never again be repeated, and are instantly recognisable for the masterpieces that they are.

The Moon and Half Dome - the framed Ansel Adams print featured right at the top here is possibly his most famous picture, and what a superb image he has managed to create, capturing the late afternoon sunlight reflecting of the mountain facing, which is called the half dome, with the almost full moon making a striking contrast with the blackness of both the shadows and silhouette of Washington Column to the left of the photograph.

This photograph was shot in December 1960 in Yosemite National Park and no-one has since been able to recreate the scene.

Moon and Half-Dome - Ansel Adams Photography

Ansel Adams Photography

Ansel Adams was a sickly child who was taken out of school early at age of 12. For a number of years he was home-schooled both by family members and private tutors.

He did attend college in order to obtain his school leaving certificate which he apparently proudly displayed in his guest bathroom in later years.

He was close to his father who took him to photography exhibitions as a child, and this is probably where he gained his interest that would eventually become his career.

He went on to learn the piano and planned to make a career out of becoming a concert pianist, but in his spare time he took photographs of the beauty of nature around him, especially in Yosemite National park where he spent many hours after persuading his parents to take him there on holiday.

Ansel Adams married his sweetheart Virginia Best in 1928 in Yosemite, the same year he staged his first photographic exhibition while still working as a concert pianist.

Just three years later, in 1930, Adams met renowned photographer Paul Strand and decided to quit his music career for a photographic one, and began accepting commissions for his work.

After opening a studio in San Francisco, Ansel Adams became one of the founding members of a group of photographers who called themselves f/64 (a phrase pertaining to the smallest aperture setting on a camera lens). The purpose of the group f/64 was to promote what they called pure or straight photography.

The other group members were:

  • Edward Weston
  • Willard Van Dyke
  • Sonya Noskowiak
  • Imogen Cunningham
  • Henry Swift
  • John Paul Edwards

The f/64 group only met a few times and had three exhibitions, but managed to persuade the world that their photography was a new American art form.

During the war years of the WWII, Ansel Adams supported the war effort by teaching army recruits how to take photographs, although he was not allowed to join up himself. These became his most productive years as he took photographs that depicted glory for America.

He was by this time also heavily involved in conservation efforts and his fame allowed him an audience with senior politicians.In his lifetime he met with no fewer than 4 presidents.

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. 1941

Moonrise, Hernandez,New Mexico

Probably Ansel Adam's most sought-after print, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico was photographed in 1941.The reprint I have reproduced here is nowhere near as clear as a bought print which has unimaginable depth and clarity. The original prints made by Ansel Adams himself have attained immense value, reaching almost $600,000 in 2006.

It was one of those opportune moments in an artists's life. Ansel Adams was driving home one evening when he happened to chance upon this scene, with the setting sun reflecting off the white of the gravestones and the moon almost directly above. He quickly stopped his car and set up his photographic equipment, and snapped the shot. He wanted to take a second shot but the sun had gone lower and ruined the moment.

The result is this one photograph which was later name Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. Ansel Adams was not great at dating his photographs and was later only able to say that it was taken sometime between 1940 and 1944.

Moonrise has since been studied by astronomists who, using records from the nearby Colorado Observatory have been able to define the exact date as being 4.05pm on October, 1041, judging by the position of the sun and moon only.

It was really important to date the Ansel Adams's photos from this period, because at the time he was under contract to the US Department of the Interior to produce photographs of National Parks, Indian reservations and other public places to decorate the Department's new building., and while he had the right to take photographs for himself at this time, depending on the dates he made claims for expenses, all the photographs taken on those days belonged the theUS government and not to Ansel Adams himself.

The dating of this photograph allowed Ansel Adams ownership.

The Tetons and the Snake River

Ansel Adams photograph, The Tetons and the Snake River, became the property of the US government after it was proved that this photograph, taken in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming in 1942.

What an incredible photograph it is too!

The Tetons and the Snake River. 1942


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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      I wouldn't mind buying some myself - they look great!

    • N.E. Wright profile image

      N E Wright 

      8 years ago from Dover, Delaware

      Interesting story. Nice writing. Still, I am sorry to say I have never heard of Ansel Adams until the story about the CA man who paid $45.00 for the negatives at a garage sale.

      So with that memory in my head while looking for a Hub to read yours caught my attention. Now I want to buy some framed Ansel Adams to hang up on my walls.

      Thanks for the informative story on this talented man.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'm familiar with those 3 works and others of Ansel Adams. Really admire his photography skills. I did not realize that he was home schooled, studied piano, etc. Thanks for this background information. Enjoyed it!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      You're welcome :)

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Izzy, for a very long time I have loved Ansel Adams. Thanks for giving me some very interesting background information! Great hub!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Believe it or not, I wouldn't know what to write about! But thanks for the suggestion :)

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      You have convinced for sometime now, that you can take any subject and make it intersting. Don't you think that with the accumulated writting experiece you now have, that it is time to start on a novel?

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      You're welcome :) He deserves to be written about. He was part of a group that developed a brand new style of photography and his work is simply stunning.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      I love the works of Ansel Adams. I look up to him as a photographer. He really inspires me.

      I didn't know his concert pianist side at all so I'm happy that you wrote about him.

      Thanks very much Izzy!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Thanks Julia, I've only told half the story here of this man's amazing life. Part II coming up. His photographs are something else!

    • AEvans profile image


      8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I appreciate Ansel Adams and his artwork, I am in awe of this hub.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      I think if truth be told, he "aspired" to be a concert pianist.In those days that was the big thing to be, but you had to be top class to get there, and I've got a feeling he wasn't quite making it, despite all the hours of practise he put in. Anyway, he turned out to be a not half-bad photographer!

    • BurningMan profile image


      8 years ago from past, present and future

      Terrific hub, I've always loved Ansel Adams work but never knew much about his background. I had no idea he had been a concert pianist before pursuing photography full-time.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Thanks Sandy! I think the ones I have highlighted are his most famous, but he has so many - I can feel another hub coming on!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      These are all interesting prints.


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