During my introduction to photography, many different photographers’ work was included in many of the books and documentaries that were shown. Many of them caught my attention with their unique styles and mastery of the art, but one photographer stood out from the rest, Ansel Adams. His collection of photography consists of many beautiful photos of Yosemite National Park, some of the people, different types of structures, a few urban area photos, and many other types. Adams’ journey is unique and meaningful to his character and personality which has provided the country with countless efforts in the preservation of nature and its beauty.
This is the reason he stood out among the other masters.
His childhood was not the best, he had many obstacles to overcome during his life. His father lost their “family fortune”(Turnage,1) in 1907 and put them in financial struggle. Both of his parents were in his life and his father encouraged him, but it would be during his educational years when he had trouble both educationally and socially; he would then go on to attend a “private school” (Turnage,3) and earn an eighth-grade diploma.
This did not stop him from living his dreams and finding his passion and creating a life out of what he loved.
Though he is famous for his photography, in his adult life he began his life as a pianist and pursued this passion for a “dozen”(Turnage,5) years before pursuing his true passion for photography full time around his late 20s. His love for nature may have a large impact on his discovery of his passion for photography but his transition from a pianist to a photographer was largely due to the financial success he could gain from it.
He was a well-known photographer and yet he was still in financial struggle throughout his life until his later years. Adams was 20 years old when his work was first published in “The Sierra Club’s 1922 Bulletin”(Turnage,7).
Adams spent a lot of his life outdoors and in the national parks because of his love of nature. He would join the “Sierra Club”(Turnage,7 ) in 1919 and befriend many of the leaders and meet his wife, Virginia. They would marry 9 years later and had two children together. Eventually, he met a man named “Albert M. Bender”(Turnage,8), who would provide and support him as an artist and fully transition him into a photographer. It would not be until the 1930s, for Adams’ work to be viewed in museums and art shows, and galleries. Despite all the recognition and hard work, Adams was still struggling to make ends meet.
His work and attributions for the conservation of wildlife and nature itself can be seen in his photographs. His ability to capture the essence of a national park was like no other and is shown through his work. He would push for various wildlife and wilderness parks, endangered animals, living qualities, and less construction on reserved land.
If it were not for Ansel Adams and his associates, there could have been less of the national parks we see today and less awareness of the preservation of nature. Though these may seem like little accomplishments, they can and will be beneficial in the long run for nature and those who live in it. Not only that, it is a large moment in the history of photography and its impact on society and how photographs can change one’s perspective on a situation. Ansel Adams is one of the Masters of photography and will forever be partially responsible for the conservation efforts and the spread of photography around the world.