Born on the 20th February 1902, in San Francisco and died 82 years later on 22nd April 1984 in Monterey, California. Adams first interest was in music and he was a pianist before he became a photographer and an environmentalist.
Adams came from a conservative family both socially and emotionally causing him to be naturally shy, he had problems fitting in school mostly caused by the events of the earthquake in 1906 which left him with a broken nose which was a distinct feature of his entire life.
He became interested in photography when he first visited Yosemite National Park in 1916. Music influenced Adams photography greatly as it taught him to have substance, discipline, and structure. He loved nature and spent a lot of time exploring his surroundings.
In 1928 he married Virginia Best in Yosemite and had two children, during this time he lived in Yosemite and took many pictures of Yosemite National Park. He was encouraged immensely to pursue photography by Paul Strand, Adams work were based on landscapes and Nature.
Adams invented a method called the zone, which helped him divide the light of a scene into different zones. By doing this it allowed him to separate black and white and blend grey to give him his desired effect on his pictures.
Ansel Adams is best known for his black and white photographs of the American west. He is also known for developing the zone system. The zone system was a way of determining the proper exposure and adjusting the contrast of a final print. It is a way concluding the development and control for black and white in a photograph using 9 different variations of shade varying from black to white. These are called zones.
Ansel had a different way of looking at the process of taking photographs. One of his mottos was “as far as photographs are concerned beauty comes first”. He also advocated the idea of visualisation, which is seeing a photo in the minds eye before taking the photo in achieving all together unity and aethetics. Ansel has also received many awards including a doctor of arts from Harvard and Yale. He has recently been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Some of his photographs such as the Yosemite national park images are one of the most recognisable pictures in the world today.