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Ansel Easton Adams (February 20,1902-April 22, 1984) was an American
photographer born in San Francisco.
Famous for his black & white landscape photographs of the national parks
(Yosemite National Park among others), and as an author of numerous books
about photography, including his trilogy of technical instruction manuals
(The Camera, The Negative and The Print). He co-founded the photographic
association Group f/64 along with other masters like Edward Weston, Willard
Van Dyke, Imogen Cunningham and others.
He invented the "Zone System" a technique that allows the photographer to
translate a visual impression of his or her subject to photographic film and
paper. As well as the Zone System, Adams also pioneered the idea of
'pre-visualisation', the idea of seeing a completed print and then working
through the steps to build that print.
Adams disliked the uniformity of the education system and left school in
1915 to educate himself. He originally trained himself as a pianist, but at
age fourteen was given a camera as a gift while visitng Yosemite National Park.
During his lifetime he was a member and, later, director of the Sierra Club,
a group dedicated to preserving the natural world's wonders and resources.
Adams' was an environmentalist, and his photographs are a record of what
many of these national parks were like before human intervention and travel.
His work has promoted many of the goals of the Sierra Club and brought
environmental issues to light.