Landscape photography hasn’t been as prominent on this blog as portraiture or photojournalism, so it’s time to remedy that with a post that’s worth a dozen other posts on the subject. With a requirement like that, it should be fitting to feature someone who has made the landscape photography field what it is today. The only way then would be to present the man who made mountains and valleys look like an altogether different kind of landscape with his black-and-white images, photographer Ansel Adams.
Ansel Adams has become a byword for good photography, whether you’re discussing street photography, portraiture or landscape photography, not only because of his development of the Zone System which all good photographers know to some degree, but also because of his photographs which can be earnestly described as portraits of the Earth herself. His natural talent for getting the right shot in the frame at the right exposure might stem from his early exposure to the beauty of Yosemite National Park, a place which became a second home to him throughout his career.
His growing passion for the outdoors found a natural outlet with the Sierra Club, a group dedicated to wildlife conservancy. This passion for nature is obvious in Adams’ images, but he would also later campaign actively for the preservation of America’s natural wonders. In one case, his images helped convince Congress to create the King’s Canyon National Park. This is just one instance of how influential Adams’ photographs had become, even during his lifetime.