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Ansel Adams, Noted Photographer, Apr 22, 1984

 
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject: Ansel Adams, Noted Photographer, Apr 22, 1984 Reply with quote

Noted photographer Ansel Adams is dead
San Diego Union, The (CA) - April 24, 1984

Photographer Ansel Adams, who captured the splendor of the rugged American West in unforgettable portraits, has died at 82, it was learned yesterday.

The acclaimed photographer, who died Sunday, had been hospitalized for three days with a recurring heart problem, said a spokesman for the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

Virginia Adams, his wife of 56 years, was at his side when he died. Funeral services were to be private, Cooke said.

Adams, considered by many the photographer laureate of America, lived in nearby Carmel in a home overlooking the Northern California coast. He worked at his art up until the time he entered the hospital, spending his afternoons trekking through the wild and his evenings in the darkroom.

"He spent hours and hours waiting for the precise moment to capture the shadows, the sun's rays and the great beauty that make up our Western Hemisphere," said graphic-arts publisher Charles Belding of Portland, Ore. "He was one of the great men of our time -- with a camera."

His pictures have been published throughout the world. He is particularly renowned for those of Yosemite National Park, which he first visited as a boy in 1916 with a Brownie camera.

Adams rarely photographed people, news or social commentary scenes. However, he did commercial photography of every kind, for magazines such as Life and Fortune as well as industrial brochures, to finance his work.

His books sold in the millions, his original prints number more than 30,000 and late in life he held workshops for thousands of aspiring young photographers.

Adams, who was chosen to take the official presidential portrait of Jimmy Carter, became a millionaire through the sale of his prints, a rare thing for a purely artistic photographer. A print of his "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico" recently sold for $71,500, setting a record as the most expensive photographic print ever sold.

A member of the Sierra Club board of directors for 37 years, Adams was fiercely protective of wilderness areas and an outspoken foe of the Reagan administration, which he once called the "greatest threat to our environment ever."

The only child of a wealthy insurance man and amateur astronomer, Adams was born in San Francisco on Feb. 20, 1902, and grew up in a house overlooking the spectacular scenery of the Golden Gate. During the 1906 earthquake, he suffered a broken nose when a brick fell on him.

Adams tramped through the mountains for years as a guide for the Sierra Club, taking pictures all the while. In 1927, a remarkable picture he took of Half Dome in Yosemite, widely circulated by the club, propelled him to fame as a photographer of nature.

"Artistic success requires hard work," he once said. "You have to do it in music, but photographers don't believe it. They think you just take a picture."

His photographic output was prolific. He was influenced by the famed Alfred Stieglitz in 1936 and soon had a one-man show in New York.

Four years later, Adams helped set up the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He later founded the department of photography at the San Francisco Art Institute and helped start Friends of Photography in Carmel.

Along with Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, Adams in 1932 founded Group f64, named for the smallest lens aperture available then.

"It was devotion to the straight print, paper surfaces without textures that would conflict with the image texture," he said. "It was a belief in sharpness throughout the photograph. f64 is a small stop on the camera that gives great depth of field and sharpness."

In addition to his wife, Adams is survived by a son, Dr. Michael Adams of Fresno, and a daughter, Mrs. Anne Helms of Redwood City.

PHOTO: Ansel Adams

Associated Press Edition: 1,2,3,4
Page: A-1
Copyright 1984 Union Tribune Publishing Co.
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