Ode to Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is a legend. His explorations, both in photography and in wilderness, as well as his environmental work have informed all who came after. Wouldn’t it be something to have that kind of impact over time? Of course, you probably wouldn’t know it – because you’d be gone, but that’s beside the point.

I know for sure he influenced how I see light, how I consider composition… the tones I aim for in my black and white work… and my love of photographing the outdoors.

Recently, I was searching for quotes to go with a project I’m working on. In the process, I kept running across these really great ones from Ansel Adams. They didn’t work for the project – but I saved them anyway. I thought I’d share a crop of my fave “thoughts du Ansel”. You’ll notice I put a photo with each one – NOT because I’m comparing myself to the Master, nor imagining that I’m “all that”.

It’s just that each of these are things that I do my my best to keep in mind, that actually inform my choices, that drive my own growth, that I have to remind myself of often, that make me smile or that I just think are cool. I imagine some variation of each of these in every image I create… and certainly did my best to do so in the ones I’m sharing here.


“Photography, as a powerful medium…
offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams

Glimpses of lives, loves, homes, humans past.

“The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image
often leads to creative disaster.” – Ansel Adams

She used to worry that she'd miss the answers she was seeking.Till she asked that they be shown in a way even she could not miss...and began to see them in more obvious ways. She relaxed a little after that.

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

For a moment, it was like she stood on the edge of a dream.A really strange,

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer,
and often the supreme disappointment.” – Ansel Adams

It takes courage to survive.The kind of courage that surpasses time. The kind that leaves its mark, like graceful swirls of character,  upon your soul.

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready
to have somebody click the shutter.” – Ansel Adams

... because we all should be.

“…one sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.” – Ansel Adams

The neat little container she kept for love had become too full. She had no choice but to let it run over the rim and out into the land, where it became reflected in every set of eyes she met from that point forward.

“The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score,
and the print the performance.” – Ansel Adams

“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made
in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams

“A true photograph need not be explained,
nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams

Blanca, Bianca and Ginger were inseparable. They dressed, partied and clubbed together. They ate, studied and danced together. Which of course meant that they were always caught by the paparazzi together.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams

Life is fleeting, fragile, full and fabulous.The young and pliable may not yet realizethat when their spring has sprung,the delicacy of age will write an exquisite story in the finest of detail upon them, visible from the stars in the heavens above. The point of it all: Live well. Age delicately.

“I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.” – Ansel Adams
Warm and cold is cool.Snow and fiery is hot.New perspectives are awesome,Narrow-minded is not.