Book Review: Ansel Adams – 400 Photographs

David Hay reviews this new collection of Ansel Adams’ work. It is likely you are already very familiar with his images, but if not then this book might be a good introduction

I have to confess that I didn’t much like the work of Ansel Adams when I was young. It seemed old-fashioned and from another era. I thought colour photography was the way ahead. I revelled in photographing autumn colours and glorious sunsets. For years I had tried to photograph birch trees in autumn to match the striking images I had seen being created American photographers. Eventually I realised that their photographs were of the much more colourful aspen trees. So, when I first saw the photograph of Aspens, New Mexico, 1958 by Ansel Adams, it just seemed drained of colour. It is now one of my favourite images. So, what changed?

Later in life I came to appreciate the skill of black and white photographers, their ability to show form, texture, light and shade, without the distraction of colour. I believe some people see the world in black and white. They can isolate the shapes in their mind without the distraction of colour. Ansel Adams is the godfather of black and white landscape photography and his style and techniques influenced a whole generation of photographers.

This book features 400 images taken by Ansel Adams throughout his life, in a photographic career that spanned six decades. Some of these images have never been published before. They describe the...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.


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