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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ansel Adams In Color - A Review by Toni

About the Author (s)

In a career that spanned six decades, Ansel Adams was at once America's foremost landscape photographer and one of its most ardent environmentalists. His work has been published in a multitude of books, posters, and calendars.

Andrea G. Stillman, who worked with Adams in the 1970s, has edited several books of his photographs and writings, including Letters and Images: 1916-1984, Our National Parks, and Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs. She lives in New York City.

John P. Schaefer was a student, collaborator, and close friend of Ansel Adams, and is currently the president of Research Corporation and a Trustee of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. In 1975, as president of the University of Arizona, he helped found the Center for Creative Photography. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

About the Book:

Toward the end of his life Ansel Adams wrote, "People are skeptical about my thoughts on color. I do not blame them, as I have protested it and have not shown color pictures. I feel the urge now and only wish I was sixty years younger!"

Adams began to photograph in color in the mid-1930s. He did significant personal or "creative" photography in color, and his distinctive visualization of a scene and technical mastery is immediately evident in his color photographs. Overall, he made nearly 3,500 color images, but only a small fraction have ever been published.

Adams thought seriously about publishing his color images but the task was not accomplished during his lifetime. The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust--with advice and counsel from John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art; David Travis, Curator of Photographs at the Art Institute of Chicago; and James Enyeart, former Director of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House--asked the distinguished master photographer Harry Callahan to select the best of Adams' color work for publication in this book.

Accompanied by an introductory essay by Enyeart, and a selection of Adams' fascinating, often contradictory writings on color photography, these magnificent color images add a new dimension to Adams' enduring legacy.
My review:
I was thrilled to have the chance to review this stunning book. Thank you Anna at Hachette Book Group for providing me a copy to review. I have always been fond of Ansel Adam's work especially the photo shots of my favorite place Yosemite, California. I can not begin to describe the joy it was to get this book and literally curl up on the sofa with my coffee and look at the color photos. I will not lie, I looked at the photos first before reading the wonderful introduction and essay. But in the same sitting I did go back and read all of the introduction and essay. It was remarkable to finish up the book with a section that includes Adam's thoughts/writings on color photography.

Some of my favorite shots include:
  • Yosemite Valley from the Esplanade, Yosemite National Park, California 1948
  • Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 1953
  • Detail of the Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Reserve, Alaska 1948
  • Mount Mckinley, Grass, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska 1948

This is by far the best book to grace my coffee table in a long time. I highly recommend the book. The holidays are approaching and this would be a remarkable gift. I do not think anyone would be disappointed with this book. I don't usually give ratings on books but I do give this one five stars.

I am far from finished looking at this book. As a matter of fact, I got caught up in it all over again trying to get my notes for this review. Since you see this post, you will know that finally I was able to tear myself away from the clutches of this book and write.

Have a Great Day!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I had no idea he had work in color. The book looks beautiful; thanks for sharing it!

bermudaonion said...

Ansel Adams was so talented - I bet this is gorgeous!

Ashley Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
itsJUSTme-wendy said...

Wow, that looks like a beautiful book!
I am writing this at 2:15 am during the read-a-thon, i am dead tired and yet still I read.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I didn't know this book was out - I think it will make a great gift this holiday season (thinking of my Dad or my niece, both love outdoor photography)

Thanks for the review, Toni; sounds like you really enjoyed it (twice!)

Serena said...

Sounds like you were tickled pink with this book. I love Ansel Adam's work!

Fantastic gift idea...for me! :)

Amy said...

What a stunning book! I find Ansel Adams photographs breath-taking and couls stare at them for hours. His black & white work is beautiful and, at times, austere. You really see the outlines of the rock and other aspects of nature. The color photographs bring everything alive. I think I'd like to hanf two similar photographs side by side, one in black & white and one in color.