Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ansel Adams

A couple of weeks ago we went to local library - I picked up a book "The black hole at the center of our galaxy" because I thought that it would help to know the starry sky I saw at Yosemite more; Lily picked another Yosemite related book "Ansel Adams in the National Parks" for me.

"The black hole at the center of our galaxy"  presented some fascinating details about our galactic center which I was thrilled to know, but I was quickly bored of reading it because it has too many details for me. So I picked up "Ansel Adams in the National Parks"  and read it every night for a week until the last page was turned.

Before I read the book, I only vaguely knew that Adams was a photographer who took a lot of black and white photos of nature,  rocks, mountains, rivers ...

My first exposure to Ansel Adams's photos, that I remembered,  was at a colleague's office, which had four walls of large frames of Adams' photos of Yosemite. It struck me a deep impression - the striking beauty of Yosemite in black and white, and I remembered the name since

From then on, I paid more attention to black and white photos, I noticed his black and  white photos of nature from time to time, in office buildings, in art galleries, at schools, and at doctor's offices.... - each time they impressed me, and each time they reinforced my memory of Ansel Adams as a great photographer who likes to take black and white photos of nature, Yosemite in particular.

 Then I saw a lot more of Adams' photos in one place, at Yosemite National Park's Ansel Adams Art Gallery this summer. But I did not really know who he was until I read "Ansel Adams in the National Parks" primarily a collection of 225 of his photos of national parks along with some of his writings, and writings of his friends,associates.

"Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was the most honored American photographer of the twentieth century, ......he was also a prescient and highly effective voice in the fight to preserve America's remaining wilderness".

As a nature lover, I resonate with his photos, and resonate with his relations to nature: "You must have certain area of the world left as close-to-primal condition as possible. You must have quietness and solitude. You must be able to touch the living rock, drink the pure waters, scan the great vistas, sleep under the stars, awaken to the cool dawn wind."

In a small way, we practice what he embodied: "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet" - explore nature, have fun.

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