The Books of Ansel Adams: Photography Pioneer
Photographer Ansel Adams died in 1984 but is often in the headlines. In 2012, experts 'confirmed' that a set of glass negatives purchased by a bargain hunter at a garage sale in 2000 were from Adams' portfolio. The buyer paid $45 and the team of experts claimed the 65 negatives of Adams' early work, which were believed to have been destroyed in a fire, were worth $200 million.
The estimate of $200 million shows the massive impact of Adams′ work in photography and environmentalism. His photographs appear on countless posters, postcards, books, calendars and have given millions of people an insight into places of natural wonder like Yosemite, New Mexico, Yellowstone and Death Valley.
His photography still reinforces the beauty of America′s western national parks and the importance of preservation. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America′s highest civilian honor, for his work.
Desirable Ansel Adams′ books include Taos Pueblo, a remarkable insight into New Mexico, from 1930 and the limited edition Sierra Nevada from 1938. For Sierra Nevada, Adams was commissioned to produce the book by a man called Walter Starr as a memorial to his son who was killed while climbing in the High Sierra. The book helped to establish Kings Canyon as a national park in 1940. Born Free and Equal, a photo-essay book about interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, is also notable for showing Adams′ ability to capture people as well as nature. Just over $5,000 will buy one of his Kodak Box Brownie cameras signed by the great man himself. Signed copies of his work are relatively easy to find but they are not cheap.
Adams′ technical contribution to the art of photography cannot be under-estimated. He co-founded the influential photography organization, Group f/64, with the likes of Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, and also co-pioneered the Zone System technique that gives photographers better control over finished images.
Books of Ansel Adams′ Photography
Sierra Nevada. The John Muir Trail
Published in 1938 by Archetype Press, a limited edition of just 500 copies.
Ansel Adams & Mary Austin
There is a scarce 1930 edition from Grabhorn Press when Adams was 28 and a 1977 facsimile edition.
Camera and Lens
Published in 1948, this book is the first part of Adams′ influential series of photo manuals.
Yosemite and the Range of Light
First published in 1979, contains many iconic images from this California national park.
Images 1923 - 1974
Published in 1974 by the New York Graphic Society with the foreword by Wallace Stegner.
My Camera in the National Parks
Printed in 1950, contains 30 mono plates and information on US national parks
Photographs of the Southwest
Published in 1976 with an essay by Lawrence Clark Powell. There′s also a 1994 reprint by Bulfinch Press.
The Land of Little Rain
Published in 1950, focuses on Death Valley, Mohave Desert & more. Austin′s text was written in 1903.
Making a Photograph: An Introduction to Photography
A manual from the master first published in 1935. Features more than 30 photographs from Adams.
Ansel Adams at 100
Printed in 2001 in conjunction with San Francisco Museum of Art. Contains essay by John Szarkowski
The Portfolios of Ansel Adams
First printed in 1977 and several times since. Introduction by John Szarkowski. Covers 28-year period.
This is the American Earth
Published by Sierra Club in 1960. Features many photographers including Edward Weston & Eliot Porter.
The Islands of Hawaii
Published by Bishop National Bank of Hawaii in 1958.
The Tetons and the Yellowstone
Ansel Adams & Nancy Newhall
Published in 1970. Classic photography of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Ansel Adams: Letters and Images 1916 - 1984
A retrospective from 1988 contains 100+ photos and a foreword by Wallace Stegner.
These We Inherit: the Parklands of America
A Sierra Club publication from 1962, contains 42 photographic plates over 103 pages
Ansel Adams in Color
Edited by Harry Callahan with an introduction from James L. Enyeart. Published in 1993.
Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs
In the last book before his death, Adams describes how he captured some of his most famous images.
Yosemite and the High Sierra
Printed in 1994, this contains the best images culled from seven previous books featuring these areas.
Born Free and Equal: The Story of the Loyal Japanese-Americans
Scarce 1944 documentary photo book featuring the inhabitants of the Mazanar Relocation Center.
Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
edited by Andrea Stillman
A recent collection of the photographer′s work.
Typed Letter of Thanks
The letter signed on Adams′ personal letterhead and dated September 17, 1975
Typed Letter to Irving Robbins
Robbins was a noted California collector. The letter is dated January 8, 1964.
Ansel Adams: Our National Parks
Andrea G. Stillman & William A. Turnage
California: With Classic California Writings
Ansel Adams et al.