Ansel Adams Essay

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Pages: 5

Ansel Adams photographer and artist
Until the 19th century most artwork was created in a two or three-dimensional media. In England, William Fox discovered a technique that allowed camera images to be captured on paper. This medium has evolved since Fox's discovery in 1839 to a serious and viable form of art today. Photography allows the artist to capture what he sees. The image produced is reality to the artists eye, it can only be manipulated with light and angles.
The photograph is a very powerful medium. The French painter Paul Delaroche exclaimed upon seeing an early photograph "from now on, painting is dead!" (Sayre, 2000). Many critics did not take photography seriously as a legitimate art form until the 20th century. With
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In 1940 he taught his first of many workshops "The U.S. Camera Photographic Forum" in Yosemite with Edward Weston (Capa, 1986).
As Adams work came to the public eye, his skills and artistic visions were sought by many. Life magazine who gave photographers their first published forum in 1936 (Sayre, 2000) commissioned Adams in 1953 to conduct a photo essay of the Mormons in Utah (Capa, 1986).
Adams was also an activist. He used his influence as an artist to encourage conservation of our natural resources. He was deeply committed to this cause. Adams met with and appealed to presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan to make conservation a high priority. Adams efforts contributed to the Bicentennial Land Heritage Act, proposed by President Ford. It was a $1.5 billion dollar, ten-year commitment to our national parks, recreation areas, and wildlife sanctuaries (Kennerly, 1999).
In 1979 former President Ford and Mrs. Ford sent a letter to President Carter recommending Adams for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian honor. On June 9, 1980 Adams received the award from President Carter. The citation praised Adams as "visionary in his effort to preserve this country's wild and scenic areas, both on film and on Earth" (Kennerly, 1999).
The main stream media also honored Adams. On September 3, 1979 Adams was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine commemorating his retrospective show at the