Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was born and raised in San Francisco. He took his first photograph in 1916, and after training to become a concert pianist, he changed directions and became a photographer. Adams is famous for his spectacular images of the American West and is also known for his technical skill, pioneering the zone system method of exposure and development control. He believed in straight, unmanipulated photography, and in 1932 Adams cofounded Group f/64, which promulgated those ideas. That year he exhibited his work with the group at San Francisco's M. H. de Young Memorial Museum. In 1936, his images were featured in a one-person exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz's New York gallery, and three years later he was in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1940, Adams helped found the department of photography there and later was awarded two fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to photograph America's national parks. He authored numerous books and published several portfolios of his images. He also wrote a series of very influential technical books on photography. In addition, Adams was highly regarded as a teacher, lecturer, and conservationist. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.
Notable photographs1. Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, 1927.Rose and Driftwood, San Francisco, California, 1932.Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, 1937.Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, 1940.Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941.Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California, 1944.Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958.El Capitan, Winter, Sunrise, 1968The above information for each photograph is taken from Adams's 1983 book Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs.