Ansel "Yosemite" Adams
It is said that, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Ansel Adams proved this statement correct with every single image he produced. Some of his best-known photographs were taken in the Yosemite Valley, including his first ever picture of Monolith; the Face of Half Dome nestled in the heart of the valley. When the thought of Yosemite comes to mind, Ansel Adams' name follows right behind it. Adams' life revolved around Yosemite in many ways, and he was often called "Ansel Yosemite Adams" (Fischer 8). He was a caring man and cared deeply about the Sierra Nevada, and seemed to have a psychic connection with Yosemite (Spaulding 615). Ansel Adams once recalled his first visit to Yosemite:
The first impression of the Valley-white water, azaleas, cool fir caverns, tall pines, and solid oaks, cliffs rising to undreamed-of heights, the poignant sounds and smells of the sierra, the whirling flourish of the stage stop at Camp Curry with its bewildering activities of porters, tourists, desk clerks, and mountain jays, and the dark green-bright mood of our tent-was a culminations of experience so intense as to be almost painful. From that day in 1916, my life has been colored and modulated by the great earth-gesture of the Sierra. (Fischer 9)
Adams' love for Yosemite was portrayed through his elegant words and pure black and white images of the valley. The natural beauty of Yosemite was shared with the world through his images of unspoiled rushing streams, raging waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, lone trees and high sierra mountain peaks. In the combination of his photographs and writings, Adams demonstrated "that those who appreciate the earth's wild places have a duty and responsibility to use them wisely and well" (Fischer 8). Adams did just that and took responsibility for the protection of the Yosemite Valley. The beauty of Yosemite and the risks it faces are captured through Ansel Adams' photographs and writings in his effort to protect the land he loves.
In June of 1916, Ansel Adams was introduced to Yosemite on a family vacation. His parents presented him with his first camera, a Kodak Box Brownie No. 1. After his first visit, he returned year after year during the summer months to takes snapshots of the Yosemite Valley (Nash 5). He spent a substantial amount of time in the Sierra Nevada from 1916 until his death in 1984 (Turnage). Three years after his first visit, Ansel Adams made his first contact with the Sierra Club at age seventeen (Ansel Adams). The Sierra Clubs main purpose was for the protection of the Yosemite Valley and the preservations of "the natural world's wonders' and resources"(Ansel Adams). According to the National Park Service's article, "Ansel Adams," Adams took a job working as a custodian for the LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite's first visitor center and club headquarters in the Yosemite National Park. For the next four summers Adams would work at the lodge (Nash 6). This was the start of Adams...