Ansel Adams - Early Morning, Merced River
Uploaded by christique on May 26, 2004
Ansel Adams, b. 1902, was important to photography through history and through his works helped contribute to the respect photography is now given as a fine art. He first discovered photography when he received a Kodak #1 Box Brownie in 1916 from his father as a birthday present. At the time he aspired to be a concert pianist as he was an amazing musician, however, when aged 14 on a family vacation to Yosemite National Park, he discovered the Sierra Nevada mountains and returned there at least once every year of his life, thus inspiring his style of photography and subject matter. Photography in its early stages was not considered by critics as a true form of art, but photography was seen as an art form in itself, the art of creating the ‘perfect’ photograph. A flawless print, shot using pure, straight photography and produced using impeccable development techniques. Adams was not at all against this philosophy. He actually embraced it. He himself was a perfectionist and his folio of works reflects this trait, focusing on the unspoiled natural world, ‘I am always visualizing image possibilities in the world around me…’ He did this using top-quality printing, capturing every possible detail using apertures as high as f64. He even established a school of photographers with similar techniques called ‘the f64 club’. In his lifetime, Ansel Adams has produced 10 000 signed fine prints and has held over 500 exhibitions worldwide.
In 1950, During one of his many routine trips to Yosemite National Park, Adams passed a serene landscape and prospective subject just along the highway on the way to the park. He had always passed this subject before and noticed it, but the lighting was never strong enough to capture the image at it’s fullest potential. On this day the lighting was just right for a photo to be taken, as it was sunrise. He noticed this as he was driving along the road and he stopped the car to set up and take the picture. This is how Early Morning, Merced River, Autumn, was shot.
The photograph is black and white with a high contrast. It is of a horizontal landscape format. There is a large, twisting tree with lots of small foliage growing on the smaller branches on its ends. The trunk is short with two thick branches and one thinner one protruding from it. The roots above the ground...