Ansel Adams is much different from the common photographer today, who takes hundreds of images in order to find one shot that was just right after being modified in Photoshop. Ansel Adams believed it only took one shot to get a masterpiece. Photographers can learn from him the need for sensitivity. In our world, we can take so many photographs and the digital camera can do so many things automatically for us. Ansel Adams would have an awareness of all the light within the viewfinder, an awareness of the highlights and shadows, and of the shapes in his composition, without ever having to look back at the LCD after taking a photo. If we were to take the same amount of thought that Ansel Adams took when taking one shot and still use modern day tools to teach us rather than letting them be a crutch, our photographs would greatly improve.
The works of Ansel Adams are in Black and White. An individual that is new to photography can learn from this. In simplicity we find beauty. In his photograph of Mt. McKinley and Wonder Lake the subject is a simple landscape of the mountain and waterfront. We see the intensity of value that comes from the snow and the lake and the soft tones of the entire composition. The composition itself is very thought out and balanced. The exposure is perfect. Perhaps if you haven’t tried removing color from your complicated compositions it would serve you well to try.
This article is part of the Famous Photographers Series.