Ansel Adams was born February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California (Turnage, no date.). Adams parents, Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray were around forty years old when Adams was born (very old for the times) (Turnage, n.d.).
According to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific:
“One of the most active leaders of the [Astronomical Society of the Pacific] was Charles H. Adams, an insurance broker and businessman, who had an amateur interest in astronomy. After joining the ASP Board in 1923, he soon became the Board’s Secretary-Treasurer, a post he held for 25 years. During this time, Society business was often conducted from his home and records were kept there. His son later remembered spending time at the kitchen table attaching mailing labels to issues of the ASP’s journal. Charles’ fascination with the skies rubbed off on his son, Ansel Adams, who became a nature photographer of international renown and later charied the first Annual Fund of the ASP in his father’s honor.”
While Adams is probably best known for his images of the Sierra Nevadas and Yosemite he had a much wider body of work. Working with Dorothea Lange, Adams created various image sets for Time Magazine and others (Deyo, 2002). The subjects of these images were diverse as water rights struggles to the Mormons of Utah (Deyo, 2002). Adams also recorded the Japanese American interment camps from World War II (ZPub, n.d.).
Ansel was one of eleven pioneering and historic figures in photography to found the famous Group f/64 including Imogene Cunningham, Edward Weston, John Paul Edwards, Preston Holder, Consuelo Kanaga and others in San Francisco in 1932.
In addition to the photographs themselves, Adams contributed to the growing field of photography in his development of the “zone system” relating to exposure and development before computerized light meters and developing techniques. Adams was also a consultant for companies such as Polaroid and Hasselblad. (Turnage, n.d.)
Ansel nearly became a concert pianist instead of a photographer. (ZPub, n.d.)
Died of cancer-related heart failure (ZPub, n.d.)
Was never financially secure despite his fame. (Turnage, n.d.)