Ansel Adams (American, 19021984)
Gelatin silver print; 9 3/16 x 7 1/4 in. (23.4 x 18.5 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.177)
© Ansel Adams Publishing Trust
A man whose name is, for many, synonymous with landscape photography, Adams was one of America's most well-known photographers by the mid-1930s, just a few years after his decision to pursue photography as a career. He came to the medium from a background in music and a profound love of the western landscape, particularly that of the High Sierra and Yosemite Valley, where he made the vast majority of his negatives, as well as this photograph. Both influences are clearly evident in this work: the strong vertical dark lines of the tree trunks create a base-line grid for the delicate melody of horizontal, snow-tipped branches, while the clean precision of the print mimics crisp mountain air. As a result, this, like most of Adams' photographs, functions as the graphic equivalent of natural experience.