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Ansel Adams Musician teacher scientist advocate and conservationist are some of the few terms that describe Ansel Adams He grew up in San Francisco where he was born in 1902 and was first introduced to the expanse of Californias Yosemite Valley while on vacation at the age of 14 At this time he was also given a Number 1 Brownie Box camera These two seemingly small events strongly influenced the course of Adams life Fascinated by photography and impressed with the beauty of the Sierra mountains Adams worked with a photofinisher in commercial processing in San Francisco during the winter and he returned to Yosemite every summer As a teenager Adams decided to become a concert pianist but by 1930 after viewing negatives made by east coast photographer Paul Strand he chose instead a career in photography His decision to become a full-time photographer contributed to the formation of a new vision in photography in the West For four years beginning at age seventeen he was the custodian of the Sierra Clubs LeConte Memorial Building in Yosemite This introduced him to an arena that became a driving force throughout the rest of his lifethe preservation and conservation of wilderness areas and national parks in the United States Among his many later accomplishments in this field he served as board member and ultimately director of the Sierra Club and as environmental spokesperson for land protection before Congress He also conducted annual photographic workshops in Yosemite that combined appreciation of the landscapes aesthetic beauty with technical instruction By 1935 Adams published his first book Making a Photograph which was enthusiastically received Six years later his groundbreaking Zone System was formulated which introduced a way for the amateur and professional alike to determine and control the exposure and development of prints for maximum visual acuity Adamss sense of social responsibility and obligation to share
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