Book Review: Looking at Ansel Adams – The Photographs and the Man by Andrea G. Stillman

Looking for your next read? Check out Looking at Ansel Adams - The Photographs and the Man by Andrea G. Stillman, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Michael S.

Ansel Adams was one of the most famous photographers of all time. He is responsible for many of the most widely circulated black and white nature scenes of the first half of the twentieth century. Because his work was so iconic, it tends to overshadow his private life. Author Andrea G. Stillman seeks to correct that.

The author sprinkles in some fascinating details that provide a more well-rounded portrait of the man. For example, for a series of 1940s photos, he, his wife Virginia, and their son Michael, were vacationing. One look at a photo of Mr. Adams’ long “to do” list during this trip demonstrates that he was not very comfortable with leisure time.

In another section of the book, the author underscores Ansel’s frailty and lack of ego, revealing that he constantly worried about money. For most of his professional career, he took all kinds of commercial jobs, concerned he wouldn’t make enough pursuing his art. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1960s-as a senior citizen-that he felt confident enough to turn down outside work so that he could devote full time to his own photographs.

In addition to the photos themselves, the author also provides technical explanations to achieving his special effects.
In short, through solid research and a straightforward writing style, Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man provides a fascinating account of an artist.

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Looking at Ansel Adams

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This post is for educational purposes and the contents are not endorsed by the Fulton County Library System or Fulton County Government.