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Framed artwork 29.7 x 25.6 cm
The photography was taken at the end of a day during which Adams had been taking photographs in the Chama Valley north of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It was on his way home, heading south along the highway near Espanola, that Adams glanced sideways out his car window and saw the scene that would become this photograph.
With the help of his companions, he set up his 8" x 10" camera, arranged his lens, an appropriate filter and was ready to take the exposure when he realized that his light meter was nowhere to be found. See more
Intending to take a duplicate negative because he appreciated the uniqueness of the scene, Adams tried to prepare again, but it was too late. By the time he prepared to take a second negative, the sunlight left the crosses and the precise lighting effect of the scene was lost.
Developing the negative was a painstaking process, done very slowly to allow for maximum control of the image. The resulting negative was difficult to print, and several years after the shot, the foreground underwent a chemical "intensification" process that altered it in such a way that "printing was a little easier afterwards, though still difficult."
The debate was finally settled after a computer analysis of the scene and the precise position of the moon yielded an answer of approximately (!) 4:05 p.m. on October 31, 1941.
This is a photo that Adams was clearly pleased with, as it has garnered much admiration and comment from others. It represents a fine example of the serendipity of the scene combined with his technical methods, knowledge and skill in producing the image, from the initial exposure of the negative to the final "difficult" printing process.
About Ansel Adams
American photographer, born in San Francisco, Ansel Adams is one of the pioneers of photography.
He made his first photographs in 1916 in Yosemite National Park, California. From the beginning, he showed a passion for America's magnificent landscapes. Intended to become a pianist, his meeting with Paul Strand in 1930 would leave an indelible mark on him, confirming his vision of a photography that was pure and devoid of artifice. See more
In 1932, Ansel Adams founded the now famous "f/64" group with exceptional photographers such as Edward Weston, John Paul Edwards and Williard van Dyke. Their line of conduct: close the diaphragm to its maximum - that of the photographic cameras of the time - and capture the landscapes with the greatest precision and the smallest details, thanks to a depth of field extending from the foreground to infinity.
Ansel Adams will devote a large part of his life - and work - to American national parks. Through the purity of his images, he will contribute to their preservation and arouse the general public's enthusiasm for nature, even encouraging the creation of new protected areas. All the photographs of Ansel Adams National Parks together make up 24 albums.