Monday, October 19, 2009

Book Review of Ansel Adams In Color

Ansel Adams in Color

"Throughout his life Ansel remained ambivalent about color photography - a sampling of his reflections on the subject is included at the end of this book. Much of his antipathy toward color stemmed from the extremely poor quality of color photographing. Another source of his frustration was the inability to adequately translate the brilliance of a color transparency into a fine print."
-Foreward by John P. Schaefer and Andrea G. Stillman

I had always loved Ansel Adams' black and white photographs of nature. His photos of Yosemite had added to the pleasure of my trip to the National Park years ago. I hadn't known that Ansel Adams had worked in color, much less, that he had over 3,000 color transparencies. He had worked with color photography when the medium and technology was in its early stages. His frustration with the technical limitations explain why he is best known for his black and white work. However, with the developments in photography and computers, it is now possible to see his work as he would have been prepared to show it.

The photos in this book were selected by a photographer of Adams' generation and fellow member of the Detroit Camera Club who has expressed the debt he owed Adams for the direction and advice. Callahan is also highly regarded and has been described as one of America's greatest visual poets. He chose the photos based on his own aesthetic pleasure - "selecting those things that pleased me" without adjustments for historical reasons or concern for what the image might have looked like once.

The essays and text that accompany the stunning photographs give a fuller understanding of Ansel Adams' work and the development of the art of photography. This book is such a pleasure - whether you read it carefully or glance at the photographs.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Revised edition edition (October 21, 2009), 168 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

Thank you so much, Anna and Hatchette Book Group for the chance to review this book!

Sites for more information on Ansel Adams:

The Ansel Adams Gallery at
Ansel Adams and the Sierra Club at
The History Place at


  1. This looks like something I would enjoy.

  2. I love Ansel Adams. This sounds so interesting--I've never seen anything but his black and white photographs.

  3. I have loved Ansel Adams work for years,decades.
    I have only known him for B&W as well. This books sounds very interesting. My oldest child is very much into photography. I am thinking this may be a book to have in the home.

    Thanks for the review.

  4. I also love Ansel Adams. Thanks for letting us in on this new book. It's definitely something worth looking at!

  5. I had no idea that Adams ever did color work, either. My husband loves Adams. Now I'm going to have to see if I can find a work of his in color for the hubby's office!

  6. This is great, Ansel Adams in Color. I have never seen any of the pictures in color. Thanks for linking this great book review to the party!


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