Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist.
His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park, have been widely reproduced on calendars, posters, and books.
Among his earliest memories was watching the smoke from the ensuing fire that destroyed much of the city a few miles to the east.
Adams and Fred Archer developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print.
The resulting clarity and depth characterized his photographs.
He primarily used large-format cameras because their high resolution helped ensure sharpness in his images.
Adams founded the photography group known as Group f/64, along with fellow photographers Willard Van Dyke and Edward Weston.
He had few friends, but his family home and surroundings on the heights facing the Golden Gate provided ample childhood activities.
His paternal grandfather founded and built a prosperous lumber business which his father later ran, though his father's natural talents lay more with sciences than with business.
Later in life, Adams condemned that very same industry for cutting down many of the great redwood forests.
San Francisco was devastated by the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
The four year-old Ansel Adams was uninjured in the initial shaking, but was tossed face-first into a garden wall during an aftershock three hours later, breaking and scarring his nose.