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Ansel Adams, from the mountains to the sea

Royal Museums Greenwich will be displaying the landscapes photographed by the artist,  some of which are being shown to the British public for the first time.

The exhibition is a retrospective of the twentieth century landscape though the photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

In them his fascination with water can be noted, and his tonal range and depth in the field can be found.

“Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea” is composed of more than one hundred photographs that reflect the importance and influence of the artist within the landscape and shows a legacy unknown to many.

With that in mind, the best examples of  the  photographer’s work have been gathered. Images with water are the common denominator: Seascapes, rapids, waterfalls, geysers, rivers, lakes or quiet landscapes full of ice and snow.

Adams portrayed like no other artist the forests, mountains and coasts of the United States and left iconic images of the American landscape in history. In fact, his love of nature and especially Yosemite Park made his work revolve around this theme.

This is why the exhibition also includes the most famous of the twentieth century: “Clearing Winter Storm” held in the Natural Park of Yosemite and “Stream, Sea, Clouds, Rodeo Lagoon” taken in Marin County, North Carolina.

His works are characterised by being free of people which, during his time, was a novelty as it was believed that a landscape should always be occupied by a human figure.

He was openly criticised by photographers such as Cartier-Bresson for not having humans in his photographs. He only includes them when they are part of the landscape, as seen in the image “Farm workers and Mt Williamson” in Sierra Nevada.

He was also an expert in photographic exposure control. His knowledge was so profound that he developed his own theory about the zone system, an exposure method which achieves a more accurate desired result.

“Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea” is exhibited in the Royal Museums Greenwich (Romney Rd, London) until the 28th of April 2013.

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(Translated by: Sophie Maling –

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