President Jimmy Carter, in presenting Ansel Adams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, best describes the life and work of Ansel Adams. "At one with the power of the American landscape, and renowned for the patient skill and timeless beauty of his work, photographer Ansel Adams has been visionary in his efforts to preserve this country's wild and scenic areas, both on film and on earth. Drawn to the beauty of nature's monuments, he is regarded by environmentalists as a monument himself, and by photographers as a national institution. It is through his foresight and fortitude that so much of America has been saved for future Americans."
Ansel Adams has long been hailed as a master of photography. Environmentalist and photographer, he was born February 20th, 1902 in San Francisco California to Charles Hitchcock Adams. He was the grandson of a wealthy timer baron and he grew up in the sand dunes of the Golden Gate Bridge. His family's fortune diminished during the financial panic of 1907 and hisfather Charles spent the rest of his life trying to rebuild it.
In 1906 at the age of 4, Ansel was thrown to the ground during an aftershock of the great San Francisco earthquake and broke his nose, scarring him for life in the process. This physical characteristic along with a natural shyness also led to the young Ansel having problems in fitting in at school. After trying several schools with little success, his parents took him out of main stream schooling in 1915 and Ansel received home tutoring from an aunt and his father. As a result of not attending school, the young Adams had a lot more time to himself and he used much of this time on long walks around the Golden Gate area. It was here that his life-long love of nature grew and it was perhaps this that put him on his path to becoming a landscape photographer. In 1916 there was another event that was to be pivotal in shaping Adams future. On a family vacation to Yosemite National Park,...
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