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4.9 out of 5 stars57
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 December 2007
A fascinating, inspirational book, beautifully and simply presented. There is a just a little relevant text, but the photographs are generally left to speak for themselves, with just a note of the location and date. The images are large enough for the reader to appreciate both the scene that has been photographed, and the concept of Ansel Adams zone system, making the book appeal to both photographers and non-photographers. The chronological order is also interesting, allowing the reader to follow the development of both the artist and the photographic technology of his time.
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on 1 February 2009
Having seen an exhibition of Ansell Adams at the Southbank a few years ago, I became a great admirer of his style of photography. This latest edition includes much of the work I saw. The quality of the book is excellent, bringing to life the details of nature, its moods and the variety of light and shade for which his photography is famous.
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Anyone who has been the places that Ansel Adams photographed knows that the horizons he so often captured seem to go all the way to heaven. While in the early days of photography it was difficult to reproduce large images in books, today there is no problem except for publishers assuming that buyers prefer saving money over having the images be of the right size to express their emotional majesty. I will say that the overall reproduction quality is quite good. Not too much is lost in terms of detail from the smaller size of the images, but the emotional impact is clearly lessened. You feel like you are looking at an image rather than imagining yourself in the scene.

That flaw aside, Ms. Andrea Stillman successfully draws on her close contact (pun intended) with Ansel Adams to select excellent examples of his finest and most interesting work. For those who depend on icons to guide the way, she's included lots of those.

Although the book doesn't have much writing in it, I appreciated the notes beginning on page 413 that explained the context of the photographs, methods used, and personal stories related to their taking and exhibition. I think you will, too.

The book is conveniently organized chronologically with facing pages wisely selected to bring out common and contrasting elements in his work.

I especially enjoyed seeing works of his that I hadn't seen before. From this entire collection, I also gained many perspectives on his compositional style and how that evolved over time to be more awe-inspiring.

Nice job!
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This is possibly one of the largest single-volume collections of Adam's photography.

Amongst its photographs, the vast majority being the grand landscapes in which he excelled and which most would expect to be present, are a few surprises. There are a few scattered portraits or character studies which are very atypical. They could be classic Edward Weston, but the book is not about him!

The book is brilliantly printed and the text is very much subservient to its wonderful imagery. Knowing just how demanding and controlling Adams was about the reproduction of his images, I would like to think that he would have approved of this book. It has a brief Introduction by Andrea Stillman who had once worked with Adams in the 70s before moving to MOMA, so she would have known him quite well. There is a useful bibliography to close, that may help find other Adams publication should you choose.

There is a good appendix at the back which not only provides a reduced-scale version of the image but a segment of Adams notes and writings that relate to it. His note taking was extensive and allowed him to control what he did in the future to such a degree that he could exactly reproduce the exposure in the event that something had gone wrong previously or modify it so as to improve upon it in some way. Extracts from those notes have been separately published in addition to the other instructional and image-oriented books of and by Adams.

Whatever the title etc, you cannot make a series error in purchasing any book of Adams' photography. This is no exception. For his landscape work alone, it is a masterwork worthy of study by today's photographers. For those, consider the relative few non-landscape images as a bonus. For the photographer in general, you are seeing a master at work. There has not been a landscape photographer better than Adams; Weston comes close but not quite matching, although his nature photography is supreme.

For those reasons, this book is very highly recommended.
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on 28 March 2014
Ansel Adams' awe inspiring photographs have been the major inspiration & influence informing my minor attempts at capturing nature in all it's glory. He is the master, I'm just an eager student but I can see the influences in my small scale efforts - he did vast American mountain ranges, I do Welsh hills, he did lakes & rivers, I do ponds & streams, but I can see for certain echoes of his influence in my photographs. That belief has been enhanced by the purchase of this excellent compilation of his wonderous images. I have many larger prints of his work on the walls of my house but while this book doesn't provide the same visual impact the compact nature of this book gives me opportunity to study in detail the composition of the images in order to hopefully further develop my skills. To have so many iconic images in one volume is the ideal companion for anyone who appreciates the true genius of Ansel Adams & an essential purchase.
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on 1 April 2015
Very Comprehensive: Adams' photos from his childhood to the very end. Reader can really get a feel of his evoultion. The book size is relatively small to display properly some of Adams' classic best shots. The book is good as a reference but not so much for "display"
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on 22 October 2015
A stunning collection of photographs by a photographer without equal. Ansel Adam is an inspiration to amateur photographers and a reminder to professional photographers that they too have something to learn.
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on 9 March 2015
A must have for anyone interested in landscape photography. Well laid out, well chosen selection of photographs and no heavy reading. The page size and print quality of the book is as expected at this price point. My only minor complaint is that I would have liked to see better utilisation of the page space with larger pictures and smaller borders, particularly at the beginning of the book but also throughout the entire book. It doesn't matter if his early pictures are not very sharp, this is no reason to print them so tiny.
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on 16 July 2009
A huge, affordable, beautifully printed book. Inspirational for landscape photographers.
A very good read too, as well as the photo's.
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on 1 August 2014
You know you are going to get quality photos with Ansel Adams, so how can one criticise this book!
it's good value with 400 photos all in his amazing style.
The book is well presented. The only grumble is that the photos are printed about postcard size on to a larger page. Surely they could have made the slightly larger in order for us to appreciate them more!
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