free hit counter code Ansel Adams: A Biography - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Ansel Adams: A Biography

Availability: Ready to download

In his 1985 autobiography, Ansel Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his magnificent pictures. Here, Mary Street Alinder--who collaborated with Adams on his memoir and was his assistant in later life--is not reticent about the major emotional episodes in Adams's life, including his marriage and extramarital affairs, and his not-altogether-success In his 1985 autobiography, Ansel Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his magnificent pictures. Here, Mary Street Alinder--who collaborated with Adams on his memoir and was his assistant in later life--is not reticent about the major emotional episodes in Adams's life, including his marriage and extramarital affairs, and his not-altogether-successful fatherhood. She explores the major artistic influences on his work and gives in-depth profiles of the significant figures in his circle. She also explains the technique and style Adams developed to obtain his unique vision, as well as his uneasiness at becoming a commodity. Ansel Adams: A Biography is an intimate and provocative portrait of the world's most famous photographer.


Compare
Ads Banner

In his 1985 autobiography, Ansel Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his magnificent pictures. Here, Mary Street Alinder--who collaborated with Adams on his memoir and was his assistant in later life--is not reticent about the major emotional episodes in Adams's life, including his marriage and extramarital affairs, and his not-altogether-success In his 1985 autobiography, Ansel Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his magnificent pictures. Here, Mary Street Alinder--who collaborated with Adams on his memoir and was his assistant in later life--is not reticent about the major emotional episodes in Adams's life, including his marriage and extramarital affairs, and his not-altogether-successful fatherhood. She explores the major artistic influences on his work and gives in-depth profiles of the significant figures in his circle. She also explains the technique and style Adams developed to obtain his unique vision, as well as his uneasiness at becoming a commodity. Ansel Adams: A Biography is an intimate and provocative portrait of the world's most famous photographer.

30 review for Ansel Adams: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    In college, I took up photography for a while, and was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. At that time, in 1980, Ansel Adams was a legendary figure, a philosopher of artistic photography and the inventor of the zone system so drilled into us by our instructor at UMSL. I didn't respond to his pictures then, preferring photos with people or buildings to photos of trees and rocks. It took me a long time to see the inspiration and meaning in Adams' extremely familiar work. Now, having read th In college, I took up photography for a while, and was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. At that time, in 1980, Ansel Adams was a legendary figure, a philosopher of artistic photography and the inventor of the zone system so drilled into us by our instructor at UMSL. I didn't respond to his pictures then, preferring photos with people or buildings to photos of trees and rocks. It took me a long time to see the inspiration and meaning in Adams' extremely familiar work. Now, having read this biography written by the same woman who co-wrote his autobiography (surely a rarity in biography worlds), I'm much more aware of just how extraordinary it was for Adams to develop his artistic sense in a world wherein photography was still barely taken seriously as anything other than documentation. It was fascinating to follow his struggles finding new ways of seeing the outdoors environments he loved so much, and to see him slowly becoming accepted by the growing number of art photographers in the 20s and 30s. Adams' personal life was not as fulfilling as his artistic one - though he remained married to the same woman he first loved seriously for nearly 50 years, most of those years were spent largely apart. Alinder does best telling the stories of Adams' youthful struggles and discoveries, and her narrative skills are reduced to a steady stream of anecdotes once his inspiration deserted him in roughly 1950. The book becomes downright insufferable near the end, when she joins the story as an assistant to Adams in his last years, though there are some intriguing details that only she could tell, such as the story of Clint Eastwood's visit to Adams' home.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Library Biography #28 "History will remember Ansel for three significant contributions: his art; his role in the recognition of photography as a fine art; and his work as an environmental activist." Now, over 30 years after his death, I don't believe Ansel Adams' name is completely recognizable. I've noticed, typically, when I show people his work, "Ahh, yes." His artwork is well known, but not necessarily his name. I was very looking forward to reading this book for two reasons - first, my mother Library Biography #28 "History will remember Ansel for three significant contributions: his art; his role in the recognition of photography as a fine art; and his work as an environmental activist." Now, over 30 years after his death, I don't believe Ansel Adams' name is completely recognizable. I've noticed, typically, when I show people his work, "Ahh, yes." His artwork is well known, but not necessarily his name. I was very looking forward to reading this book for two reasons - first, my mother had an Ansel Adams print on hanging her wall and told me that my brother loved his work. I was awestruck. Second, with my Library Biography mission - this book was up next. I took my time with this book and it was easy to do, Alinder does not make the chapters so complicated that you need to continue reading. I was not disappointed. Alinder writes of AA's life honestly. She does not omit things that may make AA look bad. She keeps the book interesting and enjoyable. The book is also not overly technical on photography terms (it could be). My only critique would be that, especially in the beginning, it was sometimes difficult to keep a timeline. For example, a chapter would end and we would be post-WWII. The next chapter would begin and we would be back pre-WWII times. It seems this was done to highlight specific points of AA's life in detail, rather than drag on with a set timeline. Also, more pictures would have been nice, but it seems the author would have needed more permissions to publish more of AA's work. Things I learned and appreciated about Ansel Adams: He was part of a large group that was motivated to see photography seen as an art. Together, this group was able to inspire museums to showcase their work. He was an environmentalist and fought for protections for lands - he was not above contacting the president and had met with many presidents. He seemed to have a John Muir feel to him (most of the time). Ansel Adams seemed to believe that he could make people appreciate nature by photographing it, inspiring them to save nature from an ugly demise. Things that surprised me: Ansel Adams was not one to turn down a job based on principle - he often took jobs for oil companies and even did an ad for a vehicle. He was very bad at dating his pictures and also had a collection of colored photographs that he never wanted printed (but they got published after his death). One thing that infuriated me: After his death, AA's trustees sold his work to be used as propaganda for tactical weapons. Worthy read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    george

    A wonderful biography that illustrates all sides of the great artist and environmentalist. The book details AA's efforts to help move photography into the world of fine art. It also explores the general history of photography and discusses the debate over 'straight photography' versus image manipulation - or, artistic expression of vision and imagination. If you are going to read only one book on Ansel Adams, this should be it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dewayne Stark

    Almost everything you ever wanted to know about Adams. I have never been a fan of the Sierra Club. Their treatment of the Havasupai Indians and the club's fight to throw them out of their birthplace is a disgrace. Their stopping Mineral King and laying spikes and nails in the desert to stop motorcycles so what a group of idiots they were. Ansel didn't always agree with them. Adams was also supported by Senator Cranston one of the biggest crooks ever to reside in California.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    This was interesting and detailed, but I struggled to read more than a chapter at a time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leanna

    I skimmed much of the book. I wanted to read this to learn more about Ansel and to have an understanding of the time when he was in Yosemite and also to be an “armchair traveler” through his works before actually going to Yosemite myself. Some of his pictures were taken very close to home including one that is only an hour’s drive from my house. The reason I had to skim was that there were way too many details about photography for a point and click gal. I did learn quite a bit from this book ab I skimmed much of the book. I wanted to read this to learn more about Ansel and to have an understanding of the time when he was in Yosemite and also to be an “armchair traveler” through his works before actually going to Yosemite myself. Some of his pictures were taken very close to home including one that is only an hour’s drive from my house. The reason I had to skim was that there were way too many details about photography for a point and click gal. I did learn quite a bit from this book about Ansel’s contemporaries like O’Keefe, Stieglitz, Lange, Steichen, Strand (yada, yada, yada) - more than I thought was necessary in a biography. And while I was reading, I searched the web for images of these other artists’ works, so I’ve gotten a casual introduction of photographic art through this book. Sweet.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    I enjoyed this biography even though it was incredibly long. As a photographer, I was interested in the details of his craft, his work ethic and the breadth of his interests aside from photography. I have not read any other biographies of Ansel Adams so I cannot compare it to another. The author seemed to know Ansel well in his senior years and she seemed to be totally supportive of him and his "whims". I think she did a credible job covering his earlier years but I would like to be able to lear I enjoyed this biography even though it was incredibly long. As a photographer, I was interested in the details of his craft, his work ethic and the breadth of his interests aside from photography. I have not read any other biographies of Ansel Adams so I cannot compare it to another. The author seemed to know Ansel well in his senior years and she seemed to be totally supportive of him and his "whims". I think she did a credible job covering his earlier years but I would like to be able to learn more about how he took his masterpieces.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan Harris

    Certainly a commitment given the length. But I doubt anything short could suffice for such a heroic man of art and environment. The book takes you through Ansel's entire life, including the people that deeply influenced him. What I found most intriguing was the stories of Ansel's techniques and journeys to capture certain moments in photographs. The other amazing aspect of this book is the considerable index, full of gems and treasures for the reader to continue to explore photography and AA's t Certainly a commitment given the length. But I doubt anything short could suffice for such a heroic man of art and environment. The book takes you through Ansel's entire life, including the people that deeply influenced him. What I found most intriguing was the stories of Ansel's techniques and journeys to capture certain moments in photographs. The other amazing aspect of this book is the considerable index, full of gems and treasures for the reader to continue to explore photography and AA's technique.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Interesting in terms of topic and well researched, but rather difficult to read due to style. Bogged down under somewhat sophomoric prose, a large percentage of it reads like an undergraduate paper, with the author's opinions and impressions conveyed through a number of unnecessary metaphors and conjectures. Not bad, although I'd probably have enjoyed the related "letters" book more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    If you're going to read a biography of Ansel Adams, this is the only one worth considering. The narrative, written by someone close to the artist in his life time, is detailed and passionate without showing judgement or sugar-coating the man or his actions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Bradley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Mustri

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joey Epperson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Woldt

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin Ayres

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick Pollard

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom Emerson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  24. 4 out of 5

    d

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vince Donovan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angela Henderson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Picturepoet

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tony

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.