Somewhere in a box buried deep beneath years of memories is a thank you letter from Ansel Adams. The letter is to me. Probably written by a staffer, but unquestionably signed by Adams. In chapter one of my career I worked at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. One of my staff, an accomplished photographer, applied to be Adams’ assistant. She made the final three and met him in person, but didn’t get the post.
I discovered the great photographer’s work when I was in college. I loved it from the first. Always figured that was something I inherited from Dad who loved the Rocky’s and the west’s big sky country.
To convey such drama and spectacle in black and white is stunning. Many of Adams’ National Park images are icons. As I searched for clouds the last few days, I couldn’t recall an Adams cloud shot in particular but couldn’t imagine there wasn’t one somewhere. The web served up many, many of his images full of imposing skies and posturing mountains.
In the images pulled in the Adams search, I saw an incredible photo of Garnet Lake with a sky full of threatening cumulous like something out of Close Encounters. Exactly what I had in mind. But it was not Ansel Adams’ work. Peter Essick took the photograph. Copyright protection keeps me from posting Garnet Lake and Thunderheads but take the time to make see it. Essick is a National Geographic photographer on a pilgrimage of sorts walking in Adams’ footsteps. His blog is a treasure in its own right. Make it a point to visit and read. Compelling stories and photos that channel Adams and much more.