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Biographies Unit Biographies

Ansel Adams 1902–1984
Photographer and Conservationist

Ansel Adams was a photographer whose pictures capture the beauty of America's wild places. Adams was born in San Francisco. As a child, he spent a lot of time outdoors by himself. He loved walking on the beach and in the woods.

When Adams was a teenager, he began hiking the Sierra Nevada in Yosemite National Park. He took pictures with a camera his parents gave him. He also joined the Sierra Club, a conservation group. The club's leaders became Adams' friends. They published his photographs and hosted his first photography show at their headquarters in San Francisco in 1928.

Adams became famous for his striking photographs of wilderness. Over the years, his work has appeared in art galleries, museums, and books. He also worked to preserve the places he photographed. He spoke out strongly in support of Yosemite and the national park system. Today, when people think of America's wilderness, they often picture an image by Ansel Adams.

Comprehension Check

Where did Ansel Adams first photograph nature?

Critical Thinking

In what ways did Ansel Adams work for conservation?