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Ansel Adams at 100 Paperback – November, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The show's images were selected by John Szarkowski who is the director emeritus of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In selecting images for the show, he emphasized both what he thought was Ansel Adams' finest work, and his work that looked best in printed form. So the images provide room for an outstanding reproduction, and that's just what the book's publishers have provided.
The edition itself comes linen bound and in a matching linen slip cover. The pages are all of the highest quality heavy cover stock. The tritone printing is exquisite, limited only by the negatives and the current state-of-the art in printing. There is also a superb design. The works are sized to be in proportion to each others' negatives. Where images play off of each other, they are placed next to one another or on facing pages. Where that sort of conversation isn't possible, you see one image per two open pages. Unlike most of Ansel Adams' books, this one is on oversized pages so that there is the possibility of seeing the details as Mr. Adams intended them to be seen.
A nice bonus is that each book comes with a frameable tritone 13" X 11" print on heavy cover stock with fascimile signature by Ansel Adams and a blind embossed seal of the Ansel Adams Trust of Aspens, Dawn, Dolores River Canyon, Colorado, 1937 . . . which is also reproduced in the book. It is the image of aspens that you probably know best from Mr. Adams' work.Read more ›
I was amazed to see a relatively poor review here at Amazon reviews while I was searching for this book. A review in a photography magazine deemed it a must-have for any library. The promise of high quality reproductions on heavy paper and rare photos not seen outside of large showings was promising. I also felt that for the price, one couldn't go wrong....after all, the more expensive, the less likely to be a bust, right?
Well, I am sad to say that the book is quite a disappointment for me, too. It is a heavy work, good stock. Many of the photos, despite the promise of being wonderfuly printed, are of low contrast, and detail that I know is there on some of the original prints which I've seen, is not present. The notes on photos indicate some are reproduced at life size, yet appear to be little more than thumbnails, lost on the huge background. Perhaps this is the haute presentation, but not satisfying for my expectation.
Some of the prints are quite good. "Moonrise" does not disappoint, but several of the Yosemite favorites are fuzzy, and as mentioned earlier, seem to be of low contrast. This, in a book celebrating the man who championed the Zone system to give life to the print, seems a bit out of whack. Perhaps the graphics designers and the technicians doing the transfers did their best, but having seen several original prints done by Adams (and having spent way too much time in front of them marvelling at the detail, shadows, and contrast) I can say that the flavor and excitement that I remember getting from just seeing an original Adams has not been transferred to me in this book.Read more ›
Of course, no two photographers will ever agree as to what photos should have been included in this massive retrospective -- outside of the obvious ones like "Moonrise Over Hernandez County" -- but every photographer who looks at this book should find inspiration in Ansel's inimitable "eye" that saw, and captured on film, the ordinary and transformed it into the extraordinary; a photographer who saw the extraordinary and transformed it into the sublime.
As for the text: I think an academic perspective is certainly appropriate for such a retrospective, but I would dearly have loved to see a piece by, say, Joseph Holmes (NATURAL LIGHT--a gorgeous collection of photos) or another photographer to give it, so to speak, a "through the lens" perspective.
Although there are other coffee-table sized books published of Ansel Adams's work, this one sets a high watermark and, as such, should find a permanent place in the library of every serious photographer, aspiring photographer, or anyone with a sense of beauty who can appreciate the rare and wonderful talent that is Ansel Adams.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I own the softbound version of this title with reproductions that are far more satisfying than either the hardbound edition or the ordinal prints displayed in Chicago. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Elliot Royson
first ? master of landscape and black and white photography. thank the heavens for ansel adams or as generations pass we might never know how our land out west was once upon a... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Downtown Pearl
A beautifully presented and boxed/packaged volume with a wonderful accompanying text. This is a great buy at an excellent price. Read morePublished 21 months ago by david crothers
I got this for a penny so I think it is a steal. The tri tone prints in this book are well done and there are a lot of Ansel Adams photos to look at. Read morePublished 21 months ago by beau thornburg
Ansel Adams produced a large collection of beautiful images that are shared in this book. He also produced several books on making fine photographs such as "The Negative, The... Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by W. Gravning
Wow! The book is just great. Not all the pictures are and there is a definite period of Adams' work that I prefer. Read morePublished on March 28, 2011 by adrianw
I have been exposed to Ansel Adams' photos for much of my life (pun intended.) I have seen many books of his images and frankly, I felt that for the most part his work didn't... Read morePublished on March 23, 2010 by Thomas Rupolo