Image: El Capitan, Sunrise, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California
(San Francisco, California, 1902 - 1984, Carmel, California)

El Capitan, Sunrise, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California , 1968 (printed 1976)

Gelatin silver print
19 5/16 in. x 15 7/16 in. (49.05 cm x 39.21 cm)
Gift of Ernest Gibitz
Ansel Adams took his first photograph of Yosemite’s El Capitan granite monolith during a family vacation in 1916. This is his latest well-known photograph of the park’s famous geological feature, created on a winter morning nearly 52 years later. Adams was eager to capture the scene before the rising sun melted the snow, although the precipitation presented a particular challenge. “Perhaps snow offers the most exasperating problems to be found in all Landscape photography,” he wrote. “The photographer is confronted with extremes of tonal value, and a minimum of texture.”  An active member of the Sierra Club who spent much for the 1930s and 40s documenting national parks, Adams worked tirelessly to promote conservation efforts through his photography.

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