Ansel Adams Portfolio Three – An Intimate Look

The Ansel Adams Gallery is pleased to offer a selection of original photographs of Yosemite Valley by Ansel Adams from Portfolio Three. These exquisitely hand-printed and signed photographs are from an edition of 208, and include some of his most popular images. Below is the introduction Ansel wrote, expressing his connection to this magical place.  

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting, or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of the granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.

“After the initial excitement we begin to sense the need to share the living realities of this miraculous place. We may resent the intrusion of urban superficiality. We may be filled with regret that so much has happened to despoil, but we can also respond to the challenge to re-create, to protect, to re-interpret the enduring essence of Yosemite, to re-establish it as a sanctuary from the turmoil of the time.

“How may we accomplish this?

“Who can define the moods of the wild places, the meaning of nature in domains beyond those of material use? Here are worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and the revelations of great art are equally difficult to define; we can grasp them only in the depths of our perceptive spirit.

“Perhaps age must remember the clear perceptions of youth and return to the sensing of freshness, of strength, and of wonder; perhaps age needs to recall the beginnings of comprehension of mood and meaning and to rekindle an appreciation of the marvelous, of being in resonance with the world. If a man nurtures his sensitive awareness of the natural world with experience and contemplation, his spirit will remain young.

“In these sixteen photographs are many deep echoes of experience from more than forty years in Yosemite Valley. Each represents, for me, a moment of wonder. The pictures are put together as a continued pattern of mood and response; they do not attempt a complete pictorial exposition of Yosemite, nor are they organized chronologically. A certain sequence is indicated for aesthetic reasons, yet each photograph should stand on its own merit and appeal. This collection is in a way, a personal autobiography in photographic images, the selection of which is based on emotional impulse and personal experience rather than on intellectual or historical judgment.

“Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for identification with the vast world of natural beauty and wonder surrounding him – and help him comprehend man’s continuing need for that world.”

Ansel Adams – Introduction to Portfolio Three