Photography - Tetons and the Snake River | Artopia


A Closer Look

Tetons and the Snake River is one of Ansel Adams' great western landscape photographs. The image seems to go on to infinity, absolutely sharp and clear. It is interesting to compare this picture to Icy Night by Alfred Stieglitz. While Stieglitz uses natural elements such as mist and shadows to create a mysterious mood, Adams' picture shows nature in full sunlight. Yet a dark cloud over the mountains adds drama. Imagine removing that cloud - how does it change the picture?

About the Media

Ansel Adams was interested in making photographs that "looked like photographs," rather than other art forms. In 1930 he founded the group f/64 with Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston and other photographers. The name is based on the fact that f/64 is the smallest lens aperture of a large-format camera and gives the greatest depth-of-field. The f/64 photographers believed that maximum depth of field, glossy paper and sharp focus emphasized the "actualities and limitations of the photographic medium."

About the Artist

Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco. A visit to Yosemite Valley when he was a boy inspired his greatest work - landscape photographs of the American West. In addition to photographing nature he worked hard for the preservation of nature and was on the board of the Sierra Club. He also wrote technical manuals for photographers and established the first college department of photography at the California School of Fine Art.

Write About It

  • Make a list of what you see in the photograph.
  • How does the photographer use the elements and principles of design?
  • What is your opinion of the photograph? How does it make you feel?