Talk:Ansel Adams

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assorted questions[edit]

Why no mention of Patsy English "the love of his life"? 19/03/12 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Isn't he also known as Anselm not Ansel? 16/9/09

not to my knowledge. perhaps you are thinking of Anselm KieferMercurywoodrose (talk) 06:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I would really like to see a picture of Ansel Adams. :) Goodralph 12:32, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Why isn't there a picture of Mr. Adams? He is famous for his photos but surely the article should also show what he looks like.

I am having trouble finding any documentation for Adams' supposed advocacy for nuclear fusion. The CCP does not list any fusion photographs or negatives in their archive. Unless someone pipes up I'm going to delete that reference. Will McW 23:56, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I can't find any either. Sure he was an environmentalist, but that doesn't mean he advocated nuclear fusion. So far as I can see, there are no documents to back up this claim and I'd remove the reference until something is found that can accurately support such a statement. Aurora (Say hi!)[[]] 14:43, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)

Need to mention that he was a regular contributor to Arizona Highways Magazine since 1946

Edit of 5 March 2008 by “... next to his uncles photos Ansel Easton ...” This edit had no comment and seems to make no sense; moreover, I'm unaware that Ansel Easton was ever a photographer. Barring some explanation, I think this edit should be reverted. JeffConrad (talk) 22:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Is there a need to semi-protect this page? Lately it has been vandalized on a regular basis, and it is getting to be really irritating.Lexaxis7 (talk) 05:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

It has been vandalized fairly often, but not excessively, in my opinion. The bots will take care of the obvious stuff, and if interested editors like you and I have it on our watch lists, I think we can keep the vandalism under control. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:10, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


I've added an Adams photograph which is public domain, but not particularly representative of his work. Other Manzar Relocation Centre photographs can be found by going to and searching for Ansel Adams. Some more characteristic National Park photographs are at the end of the list, but these are only shown with a very small thumbnail and a link indicating that they are probably copyright.

A more attractive image of 'The Tetons an Snake River' can be found at That photograph was also obtained from the US National Archive from work Adams did for the US Department of the Interior. They make the claim that it is also in the public domain, but I was unable to verify that. If someone else can confirm it, it might be a better image to use. -- Solipsist 12:45, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually a better source is from the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Picturing the Century exhibition at
but I still can't find much copyright information on these Adams photographs, though they were taken for the US gov. -- Solipsist 19:02, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
OK, I've finally solved this one, and uploaded a good version of The Tetons and Snake River to the Commons, with a source link indicating unrestricted use. Good introductory information on NARA's Adams collection can be found here. -- Solipsist 07:17, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How about putting up a picture of the MAN HIMSELF?!!?!?

And why are none of the notable photgraphs shown? Are they all copyrighted? -- 12:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

There are at least two common titles given for the image of the Tetons and the Snake River: The Tetons and the Snake River, used elsewhere in WP and by Adams in Ansel Adams: Classic Images and on the Adams web site, and The Tetons — Snake River, used by the National Archives. Since the latter doesn't really make sense, I changed the text and the image caption to the former. JeffConrad 00:49, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Fred Archer[edit]

Ansel Adams says in his autobiography that he and Fred Archer created the Zone System in 1940, so this could not be the Frederick Scott Archer previously linked from Fred Archer's name in this entry. The Fred Archer Ansel Adams refers to was a teacher at the Art Center College in Los Angeles, it seems, where Ansel Adams also taught. Everything is a bit confusing, however, since Ansel Adams didn't teach there until 1942.

Oops, that's my bad. It looked like a good fit (though I missed the dates). Thanks for catching it. -- Mwanner | Talk 01:13, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
No problemo SteveHopson 01:42, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Fiat Lux[edit]

I saw the Fiat Lux exhibit at UC Irvine, sometime in 1989-91. I seem to remember that the photo collection was not published in 1967 or in 1968 (the actual centennial year) but was shelved as dissent swept the campuses. Only when the tour I saw occurred did Nancy Newhall supervise the creation of a companion book.

Also, Verne Stadtman (sp?) did put together a UC centennial history, with an Ansel Adams photo of the UC Berkeley campus on the dust jacket.

Am I close?

Possible semi-protection[edit]

This article seems to get a lot of vandalism - more even than some featured articles. If you look at the history, its almost all vandalism or tests for quite a long time. Perhaps this article would benefit from being semi protected? --Ozhiker 09:32, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

why no pictures of him?[edit]

Should we not post a portrait of Ansel himself somewhere? 06:19, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

It would be great if we could, but no one has found a free photo to include. Everything so far has been copyrighted. ·:·Will Beback ·:· 07:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Does this same concern not apply to the photographs shown in the article? 03:32, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we searched hard to find images which are free. These were produced for the U.S. government, hence they are public domain. ·:·Will Beback ·:· 03:59, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

this web page gave me perfect information on Ansel Adams, which i needed for a school project. the only thing that i dont like about thit is, that i need sources. i needed to site this page but couldnt. it might make it easier for some students if the source is shown like other web sites, or if there is one, then it'll be better if its easier to find. sorry if this seemed rude, it was not intended to be rude. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I am joining in this discussion a few years later. I've located and added a portrait photo of Adams from a National Park Service website which is clearly in the public domain. The other two photos of him seem to be of dubious provenance, though they show him in his later years when he was at the height of his fame. Should they be removed? Jim Heaphy (talk) 05:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

The making and dating of Moonrise[edit]

The current description of the making of Moonrise is misleading (and probably incorrect). Although it agrees with Adams’s later descriptions of the process, it is quite at odds with his contemporaneous description that appeared in U.S. Camera annual for 1943; that description is repeated in Reece Vogel’s post at the end of this thread on (accessed February 25, 2008). I have the same book, and the quotation is accurate. I certainly wasn’t there, but all other things being equal, a contemporaneous description is more likely correct than one written 40 years later. The calculation of the exposure mentioned in the later description also has little validity (that said, Adams’s chapter “The Moon and Moonlight” in the 1952 edition of Natural Light Photography remains a definitive treatment of the subject). One approach would be to mention both the early and late versions, but I don’t know if it is of sufficient importance to merit the additional space. A simpler approach might be to eliminate the description; yet another approach would be to use a note.

The note I added on the dating of Moonrise is long to the point of being distracting, but I’m not sure there is a good alternative. I don’t think the material belongs in the body of the article, but avoiding documentation altogether leads to some ambiguity, especially because the incorrect October 31 date is arguably the one in more common use (e.g., several of Adams’s books published in the early 1980s, and the web site for the Ansel Adams Gallery). JeffConrad (talk) 21:45, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Adams was a wonderful photographer but notorious for poorly documenting the details of the taking of his photos. I have a clear memory of an article that appeared in a popular astronomy magazine about ten years ago that analyzed the dating of this photo in detail. It could have been Star and Sky, or Astronomy or Sky and Telescope. I probably clipped and saved the article but I've moved since then and my records are still in turmoil. I will try to search for it. Jim Heaphy (talk) 05:06, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
A day late and a dollar short, but ... The article you recall was almost certainly the one by Dennis di Cicco in the November 1991 issue of Sky and Telescope, cited in the article. To be honest, the Moon in Moonrise doesn't look to me like it's 96% illuminated, but di Cicco has assured me that this isn't unusual. Suffice it to say that Moonrise was not taken on 31 October, and barring almost inconceivable error in the position of Adams's camera, 1 November is the only feasible date. I don't think it's widely disputed anymore, though the Ansel Adams Gallery still insist on the 31 October date (for what it's worth: Elmore reported the time as 4:03 P.M rather than 4:05 P.M, so there's an obvious transcription error when citing the latter time). Because Elmore's date got a fair amount of publicity, it's probably worth mentioning, but perhaps less prominently than is now done; it could go in a footnote, with the 1 November date the one mentioned in the text. The same could be said for the description of the making of Moonrise; Adams's 1981 description is suspicious for several reasons, among them 40-year-old memory, no evidence that Cooke ever made a lens with a 23.5″ front cell (according to Cooke, it was 26.5″, which is close to the 26″ value mentioned in the original account), and the fact that basing exposure for a landscape photograph on the luminance of the Moon is just plain nuts. Given the popularity of the later account, we probably need to mention it, but perhaps with no greater weight than the original. Let's bear in mind that Alinder's refutation of the original version was based solely on Adams's recollection almost 40 years after he took the picture, and that's assuming no embellishment was intended. Which one do you think the IRS would believe? JeffConrad (talk) 10:45, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Note # 44[edit]

There is a date of November 31 - should probably read November 1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

fomatting error[edit]

There is a formatting error in the first paragraph, where the "Edit" option for the sections "Life" and "Childhood" doesn't show properly - they appear in the middle of the first para, at least on my screen. This may be due to the size of the photogrpah of Adams pushing text to the left of the page. I do not know how to correct this. PatrickHadfield (talk) 17:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Done (I hope). Wikipedia:How to fix bunched-up edit links has some how-to's. In this case, moving the photo a bit seemed to have fixed the problem. Pete Tillman (talk) 18:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
OK now. Had to do some rearranging to remove blank spacing.Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 08:37, 31 July 2008 (UTC)


I reverted claims that Adams's Father was more into photography, and that he was born in Eastlakes, both made without comment or explanation. --Slashme (talk) 12:25, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Who published his books?[edit]

well, i know who published most of them, The Sierra Club. Im not sure why they arent listed in the bibliography even once. I will add the name unless someone thinks its self evident. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

PS to anyone who wants to add ansel adams photos, there is an easy way: create a decent article on any of his books, and use the covers under fair use. as long as the book is notable, it should be fine.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Many of his photos were taken under contract to the U.S. government and are therefore in the public domain. Among these are the famous "Mural Project" photos, often sold as cheap posters because of the lack of copyright restrictions. Any of these can be used on Wikipedia. Jim Heaphy (talk) 04:59, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Polaroid; revised books[edit]

There is no discussion of his relationship with Edwin Land, or the photographs he took using Polaroid materials, some of which are among his best-known. There is no listing of the '70s editions of his technical books, which I believe incorporated revisions and updatings. (Am I going to have to enter these?) WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 01:09, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Use of "Ansel Adams and camera"[edit]

The above discussion began on Mononomic's talk page involving User:Cullen328 and User:Mononomic and the use of File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg. Both parties agreed to move the discussion here so that the entire Wikipedia community could be involved. Please add new comments below so as to preserve the original discussion. Respectfully, —Mono·nomic 03:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

The original issue here is whether the image File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg should be deleted from the article because one editor User:Mononomic believes, in good faith, that the image File:Ansel Adams.jpg is superior aesthetically and encyclopedically, and that a biography of an artist only needs one portrait image of the artist him/herself. Let me begin by thanking Adam, User:Mononomic, for his willingness to help improve the Ansel Adams article, and I look forward to collaborating with him on this effort.
It's my opinion, on the other hand, that copyright issues should be the determining factor here. Excerpts from WP:NONFREE follow:
Non-free or copyrighted content can only be used in specific cases and only in as few cases as possible. Non-free media may be used in articles only if:
* Its usage would be considered fair use in United States copyright law,
* It's used for a purpose that can't be fulfilled by free material (text or images, existing or to be created),
* The usage of the non-free media complies with the above and the rest of the Non-free content criteria, and
* It has a valid rationale indicating why its usage would be considered fair use within Wikipedia policy and US law.
Wikipedia's goal is to be a free content encyclopedia, with free content defined as content that does not bear copyright restrictions on the right to redistribute, study, modify and improve, or otherwise use works for any purpose in any medium, even commercially.
File:Ansel Adams.jpg is a copyrighted image that was uploaded on November 24, 2007 with a non-free rationale. The arguments in the image file relevant to this debate follow:
* 1. No free equivalent exists that would effectively identify the article's subject - no free images have been allocated for this person.
* 8. No free images have been allocated for this person
* 9. The image is needed to identify the person for educational purposes in an encyclopedia entry and significantly improves the quality of the article.
* 11. A replaceable free image for this person is impossible as he/she is deceased
It seems to me that these claims are no longer valid because I uploaded File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg on February 14, 2010, with the following license rationale:
"This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code."
I obtained the image File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg from a National Park Service website, and it was originally published in a Yosemite National Park publication in 1950. I like it because it is in the public domain, and also because it shows Ansel Adams at his prime in the middle of his career, with his camera and light meter. That doesn't mean that I dislike the other image, but only that I am concerned about its copyright.
I am not a copyright expert and have limited experience with copyright issues on Wikipedia. However, I have spent a fair amount of time trying to find indisputably free images to illustrate various Wikipedia articles. I am forced to conclude that the free use rationale for File:Ansel Adams.jpg evaporated when I uploaded File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg and added it to the article. The 2007 justification for use of the copyrighted image is now gone.
Accordingly, I recommend that File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg be added to the lead of the article, and that File:Ansel Adams.jpg be deleted from the article and from Wikipedia.
Jim Heaphy Cullen328 (talk) 04:08, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I would be amenable to replacing File:Ansel Adams.jpg with File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg in the infobox, since it has been determined that the fair use rationale is no longer valid. As such, the file File:Ansel Adams.jpg would be deleted as per Wikipedia:SD#F5. I will continue to look for freely licensed photos of Adams (those that I would believe to be superior to File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg) and bring them up in this discussion if and when I find any. Would this be OK with you? —Mono·nomic 22:37, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course. I would have no problem with a better photo if you can find one. I did notice that the German Wikipedia article on Ansel Adams is now using File:Ansel Adams and camera.jpg, and that a recent news article on a dispute between the financially troubled Fresno Art Museum and the Adams estate is also using the same image. You may want to take a look at the German article - I used Google translate to get a rough idea - it looks pretty good. Cullen328 (talk) 22:59, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
How was it determined that Greany's image is a work of the U.S. government? JeffConrad (talk) 01:12, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I obtained this particular image from a Yosemite National Park website, which is a unit of the National Park Service, which is a subdivision of the U. S. Department of the Interior. I listed the specific web page in the image file on Wikimedia. The original photo caption reads "Ansel Adams shown as pictured in the 1950 Yosemite Field School yearbook and in “Yosemite Nature Notes” in January 1952." I researched the photographer J. Malcolm Greany and learned that he worked for the U.S. Fish and Widlife Service in Alaska, and had been on a trip with Ansel Adams near Juneau, Alaska, probably in 1947. A similar photo from that trip, almost certainly taken during the same photo shoot, appears on a University of California - Berkeley website. Adams is wearing what appears to be the same clothing, using the same camera, and what looks like the same hillside is behind him, though that photo was taken from a different angle. This is the evidence I used to conclude that this Yosemite website image, which is probably 63 years old, is in the public domain. Your feedback is welcomed. Cullen328 (talk) 03:12, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Your research is similar to mine; the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona has a list of Adams's images that includes one of Greany, dated 1947, which further supports that date. What's less clear is that this is a work of the U.S. Government. If Greany made the image as part of his duties with the FWS, the image is probably a work of the government, and consequently in the public domain. If, however, it was on Greany's personal time, the image is most likely not a government work. Consider a similar situation with regard to Adams's Moonrise: Adams was under contract with the NPS, but also made many personal images, including Moonrise. Consequently, he retained the rights to his most valuable image. Without some additional information, I don't think we can reach a supportable conclusion either way.
For works made prior to 1978, securing copyright required either registration or notice at the time of first publication. The term of copyright was 28 years, with the option to renew for another 28. For works for which the copyright was in force in 1978, the renewal term was extended to 47 years, and later to 67, for a total of 95 years. It's quite possible that Greany never secured copyright, or that he let the copyright expire, so that the image is now in the public domain. But we don't know this, and in the absence of more information, should assume that the image is not in the public domain. I think the main issue is less that infringement would pose a risk to Wikipedia (we could certainly claim fair use as was done with the previous image), but one of respect for the intellectual property of others, especially an unsubstantiated claim that something is in the public domain.
In any event, to reasonably claim the image is in the public domain either because it's a U.S. government work or because the copyright has expired, some additional work is needed. So I think the claim that the fair use rationale for the previous image is no longer valid is a bit premature. But perhaps someone else here already knows the answers to the questions that would resolve this. JeffConrad (talk) 09:14, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
My evidence goes beyond the fact that Greany worked for the U.S. Forest Service. Stronger, in my view, is that the image is reported to have appeared twice in Yosemite National Park publications in the 1950s, and that the image now appears on a U.S. government website. If Greany retained copyright, why would the park have published it? Moonrise, as far as I know, was never published by the U.S. government, and Adams actively asserted his copyright. The U. S. government website credits Greany as photographer but does not otherwise restrict rights in any way. My understanding is that an image which appears in a U.S. government publication is, de facto, in the public domain. Am I wrong? Cullen328 (talk) 14:33, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I think I overstated things in the previous sentence. I should have said, I believe that if an image appears in a U.S. government publication without a copyright notice or other restrictions, then that is a strong indication that it is in the public domain. The age of the image is another indication. I have dealt with a copyright specialist at the Wikimedia Foundation on some other matters. I will ask her for her opinion on this image. Cullen328 (talk) 15:48, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
The image on the NPS website has a tag that says J. Malcom Greany, RL-16, 641. Perhaps that code might give us an indication of the status of the image. Cullen328 (talk) 15:53, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
An image isn't in the public domain just because it appears in a government publication. The image could have been licensed for publication, or Greany could simply have given permission--this happens all the time (NPS brochures are good examples). Now, if he didn't register the image, and the copyright notice wasn't included at first publication, he may not have secured copyright, as I suggested. And I'd be surprised if the NPS would license the image for its current use or use it without permission. So I think it's quite likely that image is in the public domain. I don't think we have enough info to claim that the image is a government work; I think it more likely that Greavy never secured copyright. But think is the operative word here. My concern is with stating reasonable assumptions as if they were confirmed fact, especially the claim that it's a U.S. government image. I don't know if we can say ass-u-me in the information for an image, but if that's allowed, it would at least be accurate. Incidentally, unlike patents and trademarks, it's not necessary to assert a copyright (assuming it exists) to retain it.
It's not always possible to be absolutely certain of the copyright status of the image. A possibly unintended consequence of the Copyright Act of 1976 was the increase in the number of orphan works for which the copyright may have long expired or the copyright holder cannot be found. Beginning in 2003, the U.S. Congress has introduced several pieces of orphan works legislation to implement a 2006 report from the U.S. Copyright Office. Unsurprisingly, it has drawn considerable objection from visual artists, especially photographers, because absent a credit, there's nothing in a photograph to indicate the holder of the copyright. None of the bills introduced has passed, but it is assumed that some version eventually will. One requirement in the bills that have been introduced is that the user of a claimed orphan work make a good-faith effort to locate the copyright holder in order to be immune from suit for copyright infringement. As far as I'm aware, the guidance on what constitutes “good faith” has been pretty vague, so the best approach would seem to be to indicate what efforts have been made and what results they produced. Perhaps the same approach would be appropriate here if the status of Greany's image can't be confirmed.
I too noticed the number in the caption, which looked as though it might be some government tag. But I wasn't able to find anything about it.
On a side note: on re-reading the list of the Adams collection at the University of Arizona, it seems more likely that the three images with the tag photographer are images of Adams taken by the persons mentioned. If that's the case, the reference in that list is probably to one of the images from the session in which this image was taken, seeming to reasonably confirm the 1947 date. One down ... JeffConrad (talk) 19:53, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I've sent an email to Maggie Dennis in the permissions department at the Wikimedia Foundation asking for her opinion and guidance. I also emailed the staff at Yosemite National Park asking if they could verify that the image is in the public domain, and also if I could obtain a higher resolution copy or a photographic print. I found an obituary for Greany's wife. She died in 2007 and it says Greany died in 1999. The obituary lists their children and their home towns. If need be, I could contact them, but don't yet want to take that step. Cullen328 (talk) 18:06, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Adams describes his 1947 trip to Alaska in his autobiography (pp. 279–286) but doesn't mention Greany or include the image. Adams was given VIP treatment by the U.S. and territorial governments, including being escorted to many places by the FWS. Perhaps Greany was involved, but I can't find anything to confirm or deny this. If the NPS or someone else indicate that this image is the public domain, they hopefully will indicate why (presumably for one of the two reasons I've suggested). If they can't, I don't see how they can be certain of the status.
Because the image falls under the pre-1978 rules, if Greany did indeed secure copyright, he would have had to renew it to extend it beyond 1975. Presumably, U.S. Copyright Office would have a record of this had it been done. Absent a fairly authoritative answer from elsewhere, this would seem the only definitive resolution. Unfortunately, records prior to 1978 aren't searchable online, and the Copyright Office charge $165/hr to search the older records, and charge $115 just to estimate the cost of a search.
I wasn't able to find any guidance in Wikipedia for how to deal with works for which the status is uncertain. Perhaps Ms. Dennis can clarify this; it would seem a reasonable question potentially affecting many other images as well as this one. Again, if we can't positively determine whether the image is in the public domain, and WP rules allow using an image when there is a reasonable probability (or whatever level of certainty is required), we should clearly state what we know and what we have assumed. JeffConrad (talk) 22:08, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
JeffConrad said earlier in this discussion that "One requirement in the bills that have been introduced is that the user of a claimed orphan work make a good-faith effort to locate the copyright holder in order to be immune from suit for copyright infringement." Let's consider whether it may be appropriate to try to track down the Greany children/heirs to see if they consider any copyrights of their father's work to be their intellectual property, or if they might concede that the images are in the public domain? What are other editor's thoughts on this? Cullen328 (talk) 06:04, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I think the most reliable way (albeit probably not very easy) would be to find copies of the 1950 and 1952 publications. If there is no copyright notice about the photo in either of those and the publications themselves are not copyrighted (which they shouldn't be), then one can reasonably conclude the photo is in the public domain. Another option is to look for a free photograph. I found one in the National Archives, but they don't have a digital copy. If you can find someone in Atlanta, they could visit the Jimmy Carter Library and possibly get a copy (also a fair amount of work). howcheng {chat} 00:15, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
But Greany could also have secured copyright by registering the image with the Copyright Office. The only way to confirm or deny this would be to search the pre-1978 records, which as I've noted, seems prohibitively expensive. The image is in the public domain if
  1. The image was taken as part of Greany's employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or
  2. He never secured copyright, either by registering the image or including the copyright notice with the first publication, or
  3. He secured copyright but neglected to renew it prior to its expiration in 1975.
I think the chances that the image is in the public domain are pretty good. But it's still a guess. How much certainty does Wikipedia require before an image can be claimed as free?
Incidentally, I could find no mention of this image in Adams's biographies by Mary Alinder or Jonathan Spaulding. I also found nothing in a search of post-1978 records, although this doesn't really help much with the image in question. JeffConrad (talk) 02:21, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Have we considered writing the NPS and asking them? They might know. I did that once for File:TamarackMiners CopperCountryMI sepia.jpg and the Keweenaw NHP staff was very helpful. howcheng {chat} 04:51, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I think Cullen328 indicated that he's made such a request. My comment was that if they say that it's in the public domain, it would be nice if they were to indicate why it's in the public domain, just to ensure that it's really the case. JeffConrad (talk) 06:38, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

I made one attempt by email to contact the staff at Yosemite. This is a time of year when they are understaffed, and I haven't received a response. I will pursue the matter by telephone if I don't hear from them soon. I may also try to contact Greany's children if I can't get the information from the park, and ask if they consider this photo to be copyrighted. Cullen328 (talk) 20:53, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

1926 Bender meeting, 1939 commercial dates[edit]

Two things I'm not yet seeing in the article:

  • More detail about Bender taking Adams under his wing in April 1926 and introducing him around to influential San Franciscans, getting his first portfolio off the ground by drumming up advance orders for it sight unseen, solely on Bender's hearty recommendation.
  • How some of Adams's commercial photographs, the duller part of his career, were assessed as brilliant by Mary Street Alinder. She especially noted the Summer 1939 assignment to shoot the new Patent Leather Bar in the St. Francis Hotel. The interior architect of the bar/lounge was Timothy L. Pflueger, one of the founders of SFMOMA. Adams carefully lit the lounge for each shot, taking his time in preparation. He then dry-mounted and signed those photos for exhibition, unlike most of his other commercial shots. Alinder said of the photos, "They seem to glow from within, as if they each held a secret light source." The current display of the photos, hanging in the hotel's lobby, includes a didactic which describes them as incorporating an early version of Adams's zone system of lighting. If true, this 1939 assignment was foundational to Adams's codification of the zone system. I don't remember who wrote the notes for the hotel's display—I wonder if that person can be cited as a reference. Binksternet (talk) 23:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Explaining the lack of Adams' images[edit]

In the Ansel Adams peer review, three editors (User:Doncram, User:Finetooth, and User:Jacobolus) have said that they would like more of Adams' pictures (possibly under a fair use license) or an explanation (a hatnote or similar) that says why these photos are not on Wikipedia. While I'd certainly like to see more of Adams' pictures as well, I believe that User:Finetooth is correct in saying that "copyright law makes that tough for Wikipedia." A solution was proposed, which involved placing a hatnote on the article that explains something like:

Many of Adams' pictures are copyrighted and are not available for use on Wikipedia. To see more images on an alternate site, see the External links section.

However, this seems to violate the No Disclaimers guideline.

Should we put fair use pictures on the page (and try to justify them)? This would possibly jeopardize any upcoming FA nomination, though. Or should we add the hatnote and become a repository of links? I'd be interested to hear the community's thoughts. Respectfully, —Mono·nomic 00:37, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I’d like to see some discussion of exactly how many pictures at what resolution the Wikipedia community thinks an article can get away with as “fair use”. I really think even low-resolution thumbnails of several more (maybe 8-10) of the most important photographs would do this article a world of good: they’re irreplaceable and necessary for an effectively presented discussion, they’d be unusable for any kind of commercial purpose, and all of Adams’s famous pictures are plastered all over the web, so I don’t expect they’d in any way dilute the commercial value of books of his work, or of prints, postcards, etc. If it would help, someone should write to the Adams estate (or whoever has the rights to the photographs, and ask about specific license to use low-resolution thumbnails in the wikipedia article – they still couldn’t be redistributed by others under such a license, but it would show good faith above and beyond the fair use provision of copyright law. –jacobolus (t) 00:55, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Also, re: a repository of links: if there’s some official (i.e. legally responsible and legitimately licensed distributor) site of Adams’s photos (is there one?), I don’t think including several links to specific parts of it would fall under the WP:NOTLINK guideline. Conversely, I don’t think we could in good faith link to any site which was distributing Adams’s photos without legal right to do so. –jacobolus (t) 00:58, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Saguaro cactus Aan04.jpg
Cliff Palace Tower.jpg
We could also add a couple more of his PD photos, such as this saguaro, and/or the Cliff Palace -- see Ansel Adams at Commons for more choices.

Pete Tillman (talk) 06:44, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

The National Archives has digital images of 226 public domain photos that Ansel Adams took under contract with the National Park Service in 1941. This was commonly called "The Mural Project", and was cancelled when World War II started. Adams also donated photographs of Kings Canyon taken in 1936 to this project. He gave one Yosemite photo as a gift to NPS head Horace Albright in 1933.
Here's a link to the relevant National Archives web page:

The National Archives: Records of the National Park Service: Ansel Adams Photographs

How can we legitimately claim "fair use" of copyrighted images when there is already a treasure trove of Adams images in the public domain? Remember that Ansel Adams defended his copyrights vigorously, and his estate continues to do so. He sued the Curry Company and won when they used some of his photos without permission in a pamphlet promoting Yosemite National Park. His estate has just sued the financially strapped Fresno Art Museum over their plans to raise money by auctioning off works that Adams had donated to that museum, claiming that the museum is violating conditions attached to the donation. Let's stick to what is in the public domain, and link to authorized Adams websites for those who want to see more. Cullen328 (talk) 03:34, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I just learned that on March 10, 2010, The Mural Project, delayed since the onset of World War II, was finally installed in the headquarters of the Department of the Interior in Washington. High resolution public domain scans of 26 fine Adams photos are available for download at their website:
U.S. Department of the Interior: Interior Unveils New Ansel Adams Murals
Why shouldn't many of these be used to illustrate this article? Cullen328 (talk) 04:00, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I just checked on Wikimedia Commons, and they have quite a few Ansel Adams images that are in the public domain. Some are from the Mural Project and some are from Manzanar. Why not add some of these images to the article? Cullen328 (talk) 04:17, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
We can legitimately claim fair use because any reasonable summary of Adams’ life and work needs to address several of the most famous photographs, which are iconic and tremendously influential. These cannot be substituted by unrelated pictures that happen to be in the public domain. There’s a difference w/r/t fair use claims between putting photos in a pamphlet designed to sell something else, and academic discussion of Adams himself. As one example, Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California was included in The Family of Man, and Adams was famously angry about the quality of the print they made. Pretty much any substantial discussion of Adams will include that photograph. I do think it would be worth explicitly asking his estate about the use of tiny thumbnails though. –jacobolus (t) 02:33, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Jacobolus is correct here -- we can include of some non-PD works if and only if the images themselves are the subject of discussion. In terms of the Mount Williamson pic, examples comparing the quality of the one published in The Family of Man vs another print will easily qualify as fair use and also easily comply with WP:NFCC. No approval from the Adams estate is required to do that. What we cannot do is simply add non-PD photos just because they make the article look nice. howcheng {chat} 18:57, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with claiming "fair use" in this case and maintain that we can discuss the iconic photos without including the images themselves. A link to an approved Ansel Adams website achieves that goal. If you or any other editor wants to contact the Adams trust asking for permission, then that is another matter and I would support that effort. Cullen328 (talk) 14:41, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Here's a link: Wikimedia Commons - Category: Ansel Adams Cullen328 (talk) 04:19, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
After further thought, I think the best approach would be to write a series of individual articles about his iconic (notable) photos. Each could be illustrated with a "fair use" image of that photo. There are already at least 32 articles on Wikipedia about notable black and white photos. See Category:Black-and-white photographs. Cullen328 (talk) 21:21, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would be an excellent approach. howcheng {chat} 06:55, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Critique of Ansel Adams article[edit]

I've made a copy of the article on a sandbox page, and have annotated it with questions, comments and criticisms in bold italics. My purpose is to plan improvements to the article. I've also ordered a copy of Alinder's biography. I invite other interested editors to take a look at my critique and comment, or to take steps to improve this article. My critique is here: User:Cullen328/Sandbox Ansel Adams. - Jim Heaphy Cullen328 (talk) 21:13, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Edits of 12–20 April 2010: moving refs to References section.[edit]

I've moved all of the remaining references from the notes to the References section. To make for a readable alphbetical list, I've used the publisher as the author where no specific author is given. Some of the dates (e.g., California Museum 2007) are a bit contrived, and for a couple of others, I can't figure out what to use for dates. There are issues with some of the references:

  • The link for the reference for “Sierra Club 2008b” is broken.
  • The link for the Wilderness Society “reference” points only to the home page, so it doesn't support the statement to which it is attached.
  • The reference for Sarkowski shows a date of 1976; my copy of that book (1974 second printing) shows a date of 1973. The LOC database shows the same date, and doesn't show a second edition.
  • I can't find anything about “Goldbloom 1990”; all hits from a Google search for "Philly Art Walks" ultimately point to this article. Consequently, I have no idea what sort of reference it is or how to format it. Moreover, it seems pretty shaky with respect to WP:V.

I've included comments before each of these references. JeffConrad (talk) 08:55, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

I notice that the full entries for newly added references are creeping back into the Notes. Shouldn't the full citations go in the References section like the others, and Notes section just include short footnotes? JeffConrad (talk) 00:36, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think Wikipedia has such a thing as a “standard” reference format. WP:CITEHOW does require a consistent format, and that the original format be followed. Strictly, the format change a while back should have been discussed first, but since the article now mostly follows that format, I think we should stick with it, as I suggested earlier. As much as practicable, new references should follow the current format at the time they are added; this saves quite a bit of cleanup, as well as the chance for error when doing the cleanup. Of course, WP policy is also that providing a good reference is far more important that the format, so it's much better to provide a source in any reasonable format (preferably, at least with all relevant information) than to avoid providing the source because the formatting seems too daunting. JeffConrad (talk) 03:11, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Finding "Autumn Moon"[edit]

I was reading this article and tried to find either the picture or some discussion of the area defined and there was nothing at all in WP about it. Isn't something like this notable? It's written about in MSM, it's written up in trade magazines... this looks like a moderately notable happening. Is "Autumn Moon" non-PD? Why would mention of this be missing? Padillah (talk) 17:21, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Autumn Moon hardly seems one of Adams's more notable images. We only cover the dating of Moonrise in footnotes, and don't even mention the dating of Moon and Half Dome (done in 1994 by the same people who dated Autumn Moon).
I think it's reasonable to make brief mention of the dating of Moonrise, because
  1. It's arguably one of the most famous landscape images of all time.
  2. When the first attempt was made, in 1980, it was novel (even though the date determined was incorrect). The same could probably be said for the ten-year effort that eventually resulted in the correct date, and perhaps for the mid-1990s effort to date Moon and Half Dome (again, one of Adams's iconic images).
In any event, I can't see covering Autumn Moon without also covering Moon and Half Dome. I suppose there could be a section on Dating Adams's Moon images, but it strikes me as getting pretty far off the topic of this article. Perhaps there could be a separate article on that topic. JeffConrad (talk) 18:40, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Ansel Adams negatives found, presumed lost in a fire[edit]

I read this article and was hoping to see the Wikipedia article updated regarding this. I suppose we will have to wait for biographers and critics to work those negatives into a narrative that can summarized in Wikipedia?

PureJadeKid (talk) 18:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I too. Although considering that the family has raised documentation objections that might overturn the previous identification, I suspect the article's core editors are waiting for final confirmation before adding it to the article. - Tenebris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
This is a controversy in progress. Given that numerous newspapers printed the dubious claim that these negatives are worth $200 million without any skepticism, despite the Adams heirs' denial of their authenticity, I think it is best to wait for a while until more facts are known before adding information about this matter to the biography. Cullen328 (talk) 22:35, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Completely agree with Cullen328. An attorney with a definite interest in a particular outcome is hardly WP:V. I think we should revert the 27 July 2010 revision by, or at least clarify that the negatives are purported to be Adams's. JeffConrad (talk) 02:21, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Jeff. I've removed the reference to the "lost negatives" story but left in some mild qualifications about the family trust. Clearly, many Adams photos are in the public domain, but the family trust maintains tight control over those that aren't. We can deal with the "lost negatives" in a balanced and nuanced way once more facts are available and a wider range of experts have spoken. Cullen328 (talk) 03:14, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Based on this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, I think we'd do well to wait until the dust settles. If we do mention the alleged lost Adams negatives, we need to cover both sides. JeffConrad (talk) 23:51, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

I plan to write an article tentatively called Ansel Adams "lost negatives" controversy. This could take a week or two. Alternatively, it could be a section of this article. I would include references from a wide variety of sources, with all viewpoints represented in an even-handed fashion. Comments from other interested editors would be appreciated. Cullen328 (talk) 00:51, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Place of his death[edit]

There has been a bit of disagreement about where Ansel Adams died. This derives from some sources saying he died near his home in Carmel. It is true he died near his home. It is true his home was in Carmel. However, he did not die in Carmel. He died in the ICU at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula which is in Monterey not the adjacent city of Carmel. His final hours are described in great detail in Alinder's biography, and the New York Times obituary agrees. Those are, in my opinion, far more reliable sources than Cullen328 (talk) 05:53, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. You're right.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:57, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

MInor stuff, and a mea culpa if anything got screwed up[edit]

I added a couple references that I came across while working on the new John Osborne Varian article. I tried to source everything properly, but if I fouled up the citation format or anything, please feel free to correct my errors. I hope the info is worth keeping even if I am being a 'drive-by" contributor." I saw no other references to the influence of Henry Cowell on Adams' musical interests, nor any mention of Portfolio Four, so that's what I added (with some relevant wikilinks). The Hammond book does not seem to be used elsewhere, so I added it as the source for my contributions. I did not add the material from Hammond on Adams' poetry, but he published a little bit, and there is no mention of it in the article, so if anyone thinks it relevant, feel free to let me know if it should be added. I can do so, or someone else can go to Hammond (notably pp. 13-15) and add it. Montanabw(talk) 21:57, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

By the way, does anyone want to get this talk page archived so that dead discussions from 2000-then are placed out of the way? I can do this... Montanabw(talk) 00:08, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Work titles[edit]

I removed the comma from El Capitan, Winter Sunrise, because Examples: the Making of 40 Images also omits it, and I’d probably trust the book over the Web site. The [Ansel Adams Gallery] also omits the comma. The title makes better grammatical sense without the comma, and the use is consistent with Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California.

I think we should recognize that some of Adams’s works have been variously titled in different publications, so that it’s sometimes probably impossible to determine the “one, true, official” title. When in doubt, I’d suggest using the title most common in Adams’s printed works, perhaps with consideration of what makes the most sense.

I suggest we also use common sense in assessing reliability of any information. For example, though I cited the Ansel Adams Gallery, that Web site still gives October 31, 1941 as the date of Moonrise, which is dead wrong, even though that’s what’s given in Examples. JeffConrad (talk) 03:13, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I will concede the point, JeffConrad, since you've looked at a variety of sources while I just looked at a single source. It was my impression that the extra comma was an idiosyncratic artistic decision by Adams, but if he wasn't consistent, it's not worth contending. Adams was poor at recording dates, and the best scholarship based on astronomy gives the date of Moonrise as November 1, 1941 as I recall. That's the date I used in the biography I wrote of Cedric Wright, who was assisting Adams when that photo was taken, and looking at the discussion above, I see that you refreshed my memory on this early last year.Cullen328 (talk) 13:34, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
If there is inconsistency (and there is), I’m not sure I’d first blame Adams, especially for something written long after his death. But titles vary even among his books, so who knows?
The November 1 date for Moonrise is almost certainly correct (it’s actually pretty easy to verify), and the October 31 date is simply impossible (the astronomer who gave it later acknowledged that he mis-entered several coordinates). I would have thought the matter resolved, but some apparently refuse to differ from the date in Examples (which is itself an incorrect transcription of the article in American Photographer), or perhaps they don’t think the difference is significant. I mentioned this to the AA Gallery (and presume others did as well), but nothing came of it. We give the issue quite a bit of coverage in this article, but it seems important to explain why the date claimed here differs from that given by folks like the AA Gallery. JeffConrad (talk) 00:58, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

"best known for"[edit]

Ansel Adams was many things, a published author, educator, environmentalist, concert pianist, husband, outdoorsman, small business owner, co-founder of the magazine Aperture, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and, of course, a photographer. As a photographer, Adams also did many things: he co-founded the f/64 group, co-invented the Zone System, experimented with pictorialism, became an accomplished darkroom craftsman, was a portraiturist, consulted the Land Corporation, and experimented with color photography. Many of these accomplishments would establish sufficient notability for a Wiki article. However, Wiki doesn't support having multiple articles on each subject. So to clarify subjects for our readers, many articles contain a short summary statement in the lead paragraph that states what the subject is best known for. These statements are not POV, but are supported by the references within the article itself.

Since January 2006 this article has contained the statement that Adams is best known for his black and white, large-format photos of the American West. User: has twice tried to remove this statement claiming that it is a subjective assertion. This statement is not POV, it is a documentable fact noted by photography writers and others, and by the body of this article (for example, the Voyager spacecraft carried one of this photos, and the Ansel Adams Wilderness was in honor of his photography work). The statement is helpful to our readers in that it points their attention toward the most significant parts of the biography and provides context (and a search of Wiki finds more than 50,000 other articles that use this same technique in their lead paragraphs. For these reasons, I have reinstated the "best known" statement. TheMindsEye (talk) 19:51, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

"Best known for" is an opinion. There is no possible way to objectively establish what he or anyone else is best known for. The statement does not clarify anything. It adds no information to the article and it's very easy to avoid. One can simply state what Adams achieved, without applying any judgement as to which of his achievements are the most widely known.
Neither the length of time a phrase has been in an article, nor the number of other wikipedia articles which contain a similar phrase, are very good arguments about the value or otherwise of the phrase. (talk) 22:42, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
On page 9 of the 2006 Encyclopedia of 20th Century Photography it says: "Throughout his life, Ansel Adams made monumental contributions as a photographer, teacher, lecturer, conservationist, and writer. He is best known as an undisputed master of straight natural landscape photography. His photographic studies of the American western landscape have gained extraordinary prestige and popularity..." It continues by praising Adams' "unsurpassed technical perfection", his scientific precision and his "absolute control of the photographic process." It does not say that Adams is best known for B&W photos, or "nature" shots, or large format camera work. (I think landscape photography is not at all the same as nature photography.) Telling the reader that Adams is "best known" for this, that or the other minimizes whatever parts of his career were left out of the list. For some photographers, Adams' most prominent achievement was the Zone System. For others, it was the professional group f/64. For the general public, Adams is best known for Yosemite and Southwestern landscape images; the fact that he worked in large format is not so well known. I think we should not try to define what he is best known for. Binksternet (talk) 01:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that "best known for" is an opinion. Wikipedia if full of opinions and our standard of notability is based upon opinions. No where in any of Wiki's policies is the concept of avoiding opinions. What we seek to avoid is unreferenced opinions that are not neutral. We now have two good sources for the statement as Binksternet provided an excellent second. My point about the length of time this statement has been in this article and the number of other articles with similar statements demonstrate that many other Wiki editors have also seen the need for summary information that directs readers to salient points. TheMindsEye (talk) 17:55, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
The point I wanted to make was that the entries following "best known for" change according to observer. I was recommending that we strike "best known for" because the various sources do not agree exactly. Binksternet (talk) 19:26, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
"No where in any of Wiki's policies is the concept of avoiding opinions." - from WP:NPOV: "Avoid stating opinions as facts". In addition, notability is not based upon opinions; it is based upon objective criteria laid out at length in WP:N. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Auction prices[edit]

I added the highest auction price to the 'Death and Legacy' section. But I do not know how to footnote it properly. Can someone more WP savvy than I do so. Here is the source: — Preceding unsigned comment added by American In Brazil (talkcontribs) 00:23, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

2011 Ansel Adams donation from U.S. National Archives[edit]

Category:2011 Ansel Adams donation from U.S. National Archives

This is a great collection, but not very visible. Can it be combined with the other Ansel Adams photo category on commons? Or somewhere else directly from the article? --Kaitymh (talk) 21:10, 4 June 2014 (UTC)