TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY
Ansel Adams’ Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail is a stunning book. From a first glance, it’s clear that the photographs inside represent Ansel at his best, each conveying the grandeur, stoicism, and quietude of the John Muir Trail, a winding 213-mile path that stretches from the Yosemite Valley all the way to Mt. Whitney. But John Muir Trail is also a triumph of photographic reproduction as well; each photoengraved image is carefully trimmed and glued individually by hand onto the page. Indeed, so exquisite are the photographic reproductions that, in the years since, they have often been mistaken for actual photographic prints.
But because John Muir Trail is Ansel’s first book composed entirely of landscapes, it’s a fascinating window into the beginnings of what would become the artist’s aesthetic philosophy—the marriage of photography with a conservationist ethic that would become Ansel’s signature. Read More