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News & Insight

A Peek Inside An Ansel Adams Workshop & Examples Of His 35mm Work And Portraiture

By Kishore Sawh on August 25th 2016

Ansel Adams is arguably the quintessential American photographer, a consummate professional, and a bit of a progressive, actually. Many of us devour whatever material and information we can about Ansel, and have shelves dotted with his books, and articles bookmarked, all in an effort to learn more about the man and perhaps learn from him posthumously. But imagine for a moment what it would’ve been like to learn directly from him; to have him develop one of your photos and guide your own development?


For some this was a reality for Ansel would teach workshops, and Marc Silber of Advancing Your Photography traveled to Carmel California to speak with his daughter-in-law, Jeanne Adams, to learn what they were like, and more.

Jeanne was Ansel’s Gallery CEO for a quarter century, and still heads The Ansel Adams Gallery. She had been around the great man during his lifetime, seen his processes, studied his movements and his students, and therefore poised rather perfectly to be one to share with Marc and the rest of us the kind of background and stories you are unlikely to find elsewhere.



[REWIND: Ansel Adams On ‘Photography With Intention’]

She gives us an idea of what his workshops were like, how they evolved over time, and recounts the particularly fun story of Ansel choosing a photograph from his classes to develop for a student, and how they would all know it was coming and have one ready and waiting, just wishing he’d choose theirs. But more than that we get to see some of Ansel’s portraiture which he isn’t typically associated with, and also images he’d taken with a 35mm instead of his more typical large format.

It’s a great short viewing experience, and it should be essential viewing for any Ansel fan or devotee. We thank Marc and the crew of Advancing Your Photography for putting this together, and you can check out more of their unusually good material here.

Source: ISO1200

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    I enjoy watching Marc Silber interviews. I wish that I could’ve taken one of Ansel Adams workshops. I have three of his books: The Camera, the Negative, and the Print.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Marc is a good interviewer. The mark of a good interviewer is they see no need to steal audience attention and therefore let it fall entirely on the subject. And yeah…i think we’d all like to have taken those courses.

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  2. Lex Arias


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