ANSEL ADAMS LESSON PLAN
See Gallery: Dogwood for a close-up. In the exhibit, Classic Images, see Rose and Driftwood.
Adams was not only a master photographer and an accomplished musician, he was an excellent writer as well. A creative person often is interested in and accomplished in many areas, not confined to narrow limits. Adams was raised on the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He enjoyed poetry, particulary of Whitman and followers like Edward Carpenter, as quoted in Adams' Autobiography from "After Civilization":
In the first soft winds of spring, while snow yet lay on the
Adams may be most well-known for his long-distance shots, but he was also fascinated with turning his camera to the details in nature. The creative photographers of the early twentieth century were known for close-up shots and Adams followed suit. He wrote poetically in his autobiography, "One can never assert the superiority...of torrents swollen by the floods of spring against the quiescent scintillations of an autumn stream."
Adams quoted an American poet who shared his view:
"These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
From "Miracles," by Walt Whitman
Consider the photographs and the words of Ansel Adams, and the poetry of Walt Whitman and Carpenter in responding to the following:
Choose a small object or fragment and write a poem or description of it in as much close detail as possible.
Housatonic Museum of Art