Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dogwood and Waterfalls!

"Spring- the time of roaring waterfalls and dogwood blossoms - is often graced with showers; it is a time for enjoyment of varied subtleties of the natural scene...." Ansel Adams

In just the last few days, the dogwood bloom has begun in Yosemite. The bloom should continue for several weeks starting in Yosemite Valley, and continuing in the higher elevations. Many good viewing spots can be found along the roads in the valley and along Highways 41 and 120.

Stay tuned for updates and images from this year's spring events.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was held. Since then, people all over the world have made promises to help save the environment. We all recognize there are problems we need to work on and this is our special day to look at the planet and see what needs changing.

Ansel Adams realized that too. In an article on Ansel Adams and the Environment, Robert Turnage writes, "Ansel Adams will be remembered for his wide range of conservation activities and his inspirational commitment over more than half a century. But his foremost contribution to 'the American Earth' has been the remarkable impact of his photography on the consciousness of Americans".

April 22nd also marks the 25th anniversary of Ansel Adams' passing. Those of us working for The Ansel Adams Gallery feel his presence on a daily basis. Today, and everyday, we honor his commitment to the park, and to the environment.

May everyday be Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Yosemite, Everyday is Earth Day!

Earth Day celebrations in Yosemite National Park begin on Friday, April 17th, and conclude on Wednesday, April 22nd. Events occur in both Yosemite Valley as well as in Wawona. These events are designed for both visitors as well as local community members. There's something on the schedule for everyone, so please come out for some green fun!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Redbud in the Merced River Canyon

While not as prominent as in prior weeks, the wildflower bloom in the Merced River Canyon is still proving to be spectacular.

A drive through the canyon along Highway 140 will allow you to view blooming redbud and hillsides still present with poppies and lupine.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Passing of Photographer Robert Hardy Baker

Robert Hardy Baker of Santa Cruz, California, died at his home Thursday, February 12th, following a long illness. Robert was born to Robert Hardy and Mary Sill Baker in Jersey City, New Jersey, on August 29th, 1945. He grew up in New Jersey and in Westboro, Massachusetts. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied photography under Minor White and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor's degree in Humanities and Science.

After college Robert taught photography at the Art Institute of Boston and then joined the Polaroid Corporation as a writer and editor. In 1977 Robert was hired by Ansel Adams and moved to California. Robert co-authored the series of books on how to make photographs, The New Ansel Adams Photography Series, and Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs. These books have sold several hundred thousand copies. He was also director of the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite National Park for two years.

In 1985 Robert entered the burgeoning world of software documentation as a technical writer. Over the years he worked as a senior technical writer, project manager, publications manager, and vice president, holding positions at Lifetree Software, Borland International, Starfish Software, and Agile Software. He did contract work for a number of other companies. In 2004 he retired to devote himself to his many interests.

Robert was a gifted writer and faultless editor. He brought to his work a love of literature and the arts as well as an understanding of technical issues. His colleagues esteemed him for his patience, bonhomie, and dry sense of humor.

Robert had an affinity for languages and a special interest in the French language and culture. He relished polishing his language skills by taking courses and traveling often to France. Music, particularly music composed for the piano, was another passion of Robert's, and he possessed a very keen ear. In midlife he bought a piano and learned to play it. He also sang in the Cabrillo College Chorus, tackled courses in music theory, and served on the board of the Santa Cruz Chamber Players. All brought joy to his life and added to his trove of friends.

Robert was a loving friend and family member, a kind and quiet soul, and a font of knowledge. He leaves behind his step-daughter Danielle Levine of San Francisco, sisters Joanna Baker and Ashley Nugent of Kansas City MO, brother Frank Baker of Raleigh, NC, and many friends in many places. We mourn his passing and miss him greatly.

Donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy of California, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington VA 22203. Please be sure to note "In memory of Robert H. Baker." And to Santa Cruz Chamber Players at P.O. Box 4174, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.

Upper Yosemite Fall on Sunday, April 5th

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Photographer Don Worth Passes Away at 84

On March 18th noted Bay Area photographer and educator, Don Worth, passed away at his home in Mill Valley-he was 84 years old. Although he received a Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music and studied at the Juilliard School of Music, Worth is best known for his stunning photographs of tropical plants and his ethereal landscapes. His quiet understated imagery was not only his artistic signature, but also a reflection of the man himself. Worth was also an educator that influenced countless students. In 1993 he retired as Emeritus Professor of Art from SFSU where he taught photography for over thirty years. Worth was born in Hayes County, NE in 1924 and raised on a small farm in Iowa. His childhood experiences in a rural setting shaped his artistic sensibilities and sparked a life-long interest in horticulture. Although Worth began cultivating exotic plants before the age ten, his initial means of artistic expression was through music. He began his study of piano at he age of eight and in 1946 traveled to New York to study piano and composition. During his studies he encountered the paintings of Georgia O'Keefe and later the photography of Ansel Adams. He was amazed how their art revealed a structure, and an emotional impact, he pursued through music. He immediately purchased a camera and began his life-long pursuit of photography. In the mid 1950's he met Ansel Adams. Ansel was very impressed with Worth, his photographs and their shared interest in music. In 1956 Don was hired as Adams' full-time assistant and continued in that position until 1960. They maintained a close personal friendship until Adams' death in 1984. Worth eventually put aside his pursuit of a career in music and devoted all of his creative energies to photography and the cultivation of plants. For 46 years Worth cultivated his nearly half-acre botanical garden in Mill Valley-it served as both his personal retreat and the subject of hundreds of his photographs. During the six decades that Worth pursued his photography he attained an international reputation as an outstanding photographer and master printer. In 1974 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph the American Landscape and in 1980 he was granted a Photography Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1973 the San Francisco Museum of Art organized a 150 print exhibition of his work-the exhibit was shown at other museums in the United States. Worth's photographs are in the permanent collection of many museums around the world. Don Worth will be greatly missed by his many friends and countless former students. He is survived by his partner of fifty years Robert Narvaez. There will be no funeral service.

The above obituary appeared in the Sunday, April 5, 2009 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.