Thursday, November 26, 2009

Michael Adams on the Making of Moon and Half Dome

Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite, California, 1960

Michael Adams recently recalled the events surrounding the making of Moon and Half Dome by his father in 1960:

Ansel claimed that he had always been moonstruck and had many moons in pictures. This photograph was taken in December of 1960 when in Yosemite to direct the Bracebridge Dinner. It was a cold afternoon with snow on the ground. Ansel was using his Hasselblad camera on a tripod and took a number of photographs using different lenses. The contact prints of the image reveal a number of similar photographs that look wonderful. In 1962 when Jeanne and I married, Ansel offered this image to use as our wedding announcement. Jeanne feels that Ansel took his most exciting images when emotionally engaged and comments: “This was taken my first Christmas with the Adams family and Ansel was particularly happy for Michael and the family.”

It has turned out to be one of Ansel’s most popular and sought after photographs. Ansel stated: “I have photographed Half Dome innumerable times, but it is never the same Half Dome, never the same light or the same mood. I am told by mountaineers that the three most distinctive mountain shapes in the world are the Mustagh Tower in the Karakorams, the Matterhorn in the Alps, and Half Dome in Yosemite. Half Dome is a great mountain with endless variations of lighting and sky situations and seasonal characteristics; the many images I have made reflect my varied creative responses to this remarkable granite monolith.”

A reminder: An"encore" of Ansel's much-loved photograph of the Moon and Half Dome will take place in the afternoon on Saturday, November 28 at 4:04 pm. Special programs led by our staff photographers begin at 12:30 p.m. For more information or to register, please go to our website.

Moon and Half Dome is available as a poster and as a matted reproduction. It is also available as a beautiful Special Edition Photograph. Ansel Adams former assistant, Alan Ross has been printing the Special Edition Photographs to Ansel's exact specifications for over 30 years.

This month, Alan presents his own elegant black-and-white photographs in our current exhibit, Visions of Yosemite and the West, on display in Yosemite through January 3, 2010. The Gallery will host a reception for Alan following the the Moon and Half Dome programs on Saturday, November 28 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.

To commemorate the encore, Alan Ross will sign and date the back of a limited number of Moon and Half Dome Special Edition Photographs. The prints will be available during the Thanksgiving weekend only to celebrate the encore and will not be made available again in the future. Select from three metal frame colors; german silver, contrast gray, and matte black. An acid-free seal in the cut-out window of the backing protects the print and allows the identifying stamp, signature, and date to be visible. Call the Gallery at 888-361-7622 to reserve yours.

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