When Ansel Adams died in 1984, at 82, he was the world's most honored photographer--perhaps the only one to so completely capture, on black-and-white film, both the delicacy and the grandeur of our natural world.
Adams' sublime, silvery images transformed icicles and leaves, trees and rocks, mountains and valleys, daybreaks and sunsets, from awesome reality into enduring art.
He left a legacy of 40,000 photographs--and the lingering impression that he was hostile to the use of color in nature photography. But that turns out to be untrue.
The introduction to a new book of photos, "Ansel Adams in Color" (Little, Brown and Co.), reveals that Adams experimented with color film almost all his adult life. But because he was such a precise artist--and because color film and color reproduction were so imprecise until just a few years ago--he was too frustrated by the limitations of the medium to print or publish most of the color photos he took.
At his death, Adams left 3,000 color transparencies, still relatively unknown but preserved for possible use by the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.
Now, because computer-assisted color-printing technology has so vastly improved within the past three years, the trust has reproduced his color photos in book form, confident that he would approve of the results.
On this page, some of Ansel Adams' photographic celebrations of a world not made by man.