25 Beautiful Ansel Adams Photos

Truly beautiful travel photos from one of the greatest black and white photographers of our time

Ansel AdamsBorn on February 21st 1902, Ansel Adams was one of the greatest landscape photographers of all time. As a young child he had aspirations of of becoming a concert pianist, but soon set his sights on photography after a family holiday to Yosemite national park in 1916.

Working as caretaker and a photo technician at the Sierra Club in Yosemite Valley, he soon accomplished his dream of becoming a full-time photographer, publishing his first prints of the High Sierras in 1927, and of Taos Pueblo in 1930.

While other photographers concentrated on photojournalism, Adams was the first person to truly pioneer photography as an artform. Shooting almost exclusively in black and white, he worked primarily with large-format cameras to produce stunning high-resolution landscapes and pin-sharp textures.

Adams travelled extensively with his camera, throughout a career spanning over 8 decades, but it was that first Yosemite trip that really stole his heart. Returning a great many times throughout his life, he visited the birthplace of his artform for the last time in 1983, before passing away aged 82, in 1984

Below we highlight the most beautiful works of Ansel Adams' extensive career. Click on the images to view large.


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Ansel Adams - Mt. Moran, Teton National Park

Mt. Moran, Teton National Park


Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs. Ansel Adams

Acomo Pueblo, New Mexico

Ansel Adams - Church, Acoma Pueblo

Church, Acoma Pueblo

Ansel Adams - Church, Acoma Pueblo

Church, Acoma Pueblo

Ansel Adams - House in Acoma Pueblo

House in Acoma Pueblo


A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into. Ansel Adams

Navajo Indians, Canyon De Chelly, Arizona

Ansel Adams - Navajo Woman and Infant

Navajo Woman and Infant


No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. Ansel Adams

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Ansel Adams - The Giant Dome, a 60 million year old stalagmite

The Giant Dome, a 60 million year old stalagmite

Ansel Adams - Large drapery formation known as the Guillatine

Large drapery formation known as the Guillatine

Ansel Adams - Natural formations at Carlsbad Caverns

Natural formations at Carlsbad Caverns

Ansel Adams - The Rock of Ages in the Big Room

The Rock of Ages in 'the Big Room'


A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed. Ansel Adams

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Ansel Adams - Panorama of the valley at Canyon de Chelly

Panorama of the valley at Canyon de Chelly


Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit. Ansel Adams

Glacier National Park, Montana

Ansel Adams - McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park

McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park

Ansel Adams - Burned, snow-cover area of Glacier National Park

Burned, snow-cover area of Glacier National Park


Some photographers take reality... and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation. Ansel Adams

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Ansel Adams - The Grand Canyon from the cliffs

The Grand Canyon from the cliffs

Ansel Adams - The Grand Canyon from the cliffs

The Grand Canyon from the cliffs

Ansel Adams - The Grand Canyon from the cliffs

The Grand Canyon from the cliffs


When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. Ansel Adams

Kings River Canyon, California, 1936

Ansel Adams - Coloseum Mountain, 1936

Coloseum Mountain

Ansel Adams - Boaring River, Kings Region, 1936

Boaring River, Kings Region


There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. Ansel Adams

San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1942

Ansel Adams - Native American Indian dance, 1942

Native American Indian dance

Ansel Adams - San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1942

Native American Indian dance

Ansel Adams - Native American Indian dance, 1942

Native American Indian dance


There are no forms in nature. Nature is a vast, chaotic collection of shapes. You as an artist create configurations out of chaos. You make a formal statement where there was none to begin with. All art is a combination of an external event and an internal event… I make a photograph to give you the equivalent of what I felt. Equivalent is still the best word. Ansel Adams

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Ansel Adams - Full view of the city, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Full view of the city

Ansel Adams - Church at Taos Pueblo

Church at Taos Pueblo


The only things in my life that compatibly exists with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit. Ansel Adams

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Ansel Adams - Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Ansel Adams - Fountain Geyser Pool

Fountain Geyser Pool


It is my intention to present - through the medium of photography - intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators. Ansel Adams

Yosemite, California, 1933

Ansel Adams - Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite, 1933

Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite


You don't take a photograph, you make it. Ansel Adams

More Information about Ansel Adams

112 years after his birth, in March 2014, a collection of the groundbreaking artist's personally-chosen photographs will be shown at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.

Many more shots by the legendary photographer can be found on Ansel Adams' page on the US National Archives website.