Adams Yosemite Workshop, 1979

I told a story recently on Facebook about having participated in a week-long Ansel Adams Yosemite Workshop in 1979. In the FB post, I mentioned that I still had a memorable photo from an afternoon field trip with Adams, his assistant, and just one other student. Amazingly, when we arrived at Tuolome Meadows, students scattered everywhere, and the two of us had Adams and John Sexton, his assistant, to ourselves for an entire afternoon of hiking the Yosemite back-country.

A number of people have written, wanting to see the photo, so I am posting it here. It’s not a spectacular shot, but it obviously has great significance to me.

During a break from hiking, Adams shot an impromptu portrait of the other student (a terrific young photographer named Mariana Cook) with her own camera.

Can you imagine the pressure she must have put herself under, when she arrived home and had to develop a roll of film with an Adams portrait on it? Of her??!? Although I processed all my own film at the time, I do believe that’s one roll I’d have given to a very good lab.

Cook has many books out, among them ‘Fathers & Daughters,’ ‘Mothers [and] Sons,’ and ‘Mathematicians.’ She’s well worth looking up. John Sexton has also published a number of compilations of his work. ‘Quiet Light’ is a personal favorite.

This photo was shot on Tri-X B&W film with an old Rolleiflex 2-1/4″ camera. In 2007, I scanned the negative at 2400 dpi with an Epson Photo R1800 Scanner, then processed and printed digitally.

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4 Responses to Adams Yosemite Workshop, 1979

  1. Judith Moore says:

    OMG! Ansel Adams was even a legend in his own time! What an opportunity of a lifetime for you, Steve. How wonderful! And thanks for the reference to Mariana Cook. I’ll look up her books. I have a great appreciation for black and white photography so I’ll look forward to seeing her work. Thanks for sharing such a special occasion, Judith

  2. steverossman says:

    Thanks, Judith. If you like B&W, look up Sexton, too. Quiet Light (available at the SD Library) is gorgeous. s.

  3. Carla Hart says:

    Thank you for sharing this photo. It brings back many good memories of working in Yosemite in 1979.

    • steverossman says:

      My pleasure, Carla! It’s an amazing place (as you well know). What did you do there? Work with the park? Or with the workshop? Or in another capacity?
      Thanks for writing! Steve

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