WASHINGTON (March 13, 2014)—Visionary photographer and wilderness preservationist Ansel Adams devoted his life to producing iconic images that convey our deeply personal connection to nature. A new book from National Geographic, THE ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-1329-8; April 15, 2014; hardcover; $22.95), pays tribute to Adams and the California Sierra Nevada wilderness area — immortalized in his photographs 75 years ago and named in his honor — through striking black-and-white pictures by acclaimed photographer Peter Essick.
Published in collaboration with The Wilderness Society to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act — created in 1964 to protect 9.1 million acres of federal land — the book also commemorates the 30th anniversary of renaming the wilderness area between Yosemite National Park to the west and the John Muir Wilderness to the south and east for Adams. In addition to creating some of the world’s most compelling photos, Adams was devoted to protecting wilderness, and he served as a Wilderness Society council member and supported the organization for more than four decades.
Organized by terrain type — peaks and lakes, passes and meadows, headwaters and rivers, trees and plants — the stunning images in THE ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS showcase the powerful landscape of California’s High Sierra through the modern lens of digital photography. Sunset illuminates Mount Ansel Adams in the winter. A strong summer wind makes whitecaps on Dana Lake. Parker Creek flows past aspens shimmering in the October afternoon light. A waning moon sets over the granite cliffs near Donahue Pass.
Essick’s photos in the book are inspired by Adams’ iconic work and give readers a chance to take in the natural beauty of the California Sierra Nevada wilderness during every time of the day and all four seasons. Many of the images are accompanied by text from Essick, explaining the photo, the elements of the wilderness it conveys and how the shot was captured.
In addition to Essick’s words and images, the book includes illuminating excerpts from such prominent naturalists and conservationists as Theodore Roosevelt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Shakespeare and Henry David Thoreau, offering a new view of one of the country’s most timeless and striking wilderness areas.
A bonus chapter features Essick’s reflection on art and nature and how they remain inspirational even in today’s “age of cynicism.” Essick writes, “I believe there will always be the human need for affirmation and inspiration of the kind immortalized by Adams in his Sierra photographs. Our spirits, our own inner beauty, spring from the same source as these rocks, trees, and reflecting waters. We may never achieve a permanent state of living in harmony with nature, but what we gain from such organic interconnectedness with nature is vital, and perhaps more necessary to our psychic survival today than in the quieter past.”
With large-format pages showcasing the elegant and evocative images, THE ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS is a modern tribute to one of photography’s greatest masters that will appeal to camera buffs and nature lovers alike.
On Wednesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m., Essick will share photographs from the book along with images of other powerful nature landscapes he has documented at a National Geographic Live event in Washington, D.C., titled “Revisiting the Ansel Adams Wilderness.” Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, will introduce Essick. The talk will be followed by a book signing and reception. For more information about the National Geographic Live event series and to purchase tickets, visit nglive.com/dc.
About Peter Essick, Book Photographer and Spokesman
Peter Essick is a top National Geographic magazine photographer, named by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the world’s 40 most influential nature photographers. His focus for the past two decades has been to document human impact on development and the enduring power of the land. Essick’s images have been exhibited worldwide, and he has won numerous awards.
About National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment
National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment creates and distributes books, videos and other print and digital media that inform, engage and entertain diverse audiences about our world. Annually, the group publishes more than 125 new books for adults, families and kids and releases 250+ new DVDs and digital downloads of the Society’s films and TV shows, and these National Geographic titles are available in more than 35 local-language editions. While special photographic and film collections, travel books, nature shows, birding guides and atlases are a core focus of the Society’s products, books and videos on subjects as diverse as animals, the human mind, history, world cultures and the cosmos are also produced. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.
About The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.