The fine photographs of Alan Ross can be experienced as sophisticated black-and-white still lifes or grand landscapes. His work is reminiscent of his teacher, Ansel Adams, yet has a distinct personal style.
After his 1971 graduation from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in Design/Photography, Alan Ross began his illustrious career in photography serving as assistant in the M. Halberstadt studio in San Francisco. As an apprentice there he practiced black-and-white and color illustration photography, general studio, and darkroom techniques. After three years of studio work, he started freelancing as a commercial photographer until joining Ansel Adams in Carmel as his photographic assistant from 1974-79.
Since 1975 he has printed the Ansel Adams Special Edition Photographs of Yosemite, a program that Ansel started in the 1950s. Ross prints these thirty images of Yosemite, all 8"x 10" in the manner in which Adams would have printed them.
Ross has taught numerous workshops for the Ansel Adams Gallery, University of California Extension, RIT, The Friends of Photography, Ilford Photographic, and photo tours to China (1981,1983). His work is widely exhibited and collected.After many years of operating his own commercial studio in San Francisco, Ross moved with his wife and daughter to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When I first went to work as Ansel's assistant, one of the things that struck me the most was the realization, while going through boxes and boxes of his work, that he had made an awful lot of very ordinary photographs! I was somewhat stunned to learn that he had no illusions and no expectations that every film he exposed would wind up being another one of what he fondly called his 'Mona Lisa's. As an awe-struck young photographer in the presence of The Master, this revelation was an incredible relief to me; it came as a release from the burden of expecting myself to produce only perfection. It was better to experiment and try things that might work, and openly and simply respond to feelings than to over intellectualize. In fact I soon came to learn that one of Ansel's favorite phrases was "The Perfect is the enemy of the Good!"