Ansel Adams' Yosemite: The Art of Seeing

Photography Education

Instructor: Alan Ross
2024 Date: May 14-18
Focus: Field/Hybrid Darkroom
Medium: Digital/Film

Witness Yosemite Valley as Ansel Adams did for most of his life. Long-time assistant to Adams and master photographer Alan Ross leads this inspirational workshop. You’ll be connecting Ansel’s approach and mastery with today’s tools and techniques. 

$1,450.00 USD


“Chance favors the prepared mind” was one of Ansel Adams’ favorite expressions and a concept that allowed him to so successfully achieve his artistic vision.

The secret to creating your own expressive image, one that communicates your artistic vision, is not in the tools or technology you use. It’s in knowing how to “see” with intention and having the skills to capture and interpret what you see to make it your own. It’s being prepared, like Ansel, so you’re ready for that magical moment when light, beauty and chance define opportunity.

Alan Ross brings to every workshop he leads his intimate familiarity with Adams’ approach and technique, and years of photographing and teaching. 

In this inspirational and hands-on session, held each spring, the emphasis is on composition and exposure in the field. Alan will help you connect Ansel’s approach and mastery with your own photographic vision and skills so that you are prepared to successfully express that vision. 

SPRING 2024 - May 14-18
This workshop is scheduled at the traditional peak of the dogwood blossom season, and the waterfalls are in full flood. In early May, depending on the snow year, the meadows are usually starting to have new growth. The afternoons can have wonderful cloud build up to provide spectacular image-making opportunities. 


Workshop Details

Ansel Adams' Yosemite: The Art of Seeing
FOCUS Hybrid Darkroom / Field
MEDIUM Digital / Film
LEVEL Intermediate to Advanced


Note: digital photographers will be encouraged to use manual mode in this workshop.

Under the patient and expert guidance of former Adams’ assistant, Alan Ross, you will practice translating the reality in front of your lens to what’s in your mind’s eye. You will learn how to get the right information onto film or pixels to achieve a tonally rich, fine print. You will learn how to go beyond the snapshot to create an image that shares a feeling or reaction or tells a story.

Visits to some of Ansel’s favorite places in Yosemite will provide inspiration and subject matter, with demonstrations, field sessions and daily image review laying the foundation for individual photographic advancement.

Among the topics covered during your week:

  • The importance of intention in expressive photography
  • Evaluating a scene and finding its essence
  • Organizing your composition
  • Creating your image structure
  • Choosing the right lens
  • Nailing your exposure
  • “Useful” vs “perfect” when it comes to capture or negative
  • Post processing tips and techniques to take your image from “meh” to “wow” (or using Photoshop and Lightroom to explore darkroom effects for those working in film)
  • Bringing your image to life on paper

Evenings will be spent on individual help and support, image reviews, printing or post-processing demonstrations, film processing for those working in silver, and photographic conversation and discussion.

By the end of the workshop, you will have a better idea of the tools and technique you need to respond to your vision with confidence.

Due to the prevalence of COVID 19 as this workshop is scheduled, class size has been reduced to maintain health safety during the workshop. If the situation changes, class sizes may be increased to normal.

About the Instructor

Alan Ross

Alan Ross is a master photographer who worked side-by-side with Ansel Adams as his photographic assistant, in the field and in the darkroom, and who knows Ansel’s approach and technique perhaps better than other any photographer today. He was personally selected by Ansel to be the exclusive printer of the Yosemite Special Edition Photographs and expects to make his 100,000th print sometime soon. Alan specializes in helping photographers at any level identify and better express their photographic vision and has led workshops in locations ranging from the scenic Southwest to the mountains of China. His photographs hang in collections and galleries around the world and have been featured in campaigns for companies like Boeing, Nike, IBM and the National Park Service.

Workshop FAQ

Find answers to your questions about our Photography Workshops in our FAQ. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need additional help. You can reach us by email at or by phone (650) 692-3495. 


What to Expect

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Related Logistics

Cancellation Policy

Multi-day Photography Workshop Cancellation Policy: We rely on your confirmed attendance to make important arrangements for the workshop. If you need to cancel, please let us know no fewer than 45 days prior to the first day of your workshop for a refund of your tuition, less a 10% non-refundable charge. Refunds cannot be made for cancellations initiated within 45 days of the first day of the scheduled workshop, or for no-shows, for any reason. If you are concerned with this possibility, please consider purchasing travel insurance.

Workshop registration is NOT transferable.

In the extremely rare event that The Ansel Adams Gallery needs to cancel a workshop, we will let you know at least 14 days prior to the first day of the scheduled workshop, and immediately refund your full tuition. However, we will not be responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or lodging reservations. (Lodging reservations made through Yosemite Hospitality, Aramark are fully refundable 14 days in advance).

It is recommended not to purchase airline tickets or make non-refundable deposits on lodging that cannot be canceled 14 days prior to the initiation of the event. The Ansel Adams Gallery highly recommends travel insurance to help with an unfortunate travel event.

COVID-19 Policy

COVID WORKSHOP PRECAUTIONS:The Ansel Adams Gallery is trying to create a workshop environment that is safe for all attendees. In doing so, the gallery realizes that workshop participants will have differing opinions in regards to the Covid-19 Policy. The gallery will side with caution and safety. The Ansel Adams Gallery will follow current CDC Guidelines in pace with the evolution of the Covid-19 Virus. Additional measures may be instituted and updated for the purpose of improved safety of all attendees.

The Gallery will provide the following:
COVID-19 rapid test upon arrival
Hand sanitizer
Sanitation wipes
Room Air Filtration


The Ansel Adams Gallery will require all attendees to show proof of a current negative result from a supplied Covid-19 Rapid Test. This negative Covid-19 Rapid Test result will be required after travel to Yosemite and prior to entry into the first day of the workshop. A Covid-19 Rapid Test Kit will be included in your welcome package available at check in at the Yosemite Valley Lodge or Ahwahnee Hotel. It is very important to inform us if you have chosen different accommodations. A gallery representative will then make alternative arrangements for your receipt of the Covid-19 Rapid Test.

The Ansel Adams Gallery highly recommends travel insurance to help with an unfortunate travel event.

This pre-workshop information may be emailed to the education coordinator at



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