Merced River, Cliffs, Autumn
Ansel Adams Exclusives
- Yosemite Special Edition Photographs are hand-crafted gelatin silver photograph from Ansel’s original negative
- Image Size: Approximately 8x10 inches
- Expertly mounted and matted to 14x17 inches with professional framing available
- Prints priced from $325 to $650
Of all the American landscapes that Ansel Adams immortalized through his images, Yosemite was the most deeply personal. In Yosemite he discovered his spiritual home and built his family. He first visited the Park in 1916 and he returned every year thereafter, meeting his wife there and then raising his family within Yosemite's splendor. Ansel hoped his images would inspire park visitors to become activists for Yosemite's preservation, instilled with a deeper connection to the natural world and desire to protect it. With that as his main goal, Ansel conceived this series of Yosemite Special Edition Photographs in the late 1950s. With images of Half Dome, Lake Tenaya, Merced River and more, he invited everyone to be of part of his 'art as activism" by pricing the prints at an affordable cost. We honor that intention today, offering these stunning silver prints to all who wish to express their love for Yosemite and desire to protect it as a natural wonder.
Today, with America’s wild spaces increasingly under threat, Ansel’s vision for the Special Edition Photographs remains as relevant as ever.
Yosemite Special Edition Photographs are the closest photographic reproductions to Ansel’s original masterpieces, painstakingly handcrafted from his negatives by former assistant Alan Ross. Alan Ross worked under Ansel’s direct observation from 1975 until 1984, and has been producing the series in accordance to Ansel's instructions ever since. Each silver photograph shimmers with brilliance, with richly perfected black and white tones. From a selection of 29 stunning images of Yosemite, each photograph is printed in 8x10 inches and authorized by the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. With professional framing available, this collection ranges in price from $325 (mounted and matted) to $650 (framed).
We invite you to stand with Ansel in his commitment to honoring and cherishing the unparalleled beauty of Yosemite by showcasing an Ansel Adams Yosemite Special Edition Photograph. As an owner of a Special Edition Photograph, you too can share Ansel's vision, inspiring others to preserve and protect Yosemite for years to come.
About this Image
Ansel Adams made this image on a chilly late autumn morning in 1939 with an 8" x 10" view camera and 10-inch Kodak Wide-Field Ektar lens. The Cathedral Rocks loom in the background. He took the photo from west side of the El Capitan bridge over the Merced River in Western Yosemite Valley . Over time, Adams printed the negative of ”Merced River, Cliffs, Autumn" in different ways, initially printing it very brightly and later using more dramatic tones as in the Yosemite Special Edition version. In Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs , Adams writes that he had "not yet made a print that fully satisfies" and goes on to consider how he would have visualized the image in color: "I can imagine a very quiet and luminous effect of subdued hues; the elements here that made a black-and-white image difficult would be most favorable to color photography. The low contrast of the subject would be compatible with color processes. … Few subjects lend themselves to both black-and-white and color image concepts." Though Ansel Adams claimed to dislike color photography, he did produce an accomplished body of work in color and even tested color films for Eastman Kodak. A selection of his color photographs appear in the posthumously published Ansel Adams: In Color. (Ansel had a love-hate relationship with color photography, primarily because he could not control it) Merced River, Cliffs, Autumn appeared with the title "Merced River, Cliffs of Cathedral Rocks, Autumn" in "Portfolio III, Yosemite Valley" published by the Sierra Club in 1960. It was included in the 2001-2003 traveling museum exhibition Ansel Adams at 100 and companion book. The photograph also appears in Ansel Adams Monograph (out of print), entitled Autumn, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite, Yosemite and the High Sierra, Yosemite and the Range of Light (out of print), Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Our National Parks, and Classic Images, the book based on the Museum Set Collection, a retrospective portfolio of what Adams considered his strongest work.