Boulder, Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park, Canada 1998

John Sexton

Original Gelatin Silver photograph signed by John Sexton

Image size 11" x 14"

Mounted and overmatted with 4-ply archival museum board 



About John Sexton

John Sexton is perhaps the most widely known contemporary black and white landscape photographer and educator. He was an assistant of Ansel Adams for many years, and his work, in high demand, demonstrates the technical and artistic expertise that one would expect from such an association. John's work has a very distinctive feel and is immediately recognizable, for he has clearly stepped out of the shadow of his mentor and established a worldwide reputation.

John Sexton was born in 1953, and resides in Carmel Valley, California. Respected as a photographer, master printmaker, and workshop instructor, he is best known for his luminous, quiet photographs of the natural environment. Recently, he has been exploring the aesthetics of humankind's technology, from ancient Anasazi sites in the Southwestern United States to the Space Shuttle. This work is included in his book entitled Places of Power.

His photographs are included in permanent collections, exhibitions, and publications throughout the world. His work has been featured on CBS "Sunday Morning" show with Charles Kuralt, and on the MacNeil Leher News Hour. In 1993, his photographs were used in national advertising campaigns by Bank of America and General Motors. Sexton's photographs have been featured in numerous publications including: Time, Life, American Photo, Aspen, Backpacker, Photo Techniques, Darkroom Photography, Popular Photography, Zoom, High Country News, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, TWA Ambassador, Southern Accents and View Camera.

He is the Director of the John Sexton photography Workshop program, and teaches numerous photography workshops each year for other programs in the United States and abroad, emphasizing printing technique and mastery of the Zone System. These other programs include: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, The Ansel Adams Gallery Workshops, The Friends of Photography, Maine Photographic Workshops, and the Palm Beach Workshops. His informed and entertaining lectures for photographic and professional organizations, colleges and universities discuss the aesthetic and technical aspects of fine black and white photography. He has presented lectures for, among others, Boston University, George Eastman House, The Friends of Photography, Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Seattle Art Museum.

Currently a consultant to Eastman Kodak Company and other photographic manufacturers, he worked as both Technical and Photographic Assistant, and then Technical Consultant to Ansel Adams from 1979 to 1984. He continues to serve as Photographic Special Projects Consultant to the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. From 1985 to 1993, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Friends of Photography.

About the Image

In September 1988 the Professional Photography Division of Kodak invited me to present a series of lectures in Canada. I had the pleasure of giving lectures on my photography at multiple venues in, and around, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Following the lecture tour, I spent a week exploring Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks. The scenery was amazing, and I found numerous interesting photographic subjects during my wanderings.

In those days the Canadian Rockies were not as heavily visited as they are today. There were still plenty of tourists, but in September there really were not many folks, and lodging was surprisingly affordable. One of the places I visited was Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park. I arrived in late afternoon and there were only a handful of people there. The Sunwapta River has two channels that converge in the cataract that forms the crest of the 60-foot-tall upper Sunwapta Falls. Sunwapta is a Stoney Indian word meaning "turbulent river" or "radiating waves.”

I was immediately attracted to a large boulder at the top of the falls. It appeared to me as if the boulder was somehow magically hovering in the turbulent water and could at any time disappear or drop. I was very intrigued by the scene, but there was a shadow from a large tree that created a tonal distraction. The lighting was not appropriate for the image I visualized in my mind's eye. I made a mental photograph and decided to take my 4x5 view camera on a stroll down the Sunwapta River.

By the time I returned to the top of the upper falls the entire area was in soft light as dusk was approaching. Now my visualized image and the lighting were complementing one another. The parking area was completely empty and there was no one else at the upper falls at the viewpoint. This enabled me to easily climb the low chain link fence and position my Linhof 4x5 view camera in the correct position to organize the image as I had imagined. I used my 210mm lens. The exposure was 5 seconds at f/32 on Kodak T-Max 100 film. The long exposure smoothed the moving water and formed a tactile contrast between the wet surface of the boulder and the smooth light gray tones of the water. I hope you will find this print to be as interesting and as exciting as I do.

Print Information

This negative has been retired by John for traditional silver printing, and will never again be printed in any size as a silver gelatin print. Once the small number of remaining prints are gone there will be no additional silver gelatin prints available for sale.

Ordering Information

Special orders from the artist may take up to 6 weeks for delivery. 

Please contact us at if you have any questions about shipping and delivery.

Art Now, Pay Later

The Ansel Adams Gallery is proud to offer more ways to pay.

Get the artwork you want in 4 interest-free payments or choose a monthly payment plan when you check out with Shop Pay.* For orders, $50 to $17,000 USD


*ONLINE ORDERS ONLY. Rates from 0% APR or 10-30% APR. Payment options through Shop Pay



Sold Out