Ansel Easton Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist born in February 20th 1902. Widely known for his black and white photographs, Ansel Adams is considered to be one of the pioneers of photography. His grand vision for photography and the art of making photographs showed him way to develop the Zone system with Fred Archer.

Photographer Elliot McGucken says he first discovered the golden ratio in Ansel Adams’ work while viewing Adams’ public domain photographs that were created for the U.S. government.

Golden Ratio in Ansel Adams Photos

“Great artists such as Ansel Adams exalted their art with the golden ratio—the very same ratio present in the bones of our fingers and facial features,” McGucken explains. “Whether Ansel used the golden harmonies consciously or unconsciously may remain a mystery forever.”

“But such is the magic of the human creation of art, that it incorporates both conscious and unconscious use of mathematics and composition,” he continues. “While a sunflower naturally exalts the golden angle without thought, so too might the human artist exalt the golden harmonies without thinking about them.”

“And then, with the power of conscious mathematics, the human can capture and exalt nature beyond natural state, as the master photographer Ansel Adams did by imposing his sense of the golden harmonies, by which he himself was created, upon nature.”


If you’d like to enjoy more of Adams’ public domain photos, you can find a large selection over in the Wikimedia Commons.

(h/t: Petapixel)

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