Taking a Closer Look at the Work and Life of Ansel Adams – iPad App Review

Ansel AdamsAnsel Adams (1902–1984) is one of the most famous and talented photographers of all time. His enthusiasm and passion for the craft showed in his work and he was loved by nearly all that saw his photographs. Designed to be an interactive companion to the book “Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man” by Andrea Stillman, the app is beautifully narrated and easily stands on its own as a source of entertainment and information both.

Certainly some of his most famous photographs are featured, including Moonrise, Hernandez, Clearing Winter Storm, and Moon and Half Dome but also details of the more personal side of the man with items like postcards written to colleagues such as Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Garry Trudeau.

A special feature from within the app is the Print Explorer. While viewing winter Sunrise you can first see the straight, un-cropped print and then also several variations created by the artist during different stages of his career. It is very interesting to see the variations that occur with subtle changes to the very same image.

Viewing the letters and postcard inside the app are perhaps the most intimate detail, letting you read his thoughts relayed in his own voice.

Ansel Adams SS

What I liked: This app is the next generation of coffee-table book. The images are beautiful and a delight to flip through.

What I didn’t like: An in-app purchase is required if you want to see the true wealth of information contained within the app, including additional photographs, narration, letters and postcards (fortunately, you can also order the book from within the app).

To buy or not to buy: If you enjoy the work of Ansel Adams, you won’t regret grabbing this app.


About Jillian: A professional. A geek. Writer. Music fanatic. Creative. Thoughtful. Programmer. Educated. Outgoing. Thrill seeker. Realistic. Optimist. Clever. Sarcastic. Not typical. Contact me on Twitter: @codeGoddess