Nevada Fall, Yosemite National Park

Description (Brief)
Silver gelatin, mounted. View of water fall from river below. Mist from waterfall makes middle ground hazy. Foreground of river with rocks and trees on both sides. Signed, ink (recto: bottom right corner). Verso: Ansel Adams stamp which reads "Photograph by Ansel Adams Route 1, Box 181, Carmel, California, 93921" in black ink. Stamp with "Title, Credit, Date, Film" with "Nevada Fall, Yosemite National Park" handwritten, black ink. "RSN 82532R26" handwritten, pencil, bottom right center.
This photograph, taken at Nevada Fall in Yosemite, showcases Adams’ mastery of precise composition. In his book “Examples,” the photographer detailed his long trek to the site of the falls, his patient wait for the right moment to capture the luminous rainbow in the foreground and the myriad of slight changes to the camera’s position in order to achieve the exact fulfillment of his visualization for the image ("Examples," p.121). This “protracted ballet” of nudging, tilting, raising and lowering was for Adams the art of organizing reality to create an aesthetically pleasing composition, and he was happy with the final result. “I think it is a choice bit of Chaos organized into some kind of expressive Order,” he wrote of “Nevada Fall” ("Examples," p.123).
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is one of the most well-known twentieth century photographers. His contributions to the field of photography include his innovation and teaching of the Zone System. The quality of his photographs set the standard by which many straight photographs are judged.
The collection in the Photographic History Collection consists of twenty-five photographs, all printed in or about 1968. All are gelatin silver, mounted, labeled and signed in ink by the photographer. The photographs include some of his most well-known images, but also portraits and objects. The selection of images was made in collaboration between the collecting curator and Adams.
Object Name
Object Type
print made
ca 1968
negative made
ca 1946
Adams, Ansel
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 45.5 cm x 35.6 cm; 17 29/32 in x 14 1/32 in
place made
United States: California, Yosemite National Park
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Photo History Collection
Ansel Adams Collection
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Photo History Collection
Ansel Adams Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Reproduction rights held by the Center for Creative Photography-Arizona

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