Aspens, Northern New Mexico

Description (Brief)
Silver gelatin, mounted. View of several tall, thin tree trunks. One thin tree with flowers on left, smaller one, less full on right. Bushes at bottom of photo. Signed, ink (recto: bottom right). Verso: Adams stamp, handwritten title, ink.
One of two photographs made within an hour of each other in Autumn 1958 in New Mexico, this image of a stand of aspens gives a hint of the yellow leaves on the trees even on a black and white print. Adams was aware of the spatial confusion and low contrast that such forest scenes can present because bits of the bright sky next to patches of dark foliage can hinder composition. He achieved tonal clarity and impact with a long focal length and exposure, and developing for the highlights, as well as printing on high contrast paper.
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
ca 1968
Adams, Ansel
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 10 1/2 in x 13 1/2 in; 26.67 cm x 34.29 cm
mount: 14 in x 18 in; 35.56 cm x 45.72 cm
place made
United States: New Mexico
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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

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