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If you’ve seen a picture of the Great American Wilderness, chances are it was a piece by Ansel Adams. The man is almost a myth; he is a symbol of the American West, a folk legend, and arguably the man who made photography popular in the United States. He completely altered the techniques of photography at the time, moving away from pictures that tried to look like paintings and towards ones that embraced the directness and clarity found in a photograph. But that is not to say simple, his photographic techniques quite literally pulled additionally depth and complexities out of what was black and white. He, himself, was rather like his photography—outwardly straightforward, honest, and simple with all the inward intensity that usually accompanies genius. Yet, perhaps his most lasting influence was how he inspired the world to see the beauty and power in wilderness, and to believe wilderness was worth preserving.

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