The 'Ansel Adams' Job

To those of you who have never heard of Ansel Adam's don't be ashamed. You have certainly seen his work. If it is a black and white photograph and of a National Park, it is probably him.

Our website is more than inspired by Ansel Adams. It was designed specifically because of his work. All of our photos are black and white first because of him. We want you to look at the photo in its most basic form. Enjoy it for the light, the shadows, the texture. Our National Parks are stunning without color. If you want to enjoy them further, scroll over the photo and see it in color.

On the homepage of 59in59 you will see it says #59in59 and then in small letters it reads 'A Study of National Parks'. Ansel Adams called his work 'An Introduction to the Study of National Parks'. We view our work as an extension of his. We stand on the shoulders of those before us. He was a giant, and we are but up to his shin on our way to his shoulders. Our work would not be possible without Ansel Adams and we hope that, in a lifetime, we can reach his shoulders and continue the work that he has done. He wrote the introduction and we are just beginning working on the first chapter.

As I see it, there are two skills necessary for this job.

  1. Knowledge and Skills with Large Format Black and White Photography
  2.  Love, Passion and Ability to Travel to National Parks 

Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero of the first set of qualifications and out of my lack of skill I give you my thoughts about this job. 

We live in a world that is constantly adapting, changing and innovating. Photography and technology are changing at such an incredible pace that it is hard to keep up. There are mirrorless cameras that are small and as good as DSLR. There are professionals using iPhone's to take awe-inspiring photographs.

The Introduction to the Study of National Parks is Ansel Adams and large format B&W photographs.

The Study of National Parks is not in the hands of one 'lucky' and very talented photographer. It is in the hands of the people, the hands of photographic democracy.

Our National Parks had 300 million visitors last year. The U.S. Department of Interior has 870,000 followers on Instagram. The future study of National Parks is on Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Facebook and the newest app that is yet to be created. It's on iPhones and tele lens made by the likes of Moment Lens. It is in the hands of the visitors who take pictures and share them with their friends. 

You should be excited that we are going to have some beautiful black and white prints in the future. You should be more excited that you can contribute to the next stage. Go out to our parks and take a picture. Share it with your friends, post it on social media and inspire those after us to take our work a step further.

The National Parks do not need one fabulously talented photographer. The National Parks need a caretaker, a person that can curate the billions of photographs that are taken in our parks every year. A person that can figure out what to do with all that content. You may already have this person, and for that I applaud you.