The Tetons and the Snake River



gelatin silver print, 39 x 48.4 cm / 15,4 x 19,1 inch

Ansel ADAMS photographed thousands of landscape. The view he offers of The Tetons and the Snake River is one of the most famous photography in the world. It inspired tons of photographers, professionals as amateurs. The importance of this picture is such that it was included in Voyager Golden Record (1977). It is two phonograph records that were boarded in both Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. They are just like bottles send into the cosmic ocean; with the hope of a finding by extraterrestrial lifeform. The record contains a hundred of pictures supposed to represent our planet, among them there is this photo by Ansel ADAMS.

In addition to the natural power of the places, the concern about composition and the virtuosity of the shooting made it an iconic photograph. The elevated viewpoint allows the look to get lost in the valley where the river lays. It offers a sinuous sense of reading, while the light offers another one, horizontal, that can go from the most illuminated part, right, to the darker part, left, and vice versa.

The composition of the image perfectly fulfills the role of underlining the greatness of nature. The mountain: Grand Teton is located in the national park of the same name, more than 4000 meters high, it is the highest point of the massif. Ansel ADAMS used the river to make our eyes circulate within the photo, a journey of the look leading us to the mountain located in the center. Ansel ADAMS uses here its system of exposure by zones, which allows him to obtain a great richness of tones. From white to black, the photography makes visible all the textures thanks to many levels of gray. The depth of the landscape appears fully.

The picture, empty of any human presence, shows the wildness of the West magnified, like a Garden of Eden still preserved from the presence of men and their industry.

Know more: http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/258882/ansel...

The Tetons and the Snake River
Other photographs of the exhibition