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The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, #1)
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The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography #1)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  2,612 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
This is an attractively priced photography classic made accessible to a wider, new audience. It covers everything from "seeing" the finished photo in advance, to lens choices. It is illustrated with many of Ansel Adams most famous images.
Paperback, 195 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1980)
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Understanding Exposure by Bryan PetersonThe Camera by Ansel AdamsThe Negative by Ansel AdamsThe Print by Ansel AdamsWithin the Frame by David duChemin
Photographer's Education
2nd out of 90 books — 38 voters
The Digital Photography Book by Scott KelbyThe Digital Photography Book by Scott KelbyThe Photographer's Eye by Michael   FreemanLight by Fil HunterUnderstanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
Best Photography Books
7th out of 48 books — 57 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 03, 2012 Diogo rated it it was amazing
Ansel Adams has a dry and terse style, I think I haven't read technical books with so much content per word, very little is wasted. This book is relatively small, but there is so much information that it must be read carefully.

Much of the book seems out of date, and it is, but even the things most people are very unlikely to ever use (view camera) have very interesting insights into the optics and different possibilities. I had no idea of what was possible to do with a view camera because of the
Sarah Ryburn
Jul 22, 2011 Sarah Ryburn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
i realize that adams is something of a cliche in the art world- like white zinfandel to a connoisseur of wine. his photographs are ubiquitous and recognizable, universally praised by the neophyte art-lover as "great photography" and known more often by prints on a calendar than serious academic study. i can not accept that this necessarily disqualifies him as a great artist. i've read of adams that his love of the american west and its landscape powered his art, that his passion for photography ...more
Sep 17, 2016 Pam rated it it was amazing
I used to think Ansel Adams was not such a huge deal.. His work was everywhere and did not seem precious, or artistic as other photographers of his time. It is like when I used to think "Purple Rain" was the most over played song.. Then I saw Prince play it live.. While I didn't watch Ansel Adams shoot pictures, understanding his technique behind what he did and the lengths he went through to get it sure gave me a new appreciation for his work.
Jan 26, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it
VEry good and useful, even for digital photographers. You need the basics and this is solid advice.
Savanna Long
May 04, 2015 Savanna Long rated it really liked it
The Camera(Ansel Adams Photography, #1) is a book written to introduce many techniques and different uses for a photography camera. The book gives useful information if you're interested in photography. While a lot of the technical information might seem outdated in today's digital camera world, some of it is still useful to know or keep in mind when taking images. Ansel Easton Adams, the author, was an American photographer and environmentalist. He was born on February 20, 1902 and passed away ...more
Oct 08, 2009 Patrick rated it liked it
Ansel Adam's book, entitled, very simply, "The Camera," is about just that: the camera. However, it is perhaps the most readable, most in-depth exploration of the camera in its many forms I have ever seen. I have learned more over the course of about a week from this book than I did from months of formal classes. Ansel Adams is, if anything, thorough.

He covers, of course, the 35mm camera, perhaps the most popular type of camera on the market, but actually devotes the majority of his space to lar
Oct 12, 2007 Gwen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: photography enthusiast
Shelves: photography
Adams talks almost as much about how great a photographer he is in this EXTREMELY informative book on the workings of the camera as he does on the subject matter. I felt that reading this book was a lot like taking a class from most highly skilled professionals. They know why they're teaching the class, and they have the ego to match. If you can get past that (much easier to do in book form than in person) then you can learn so much.

The experiments that Adams demos in the books are sometimes har
Jan 22, 2012 Seema rated it it was ok
Something should be mentioned before you start reading this book which is that it has been published over 20 years ago, and a lot of new technologies have been developed and created since then and you shouldn't expect this book to be up with that.

I wouldn't recommend it to a professional photographer because it basically explains how the shutter works, what camera to choose, films, accessiories.. etc and I assumer a professional already know that. I'd only recomment it for an Amateur Photograph
Michael Cowan
Apr 01, 2013 Michael Cowan rated it liked it
This is a very interesting book, but has very little practical application in with the advancement of the SLR camera switching to the digital format. While some of the information is still relevant, you can find the same information elsewhere in a more understandable manner. I did walk away with more knowledge of photography. But, the book left me wanting more practical applications, and only wet my appetite to learn more. I'm disappointed in what little I took away from such a photography ...more
Mar 25, 2015 Sergey rated it it was amazing
I got this book three years ago and kept putting it aside. Why?! Despite being published in 1981 - that's even before I was born! - the book is still relevant and is a must for anyone claiming to take photography seriously.

The book is the first in the series of three. Ansel patiently explains the mechanics of exposure, makes sense of shutters, apertures, etc. The tone of the book is rather dry and that's how I like it!

I highly recommend this book to everyone including iPhone photographers :-)

David Timms
Oct 01, 2008 David Timms rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: serious photographers
I read this book years ago when it seemed the ultimate authority on the instruments used to catch light. It still is.

Ansel was not a humble nor a quiet man, but he was an extraordinary influence in elevating photography to an Art. He speaks with confidence, as among the ultimate authorities on this subject.

St Ansel also wrote about The Negative and The Print. They are also encyclopedic in their scope and accuracy.

May 31, 2010 Austin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Outstanding and timeless. This book was excellent in every way. I get so sick and tired of seeing his name invoked in 95% of the articles written today on landscape photography, but that can't be held against the man himself. He was a brilliant artist, and as this book demonstrates, an exceptionally intelligent student AND teacher of all aspects of the art and science of photography. Some people really do live up to the hype.
Curtis Nugent
Mar 13, 2016 Curtis Nugent rated it really liked it
This book by Ansel Adams is a must read for any photographer. Many will think this book is irrelevant because it deals only with film cameras as digital media was not yet in use when it was written. That idea is patently false. Many of the theories and methods described by Adams are directly applicable to all methods of photography. It just so happens that I, along with a lot of other photographers, still shoot a lot of film each year. For us this book is invaluable.
May 02, 2013 Alfredo rated it it was amazing
Más allá del tiempo que ha pasado desde que se escribió y los avances tecnológicos entre las herramientas descritas y las actuales, lo realmente importante es que el fundamento fotográfico es el mismo. La óptica es la misma, la base es la misma, los tipos de lentes son los mismos, los accesorios son similares. Lo que importa realmente es que la técnica fotográfica es la misma.

Este es un must que todo fotógrafo serio debería leer.
Ashley Hunt
Apr 15, 2013 Ashley Hunt rated it it was amazing
Although it may seem that much of the material covered in Ansel Adams' photography series are no longer relevant to the modern photographer, it is important to go back to basics to truly understand the art of photography properly. Adams explains complex terms clearly, and allows you to fully grasp difficult ideas. You will understand those technical concepts much better after reading this book.
Jedrek Kostecki
Feb 07, 2010 Jedrek Kostecki rated it did not like it
If you're interested in the technical side of cameras, you can do a lot better than this book. And if you're not, then this book has nothing for you. But, if you're interested in hearing 120 film referred to as 2 1/4" and discussions of cameras systems that are pretty much impossible to buy because they've been out of production for 60 years, this is the book for you.
Carlos Quijano
Feb 10, 2011 Carlos Quijano rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
Written a few years before his death in 1984, the series ("The Camera," "The Negative," and "The Print") remains a timeless classic. Adams collects a whole lifetime of photographic experience in a few hundred pages. Much of what he explains about cameras and lenses is still relevant today, and his discussion of "pre-visualisation" and composition still holds. A must read for all photographers.
Aug 23, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Very very useful information if you're interested in photography. While a lot of the technical information might seem outdated in today's digital camera world, some of it's still useful to know or keep in mind when forming images.

I also have an interest in possibly obtaining an older camera and the chapter on view cameras was possibly my favorite one.
Dec 26, 2011 Mountainman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
Where to begin... Ansel Adams might be my hero. His first book gave me the real information for real photographers looking to make real black and white art with their cameras. Everything you could want to know about the CAMERA, this book will teach you. for any serious black and white photographer. love love love for ansel adams
Feb 20, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
An extremely well-written book. Assumes a good deal of technical camera knowledge from the beginning, but explains everything you could possibly want to know about how (non-digital) cameras work. After reading it I really wanted to play around with a 8x10 view camera!
Robert Taylor
Jul 19, 2014 Robert Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical
I find the information in these three books are still useful for processing in the digital age. If you are willing to take the content for what it was intended you can directly apply it to digital processing techniques. Great books!
Karin Lizana
Jun 27, 2016 Karin Lizana rated it it was amazing
This is a "must" for everyone who is really interested in photography. After reading this book I finally understood a lot of concepts that before were unknown or really difficult to me. Everything here is basic information that every photographer should know.
Rui Melo
Jul 01, 2011 Rui Melo rated it it was amazing
Great technical overview on the history of photographic cameras, their glitches, and the common truth that enables you to know how to operate them. Very good book, falling into the class of "technical bible"
Jan 07, 2010 Piper rated it it was amazing
I'd just like to note that this book was first published not in the 1950s but in 1948. Also, it was the first of a series of five books (not a triad) the last two of which are now out of print, but are called "Natural-Light Photography" and "Artificial-Light Photography".
Muthu Arumugam
Dec 10, 2014 Muthu Arumugam rated it it was ok
It's a lot of details about Camera and he is excellent on the specifics. I didn't want to read lot more than a novice photographer. Some of the YouTube video's are much more practical if you don't want to read them elaborate. I don't recommend this for beginners.
Oct 20, 2013 Chandler rated it it was amazing
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for a woman I was dating. Then we broke up before I could give it to her. I kept the book for myself. So who came out smelling like a rose...?
This book is a treasure.
Mihai Criveti
Jan 01, 2011 Mihai Criveti rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly accurate and up to date, it's a must-read for anyone doing photography (film or digital). Learned a lot about the zone system, lens transmission and so on.
Oct 03, 2013 Carmelo rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Fun read with appropriate level of technical details. Got me excited about possibilities with large format cameras. Sad that they are so expensive.
Diego Vasquez
Sep 06, 2015 Diego Vasquez rated it really liked it
It's a bit dated but still mostly timeless information from the man that brought us the zone system.
Jan 04, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Very, very good--but outdated in parts. It's easy to skip the less-relevant sections. Strongest chapters concern vision, seeing, depth-of-field/focus, and perspective. A definite thumbs up.
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Though wilderness and the environment were his grand passions, photography was his calling, his metier, his raison d'etre.

From: Ansel Adams, Photographer
More about Ansel Adams...

Other Books in the Series

Ansel Adams Photography (3 books)
  • The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, #2)
  • The Print (Ansel Adams Photography, #3)

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