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The Camera

(Ansel Adams Photography #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  5,881 ratings  ·  70 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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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  5,881 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Feb 12, 2011 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Much of the book seems out of date, and it is, but even the things most people are very unlikely to ever use (view camera) have very interesting insights into the optics and different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 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 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.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a good introduction to intermediate concepts which might be useful for an advanced beginner looking to improve their understanding of photographic concepts, or for someone getting started with a view camera.
This book is a classic in photography, which necessarily means it's dated. Adams wrote this book before digital photography was popular, so this book is really turned more towards chemical-based photography. About 3/4 of the material is still relevant to digital photography, and the
Joe Silber
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a classic in the photography genre that is still worth checking out, despite the fact that probably at least 25% of it is partially or completely obsolete if you are using a digital SLR. Lots of good stuff about the analytical side of photography - light, depth of field, shutter speed, etc. The writing feels very stiff and formal by modern standards (it took me a LOOOONG time to work through it), and there are definitely plenty of books that explain the concepts in a more ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Camera is the first volume of a three volume set of photography instruction books by Ansel Adams that were first published in 1980. The edition I have is the 23rd paperback printing, printed in 2018.

I first read this series in 2005 when I started working full time as a videographer, looking to better my understanding of the craft. A year ago I got my first video camera that uses interchangeable lenses, and have subsequently bought myself a still camera that can use the same lenses. So now I
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
VEry good and useful, even for digital photographers. You need the basics and this is solid advice.
Jan 11, 2015 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
In age of digital camera it's good to know the classic technique from one of my favorite photographer.
Scott Drake
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I cannot even recall the first time I looked at Ansel Adams' work or information on technique. I do know this: I had already been shooting for about 25 years before I did and basically went, "Hmm, so that's what that is called, so that's why this looks like such", etc. While immensely popular with many lay people, I cannot name a single photographer I've met who thinks of Adams in as strongly regard.

Did he do it first? Mostly. Did he do it best? Maybe. Did he demonstrate the process in the
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glorious. Specially the chapter seven dedicated to image management techniques.

I have also learn to appreciate Ansel Adams’ portraits. He was not only a landscape photographer, but rather an all-terrain giant.

There are some parts of the book that have not aged well, specially when referring to optimal shutter speeds, etc. technology has gone a long way. Understandable though.
Ryan Watkins
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
This is an amazing book which holds up very well despite its age. Much of Adams’ photography advice is timeless even though some of the gear mentioned is seldom used anymore. Adams writes in a very technical manner so this book can’t be skimmed thru quickly but it is well worth the time. Highly recommended.
thomas h hicks
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's Adams. Enough said.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little out dated but still has solid fundamentals. I liked the technical explanations of things such as depth of field.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lot of talk on adjusting old-timey camera bellows. Now I know how to do that
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a good book, I like
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved everything about this book. Ansel Adams is one of the greatest photographers of all time, and it is really cool to read and see his processes of taking some of his more famous photos. A lot of the information is based around old styles and old forms of photography, but a lot of the stuff he talks about is useful information for photographers today. He details very useful information on subjects that most starting photographers don't understand like, aperture and shutter speed. He also ...more
Savanna Long
Apr 21, 2015 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
Sep 30, 2009 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
Rajiv Chopra
This book is a classic. On the face of it, you would question the relevance of the book in today's digital age. However, when I started to read the book, I marvelled at the beauty of the concepts that he outlined, and the clarity with which he explained them.

His understanding of the camera, it's principles, is masterly. His lessons, pithy as they are, on visualisation, are timeless. They are as valid today as when he wrote them, and will be valid tomorrow.

The principles of the camera, lenses,
Sep 25, 2007 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
Jan 22, 2012 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
Michael Cowan
Mar 23, 2013 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 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
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 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.

Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
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 31, 2010 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.
Dec 26, 2011 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
Carlos Quijano
Oct 27, 2010 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.
Jedrek Kostecki
Jun 28, 2008 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.
Jul 25, 2012 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.
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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

Other books in the series

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