Ansel Adams

“ My world has been a world too few people are lucky enough to live in – one of peace and beauty.
I believe in beauty.
I believe in stones & water,
air & soil,
People & their future.


Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. His family came to California from New England, after migrating from Ireland in the early 1700s. Adams was known as a hyperactive and sickly child with few friends. Adams taught himself the piano, which would become his early passion.

In 1916, following a trip to Yosemite National Park, he also began experimenting with photography. Between 1929 and 1942, Adams’ work and reputation developed. Adams expanded his repertoire, focusing on detailed close-ups as well as large forms, from mountains to factories. During this period, Adams joined photographers Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans in their commitment to affecting social and political change through art. Adams’ first cause was the protection of wilderness areas, including Yosemite.

at a glance | Film Photography

  • Photography:

    From Greek origin, and literally means,”painting or writing with light.”

  • SLR:

    Single Lens Reflex is a camera with one lens that involves a mirror and prism that the viewer looks through when shooting photos, as opposed to a “point and shoot”, or rangefinder, where the viewer looks through a separate viewfinder.

  • Exposure:

    is the amount of light allowed to fall on the film during the process of taking a photograph.

  • Focal Length:

    Focal length represents the distance from the optical center of a lens to the image plane when the lens is focused to infinity.

  • Wide Angle:

    A wide angle lens refers to a lens where the focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens for a given film plane.

  • Filters:

    Adjust the color, texture, aspect ratio, and/or style of photographs. Filters might adjust one or multiple aspects of an image.

  • Depth of Field:

    The portion of an image that appears sharp. A large depth of field or deep focus places the entire scene in focus.

  • Tripod:

    A 3-legged stand that the camera sits on.

The Tetons and The Snake River

The Tetons and The Snake River

Ansel Adams (1942)

Enviromentalist and Preservationist

Ansel Adams loved nature and was very involved in the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is an environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the Scottish-born American conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president.

The club was one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world, and currently engages in lobbying politicians to promote green policies.

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The David H. Arrington Collection

David H. Arrington is a native Texan, born and raised in the South Dallas community of Oak Cliff. Reared by educators, his father was a principal with the Dallas ISD and his mother was a teacher at Kimball High School. David attended Texas Tech University and earned a finance degree in 1983.

After graduating from Tech, David’s interest for the oil and gas industry led him to the Permian Basin. He moved to Midland in 1984 and began a career as an independent oil producer.

David has been married for 22 years to his wife, Shelley, also an educator. He is a devoted father of five and upholds an active role in his community. David enjoys fly fishing and names many of his wells after trout flies. He also enjoys photography and jokes that he is, “a photographer trapped in an oilman’s body.”

David has been a collector of Ansel Adams since 1993 and has aggregated the largest privately owned collection with over 600 photographs. His collection has grown more from passion than intent. He has shared his collection with the public through a series of exhibitions at museums in the United States and several other countries. He also showcases Adams’ work in his corporate offices located in Midland, Texas.

With education in his blood, David enjoys accompanying the photographs on tour and teaching and speaking on Ansel Adams’ talent and creativity.