Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs

Ansel Adams

Frozen Lake and Cliffs

Sequoia National Park, 1932

Original Gelatin Silver Photograph

Image dimensions: 19" x 15"
Mounted dimensions: 28" x 22"

Excellent condition

certified authentic
Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs
Frozen Lake and Cliffs



Original gelatin silver photograph, “Frozen Lake and Cliffs, Sequoia National Park.” Individually handmade by Ansel Adams from large format sheet film in the late 1970’s. Mounted on archival museum board. Signed in pencil on mount with artist’s BMFA 11 studio stamp on verso.


“I made this photograph while on the annual (Sierra) Club outing in the Kaweah and Kern River watersheds, in many ways the most spectacular region of the Sierra. On the long trek from Giant Precipice Lake… The lake was partially frozen and snowbanks rested in the recesses of the cliffs. I was impressed with the solemn beauty of the scene and saw the image quite clearly in my mind.

Many speak of this image as abstract, but I was not conscious of any such definition at the time… For photographic compositions I think in terms of creating configuration out of chaos, rather than following any conventional rules of composition.”


The HD Video of the actual work in question has been provided as a visual condition report. If you would like a written condition report in addition to the HD video, please


ansel adams in the dakroom by Alan Ross

No contemporary photographer equaled the lifetime contributions of Ansel Adams in bringing public recognition of the art of photography, or taught so widely the techniques of black and white photography. His strength as an artist is largely attributed to his tireless investigation of the methods of photography, developing a careful darkroom technique of exposure and development, which he called the Zone System.


Striking photographs of Yosemite and the surrounding Sierra Nevada capturing the elusive visual myth and mood of these wild places became the wellspring of Ansel Adam’s consciousness and brought him widespread popular acclaim. His intimate understanding as well as passion for conservation of this pristine wilderness gave Ansel Adams the energy and tenacity needed to bring subjects to life for a wider public.


The most popular black and white process of the 20th century was gelatin silver, in which the image consists of silver metal particles suspended in a gelatin layer. Gelatin silver papers are commercially manufactured by applying an emulsion of light-sensitive silver salts in gelatin to a sheet of paper coated with a layer of baryta, a white pigment mixed with gelatin. The sensitized paper, generally fiber-based, is exposed to light through a negative and then made visible in a chemical reducing solution. William Henry Fox Talbot introduced the basic chemical process in 1839, but the more complex gelatin silver process did not become the most common method of black-and-white darkroom photography until the late 1910s. Because the silver image is suspended in a gelatin emulsion that rests on a pigment-coated paper, gelatin silver can be sharply defined and highly detailed in comparison to platinum or palladium, in which the image is absorbed directly into the fibers of the paper.


Cross section of Gelatin Silver paper