Ansel Adams made this image with a 5″ x 7″ view camera in 1938, the year he trekked through the high sierra with Edward Weston. Depending upon the year, dogwoods typically peak during April or May in Yosemite , evoking bursts of starlight against the bare forest backdrop. This dramatic contrast prompted Adams to compose one of his only still-life images. To capture the 12 blossoms in this spectacular spray of dogwoods, he placed them atop a nearby rock covered with pine needles and lichen.
The Sierra Club published “Dogwood Blossoms” in 1960 after Ansel Adams selected it, along with 15 other images, for inclusion in “Portfolio III, Yosemite Valley .” Later, Adams selected it for his Museum Set Collection, a retrospective portfolio of what he considered his strongest work. The image has been published in Classic Images , the book based on the Museum Set, Yosemite and the Range of Light (out of print) , Yosemite, The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, Yosemite and the High Sierra, and Ansel Adams Monograph (out of print)