Unicorn Peak, Thunderclouds

July 10, 2012

Unicorn Peak, Thunderclouds by Ansel Adams

Unicorn Peak, Thunderclouds by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams made this image with a medium format camera around 1967 in late spring or early summer when heavy snow still swathed the granite peaks of the Cathedral Range south of Tuolomne Meadows. The billowing thunderclouds piled high above the peak are atypical so early in the year and indicate the photograph was taken on an exceptionally hot day when the heat would have created the massive evaporation to form the clouds.

For many years, Adams led photography workshops in Yosemite . Each June, hundreds of students would arrive for the two-week sessions. The workshops often visited the high sierra and Adams may have captured this image during a workshop excursion, using it as an example of visualizing a subject from concept to print.