Information about Frozen Lake and Cliffs

Location: Sequoia National Park
GPS Coordinates:
36.55, -118.56
Original Photograph Negative
Artist: Ansel Adams


This image is available as a:

Original Photograph  

Modern Replica  

Part of the 1938 book, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail by Ansel Adams.

About the Image

Adams wrote “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. Edward Weston said simply that ‘composition is the strongest way of seeing.'”

According to Adams, a friend made a photograph from exactly the same location at the same time. Later, on seeing Adams’ finished photograph, he exclaimed, “Jeez, Why didn’t I see that!”