About the Image
Ansel Adams made this image around 1947 with an 8″ x 10″ view camera after a long walk to the site and waiting many hours for the rainbow to appear in the foreground. Waiting around? Examples is much more colorful than waiting around. Despite the lengthy time to consider his set up, Adams didn’t capture it exactly as he wanted, as he writes in Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs : “I missed on one small detail which ruffled; the right-hand tree of the two little cedars near the center of the image meets a branch from a nearby tree. I should have lowered the camera at least a foot to avoid this merger.” While composing the image, Adams struggled to keep the camera dry in the mist. He recalled that “the sound and fury of the waterfall, the clean air, and driving mist were unforgettable.” Later in answer to critics questioning the artistic merit of the photograph, he responded: “Some urban aesthetes claim this photograph is just a bit of scenery and is certainly not art. May they and their opinions rest in peace! I think it is a choice bit of Chaos organized into some kind of expressive Order. I do not desire to impose a definition of creativity on anyone.” “Nevada Fall, Rainbow” appeared in “Portfolio III, Yosemite Valley “, published by the Sierra Club in 1960. It also appears in the Portfolios of Ansel Adams, Yosemite and the Range of Light (out of print), Yosemite and the High Sierra, Yosemite, Ansel Adams Monograph (out of print), Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs and Classic Images, the book based on the Museum Set Collection, a retrospective portfolio of what Adams considered his strongest work.