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Monolith: The Face of Half-Dome, Yosemite (work of art)

Artwork Info

Ansel Adams
Artist Details
1927, printed circa 1960
11 x 8 1/8 in.
(27.9 x 20.6 cm)


Ansel Adams visited California’s spectacular Yosemite Valley for the first time in 1916. Awed by the beauty of the landscape, Adams took his earliest photographs of the park with a Brownie Box camera, returning every summer to photograph. While in his late teens, Adams spent his summers working as a custodian at the Le Conte Memorial, Sierra Club headquarters in Yosemite. In 1927,Parmelian Prints of the High Sierraswas published, launching Adams’ career as a professional photographer. Monolith: The Face of Half-Dome, Yosemite National Park, California is perhaps the best-known image that Adams included in the Parmelian Prints portfolio. Created with a Korona view camera fitted with a dark red filter to increase the tonal contrasts, the image was meant to capture not how the scene looked to Adams at the time, but the feeling he had of the place while he viewed it. The photograph is an iconic image from Adams’ oeuvre, one of the best captured in Yosemite.


tags: environment, nature, ecology, place, mountains, black and white, landscape, light


  • Monolith: The Face of Half-Dome, Yosemite

    Monolith: The Face of Half-Dome, Yosemite by Ansel Adams