Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Gelatin silver halide print 
Image: 10-3/8 x 13-9/16 in. (26.4 x 34.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist 
Accession Number:
© 2008 Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust 
Not on View

Adams is famous for his dramatic photographs of the natural world. Inspired by the landscape of the American West, his imagery established the standard by which nature photography has been judged for the past 60 years. Among his most celebrated images is "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," taken on Halloween. Here, Adams captures the intense, emotional response he experienced watching the rising moon illuminate the small town of Hernandez, New Mexico. One critic noted that Adams's photographs "transcend the simple description of objects and landscape; they depict transient aspects of light, atmosphere and natural phenomena." This observation is certainly true of this enchanted image, in which an otherwise ordinary evening in a seemingly deserted city has been transformed into a powerful, mystical moment in time.

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