The fine photographs of Alan Ross can be experienced as
sophisticated black-and-white still lifes or grand landscapes. His work is
reminiscent of his teacher, Ansel Adams, yet has a distinct personal style.
After his 1971 graduation from the University of California, Berkeley, with a
BA in Design/Photography, Alan Ross began his illustrious career in photography
serving as assistant in the M. Halberstadt studio in San Francisco. As an
apprentice there he practiced black-and-white and color illustration
photography, general studio, and darkroom techniques. After three years of
studio work, he started freelancing as a commercial photographer until joining
Ansel Adams in Carmel as his photographic assistant from 1974-79.
Since 1975 he has printed the Ansel Adams Special Edition
Photographs of Yosemite, a program that Ansel started in the 1950s. Ross prints
these thirty images of Yosemite, all 8"x 10" in the manner in which Adams would
have printed them.
Ross has taught numerous workshops for the Ansel Adams Gallery, University of
California Extension, RIT, The Friends of Photography, Ilford Photographic, and
photo tours to China (1981,1983).
His work is widely exhibited and collected.After many years of operating his
own commercial studio in San Francisco, Ross moved with his wife and daughter to
Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When I first went to work as Ansel's assistant, one of the things that struck
me the most was the realization, while going through boxes and boxes of his
work, that he had made an awful lot of very ordinary photographs! I was somewhat
stunned to learn that he had no illusions and no expectations that every film he
exposed would wind up being another one of what he fondly called his 'Mona
Lisa's. As an awe-struck young photographer in the presence of The Master, this
revelation was an incredible relief to me; it came as a release from the burden
of expecting myself to produce only perfection. It was better to experiment and
try things that might work, and openly and simply respond to feelings than to
over intellectualize. In fact I soon came to learn that one of Ansel's favorite
phrases was "The Perfect is the enemy of the Good!"