Research Code Key
[E] Explanation [O] Opinion [W] Website [R] Further Research [Q] Quotation [U] Useful [!] Critical
[X] Exhibition [T] Timeline [I] Important [>] Indent
[P] Photograph [B] Book To Read


Alinder, M.S. (2015) Ansel Adams: A biography. United States: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

(Alinder, 2015, p. 204)

“In the Spring of 1943, Ansel had his first camera platform constructed for his car” (Alinder, 2015, p. 204)

“From that time many of his best images would be made from this perch” (Alinder, 2015, p. 204)


Behind the Lens: When photos require a higher perspective


[U] After a long and happy relationship, I recently had to give up my 1996 Toyota RAV. It was a super vehicle and a surprisingly great creative device for my photography.

[U] Often, I would climb on the roof to gain a high vantage point for a subject or scene. I just had to make sure I didn’t step through the sunroof.

[U] In one of my crazier road trip moments, I hauled along a 6-foot ladder. There was a particular Kansas monument I wanted to photograph and I knew it was over 10 feet off the ground. I placed the ladder on top of my car, carefully climbed up and got a monumental prairie vista.

[U] This isn’t uncommon behavior for photographers.

[U] Post-war British photographer John Gay is shown in a 1950s photograph using this same ladder-on-car technique.

[U] Landscape photographer Ansel Adams and Depression-era photojournalist Dorothea Lange are both captured in images perched atop their respective vehicles sporting cameras.

[U] In Adams’ case, he’s shown in a photograph from the ’40s, standing with his large tripod atop a Ford Woodie station wagon with a permanent mounted platform.