'The Photos' section image

Cameras are so ubiquitous today that it's hard to imagine the circumstances in which Ansel Adams worked. During most of his lifetime, photography required rarified equipment that few could afford and even fewer knew how to use. Ansel Adams was one of the great masters of the art of photography, and he was also an inventor of techniques such as the "zone system" and "previsualization" that continue to influence photographers today.

In order to experience the Ansel Adams Fiat Lux images of the University of California and to participate in the On the Same Page program, there are several avenues of access. Some of these prioritize appreciation of the precision and nuance of the original work of art, others favor accessibility to a wider audience and/or access to the larger collection of images that extends beyond 170+ images chosen by Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall for inclusion in the 1967 Fiat Lux book. We invite you to explore all of the points of access listed below, in addition to browsing the book. Students will also have the opportunity to download images and interact with these creatively and imaginatively through course projects and Remix prompts listed on this website.

Before the word "remix" became so popular in our digital age, Ansel Adams anticipated its possibilities. As an accomplished pianist, Adams believed that a photographic negative, like a musical score, should be made available to others--especially students--to reinterpret and re-perform. To hear Adams own thoughts click here for a youtube video. The On the Same Page "Remix" projects on this website invite you to do just that: to perform Adams' photographic scores and, in doing so, to create astounding new visions and interpretations of the photos and the university they represent.

Photo: Ansel Adams, Pre-Football Game Parade - Detail, 1966, The Bancroft Library

Fiat Lux Remix Image Site:

Berkeley's Center for Digital Archaeology has created an image database from scans of the Fiat Lux book that were used to make the 2012 facsimile reprint edition. This database thus contains all the images in the book, along with accompanying captions. The site allows users to select images for use in the Fiat Lux Remix projects. These images are available to download for anyone with a CalNet ID. Click here to access the Fiat Lux Remix Image Site. You will be asked to enter your CalNet ID

The Bancroft Library: To fully appreciate the work of Ansel Adams, there is no substitute for seeing the fine prints created by the artist. Digital reproductions or publications in books are often vastly diminished in quality, many generations removed from original and able to capture only a fraction of the resolution and nuance found in prints created by the artist. The very best way to see the images is to come to The Bancroft Library when the exhibit "Fiat Lux Redux: Ansel Adams and Clark Kerr" The Fiat Lux Redux exhibit at the Bancroft Library will run from September 27, 2012 through February 28, 2013. The Bancroft Gallery open hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Gallery will also be open October 7, for Homecoming weekend, from 10:00-3:00. http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/Exhibits/onexhibit.html#fiatlux.

The Bancroft has a set of over 600 signed fine prints from the Fiat Lux project. The exhibit will display several dozen of these, while also contextualizing the Fiat Lux project within a larger vision for public higher education in California. Former UC President Clark Kerr, who commissioned Adams and Newhall to make this book, is also the architect of California's famous Master Plan for Higher Education and was responsible for opening three of the nine campuses that were then in the UC system.

California Museum of Photography: While the 605 Fiat Lux fine prints made by Adams were deposited with Berkeley's Bancroft library, his negatives for the project--over 6,000 of them--now reside with the California Museum of Photography (CMP) at UC Riverside. CMP has an online searchable database of 1,700 negative scans from the Fiat Lux collection. While the images are low resolution, giving only a remote sense of the production values of the fine prints, one can see in this database the larger scope of what Adams shot and consider what stories can be told from images not included in the book. What ended up "on the cutting room floor" and why? To explore such questions, access the Museum's collection at: http://www.cmp.ucr.edu/mainFrame/collections/guides/adams/default.html

Fiat Lux Slideshow