Posts Tagged ‘Ansel Adams’

Featured Portfolio and Interview in LensWork

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

William Neill presents photographs that go far beyond mere “pretty pictures.” His work reminds us of our deep connection with the planet, inspires us to seek the beauty of nature for ourselves, and encourages us to see with greater intimacy the beauty that surrounds us wherever nature flourishes.    -Brooks Jensen, Lenswork Magazine

I am honored to be featured in LensWork’s November/December issue. The portfolio, entitled Sanctuary in Stone-Yosemite Winter, contains twenty photographs ranging from 4×5 exposures made in the early 1980s or digital captures made this year.

There are three versions of LensWork are available for purchase -the printed version, the tablet version and the computer version:…

If you are not familiar with Brooks Jensen’s podcast, I highly recommend it:

BOOK UPDATE: For those of you that purchased my retrospective book, you may be wondering where it is! Well, the latest news is that, due to an unforeseen issue, the book should be shipping to you in early December. Thanks so much for your purchase, and for your patience. I am certain that the long wait will be worth it.

In parting, I’d like to share with you an endorsement for my book by my friend Dewitt Jones. I am honored and humbled by his kind words:

William Neill is one of the great landscape photographers of the last hundred years. His images – stunning, haunting, breathtaking, poetic – speak for themselves. There are no words necessary, just admiration. Through, in his own words, “observation and immersion” he has seen and recorded the beauty of the planet. But, more than that, he had captured its spirit. Again and again he shows us “the thread which holds all things together”. This book is an instant classic; truly one for the ages.   – Dewitt Jones

Below are a few sample photographs in the portfolio.  Enjoy!

The Ansel Adams Gallery’s upcoming exhibit: William Neill – A Retrospective

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Half Dome and Clearing Spring Storm, Yosemite National Park, California 2013


William Neill — A Retrospective
July 9 – August 19, 2017
Exhibit Opening from 3-5PM on July 15

Mark your calendars! Upcoming Exhibition at @The Ansel Adams Gallery. I will be attending the exhibit opening from 3-5PM on Saturday July 15 and signing Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness books. I’m looking forward to meeting old and new friends at the gallery where I worked from May 1980 to September 1984! I will be showing several new pieces including the image shown here.

William Neill — A Retrospective
July 9 – August 19, 2017

Unique Offer from The Ansel Adams Gallery – Photographs by William Neill

Sunday, September 11th, 2016


It is my pleasure to announce that The Ansel Adams Gallery is once again sponsoring a special print sale of two of my photographs, offering a 25% discount off the normal price. The two images we selected for this offer are Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, and Autumn Sunset on El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California. These two photographs have never been exhibited at a gallery or sold before. My signed, open edition 13×20 prints usually sell for $325, but during this sale, you can get one for only $243.75. Or you can purchase a 16×24 print, normally $450, for only $337.50. Most of my prints have been issued as limited-edition and are more expensive than the open-edition photographs. This is a rare chance to purchase one of my photographs at a reduced price, but the sale lasts for just six days until Sunday, September 18th at 6:00 PM Pacific time. Please visit The Ansel Adams Gallery website to purchase a print or get more details.

Making photographs is not only about the technical “capturing” of the image but also about the sensory experience with the landscape itself. Strong images can reconnect us with the experience and the people with whom we shared that time. Here are the stories behind the making of these two images.

Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2014 (image above)

One October morning in 2014, I was teaching a private student in Cook’s Meadow at sunrise. As a longtime Yosemite resident, I anticipated great photographic potential there. We started out photographing with a classic view of Half Dome, but as the sun first struck the damp meadow, we raced to where the sun was rising directly behind this extraordinary elm tree. An amazing confluence of peak autumn color and morning mist unfolded before us, with sunbeams bursting through the graceful branches. Knowing that the mist would burn off soon, we worked rapidly to find a strong composition, shading our lenses from the sun using the tree’s limbs. As the sun rose higher, the beams shifted with the rising mist until they disappeared after only ten minutes. To me, this image captures a sense of hope, of “a new day shining out of the darkness.” This elm, which I’ve been photographing for 40 years, was once again a magical and wondrous sight.


Autumn Sunset on El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

I have been photographing Yosemite and living in the area for nearly forty years. The wonders of this cathedral in stone never ceases to amaze me, especially during the changing seasons. The day I made this photograph began with pouring rain at dawn. Then by mid-morning, it began to snow leaving a white dusting on red dogwood and golden oak leaves. By noon, the storm began to clear with clouds and mist ascending off of granite cliffs. After a thrilling day of chasing this extraordinary light and weather around the valley, I started for home. The clouds looked like they were closing in, how could any more epic conditions appear after so many blessings of the day? While driving past El Capitan, I noticed a small patch of light breaking through the clouds on its cliffs. I raced down to set up my camera along the Merced River, finding these wonderful reflections and sunset colors. The incredible light lasted only a few minutes. After a day full of catching my breath in awe of such beauty, I finally, slowly exhaled with a peaceful sense of bliss.

If you have any questions, contact me by email or post below in my blog. Please click here to purchase or for more information.


Celebrating 30 Years – 1995

Monday, September 15th, 2014

My “Celebrating 30 Years” project moves on to the year 1995.  A few days after Labor Day in 1984, I quit my job as Photographer at The Ansel Adams Gallery, making the leap of faith to start my own business William Neill Photography.  In the process of posting a few images from each year, I am gaining a tremendous perspective on my efforts and successes as my work evolved.  The excitement has built up each time I have searched my massive Lightroom catalog for the next year’s selection.  Below, I have posted eleven images from 1995, and as I do so, I wonder if I will ever have such a spectacular year again!  I was 41, happily married, had been published in four books featuring my work and traveling often to teach workshops.  I was also working on a second book for the Exploratorium Museum and Chronicle Books called The Color of Nature.  My wife and I took to extended camping trips to the deserts of Utah, and to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park as you can see in the images below.  We also traveled to the east coast, shown by two photographs below taken in Maine.

My favorite photograph, and happily my best-selling fine print is the first image shown below:  Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995.  Only 15 prints remain in the Limited Edition of 150.

Enjoy, and please add your comments below.  All photographs created with a Wista 4×5 field camera, and 4×5 inch transparency film.

Thanks,  Bill

William Neill Books



Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995


Sunrise storm clouds, St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana 1995


Rock formations and surf at twilight, Big Sur, California 1995


Trees growing on moss-covered boulders, Baxter State Park, Maine 1995


Autumn Forest, Baxter State Park, Maine


Striated wall of an ice cave, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada 1995


Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada


Pine tree and sandstone cliff, Zion National Park, Utah 1995


Eroded sandstone, Capitol Gorge, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah


Buttes and storm clouds over the Green River, Canyonlands National Park, Utah 1995


Cliffs at Convict Lake, winter, Inyo National Forest, California 1995



From The Ansel Adams Gallery – Unique Offer in Fine Art Photography by William Neill

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada,

I am happy to announce that The Ansel Adams Gallery is offering three of my images in their latest “Unique Offer in Fine Art Photography.”

The Unique Opportunity The Ansel Adams Gallery is thrilled to offer its collectors, friends and fellow art lovers, a chance to participate in a unique opportunity. From time to time on our website, we will be featuring a never-before-printed, hand-made image from one of our distinguished Gallery artists at a discounted price, prior to its availability within the general market place. This month, we have arranged to present three 16”x24” images from William Neill: two images from the photogenic landscape of Yosemite, “Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite,” and “Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lilly Leaves, Yosemite,” both in an edition of 75, with the third in honor of his recent trip to another unique photographic frontier titled “Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula,” in an edition of only 30. While Bill’s original 16”x24” prints normally range in price up to $3,000, you can now add one to your private collection for 25% off the initial retail price. Each photograph is made by Mr. Neill, printed to current archival standards, signed and numbered, as well as mounted, matted and ready for framing. The time to purchase will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, August 4th, and will expire upon the close of business, Sunday, August 10th at 6:00 PM.Once the offer has expired, we anticipate an order fulfillment time of approximately four weeks to ensure the quality of each individual order. This inaugural printing offer is available for a very limited time, after which, the print will return to full price.

Email our curator, Evan Russel, at if you have any additional questions about the prints or shipping.


The Story of the Images – text by William Neill

Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California 2012 by William Neill

  Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
© William Neill, All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

Yosemite Valley after a fresh snowfall is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve been photographing for 38 years in the national park, and winter is my favorite season. Taken after a late December snowfall, I was lucky enough to arrive at Tunnel View with great light and snow still sticking to the trees. Although more dramatic light occurred earlier this evening, I preferred these more subtle colors of twilight. While I have often avoided photographing the icons, focusing in on more intimate views of Yosemite, I am still entranced by the epic landscape of soaring cliffs.
To purchase, please click here.


Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lilly Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
© William Neill. All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

Patterns in nature have been a major theme of my photography for decades. When the corn lily plants spread their leaves during high country summers, I search for dense patterns of leaves like these to photograph. Living nearby, I timed my arrival in hopes of rain from an approaching thunderstorm. The rain drops combined with pollen to form a galaxy of water beads which heightened the magic of these leaves and their patterns. Processed as a Black and White image, I feel that the graphical pattern and mysterious field of possibilities shine through.
To purchase, please click here.



Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19
© William Neill. All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

On my recent trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, our group floated in Zodiac boats through sculpture gardens of ancient ice. The deeper the blues, the older is the ice. The crystalline icebergs glowed like magic in the morning light, revealing the patterns of weather and waves. It was especially challenging to compose precisely while moving, requiring speed in terms of focus, analyzing exposures that constantly changed, and timing to capture good spacing and compositions. It was a spectacular journey. A sweet Antarctic dream.
To purchase, please click here.

Story of the Artist
William Neill has been photographing continuously in his backyard of Yosemite National Park since 1977. Reared in California and Virginia, and educated at the University of Colorado (BA in Environmental Conservation, 1976), he has found his balance in the Sierra Nevada . In the early 1980s, he served as staff photographer at The Ansel Adams Gallery, where he was introduced to the work of Ansel Adams and other fine art photographers. The natural environment and spirit of Yosemite remains the constant inspiration for Neill. He pays special attention to the intimate detail and design of nature. His elegant color photographs celebrate the magic of our natural world.

“The reason I photograph is to experience the beauty of nature, of wild places. I explore the essential elements of rock and tree, of cloud and rushing water to discover the magic and mystery of the landscape. It is the spirit of the land I seek to reveal in my images.

“Photography is a quiet, meditative activity for me. I enjoy isolating the details of a scene. By creating photographs where the content or orientation is not obvious, an intimate and enigmatic feeling can come through. I enjoy making an image that asks a question, one that intrigues and arouses curiosity in the viewer.” He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder, The Tree,By Nature’s DesignThe Color of Nature and Traces of Time. A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness as well as a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit. In 1995, the Sierra Club honored Neill with the Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographermagazine. Neill’s assignment and published credits include National Geographic Special Publications, Smithsonian, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Travel & Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Vogue, Sierra and Outside magazines. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, American Photo, Photographer’s Forum, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has received four Awards of Excellence. Neill’s fine limited edition prints have been collected and exhibited nationally. Bill Neill resides with his wife, Sahdna, and their children in Oakhurst, California.

Please be sure to view more of William Neill’s photographs at well as at the Gallery’s site,

William Neill: Passages of Light at The Ansel Adams Gallery

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Morning Mist, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Morning Mist, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013



I have a solo exhibit of my photographs at The Ansel Adams Gallery later this month! Many of my new images will be included, as well as some of my classic Yosemite images. It is always an honor to have my work shown there.  My photography career began there when I took the job of Staff Photographer, got to know Ansel, and it was Ansel himself that approved my photographs to be represented by his gallery in 1983.  Since that time, I probably have had 15 exhibits over those many years!

William Neill: Passages of Light

July 28th through September 14th, 2013

The opening reception is on August 1. I don’t have the timings yet, but if you think you can make it that day, I will let you know so I can tell the time of day.

Hope to see you there!

Open Studio at William Neill Photography – Sierra Art Trails Oct. 5, 6, and 7th.

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Once again, I am participating in the Yosemite Foothills Open Studio Tour – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 5, 6 & 7, 2012. My home studio will be full of my fine art prints, books and posters. I hope to see old friends and meet new ones!  Let me know if you think you can make it, and ask any questions if you have them.  Also, share this with friends who you think might be interested.  Thanks!

See the official web site for more details:

My living room gallery set up for Art Trails in 2011!

Open Studio at William Neill’s Home

Intimate Landscapes

Friday, March 16th, 2012

My first article for Outdoor Photographer was published in the March/April issue 1986.  The magazine started up the previous year, and a photograph of mine appeared on the cover of the second issue.  Then, I had been asked to write a “how to” article, but instead I wanted my first writing in a national magazine to be my “artist’s statement” rather than about how to do something technical, or a “where to be when” article.  I mentioned my use of a 4×5 camera and film, and that I had been living in Yosemite for eight years.  Since the article was written 1985, it is now 35 years that I’ve lived in the Yosemite area! Below is my essay, and images of the article.

Photography is a quiet, contemplative activity for me. It is a time to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. I seek to experience and reveal the mysterious, spiritual aspects of nature.

Minor White wrote, “Be still with yourself, until the object of your attention affirms your presence.” My approach to photographing the landscape requires the time to truly see to observe closely the form of, and the light upon the subject. A spirit of exploration and curiosity has been vital in developing my personal vision.

I have lived in Yosemite for eight years. Emersing myself in its magical qualities has taught me a valuable lesson. To photograph Yosemite successfully, one must transcend the classic but cliched scenes. I have sought my own unique way of seeing Yosemite. In doing so, I have discovered endless intimate details that reveal an essence of Yosemite rarely experienced by the casual visitor. This lesson serves me well exploring other landscapes less familiar to me.

“Through my photographs, I am interested in inspiring a deeply felt love and respect for the natural environment; an understanding of the magic and mystery of the earth’s processes, such as the formation of a rock or of ice on a pond. I feel a need for a sense of spiritual ecology, a respect for “the earthforce.” These feelings are at the root of my motivations to photograph. I wish to give back at least some of what I receive from nature. Nature is a powerful healer, and it is its ability to rejuvenate and nurture my soul that keeps me in close contact with the natural landscape. Millions of people visit our national parks and other natural places to be rejuvenated. Making photographs, for us, is an effort to retain and later reconnect ourselves with those healing experiences with nature.

My approach to the technical aspects of making a photograph is simple and straightforward. Although craft is essential for a fine photograph, I feel strongly that technique is merely a tool to be used for self-expression. 1 mostly use a 4×5 view camera. It encourages a contemplative approach. Each image is thought through carefully before an exposure is made. The size of the viewfinder provides for easy and precise composition. I use Ektachrome Professional 4×5 sheet film and make my portfolio prints on Cibachrome print material.

I prefer to photograph in flat, even light found in complete shade, on cloudy days, at dawn or twilight. These low-contrast conditions fit nicely into the narrow latitude scale of color slide film. The resulting images are often richer in detail and more pleasing in color. Subtle or monochromatic color appeal to me. One can’t depend on the impact of color alone for a successful image. A sense of design, the careful placement of elements within the frame, is essential. I often find myself isolating and abstracting a part of the subject.

By creating photographs where the content or orientation is not immediately obvious, a surreal, mystical feeling may come through. I would rather make an image that asks a question than answers one; that intrigues and arouses curiosity in the viewer. I appreciate a photograph that grows on me and endures more than one that has initial impact, explains itself immediately but then quickly fades from memory.

Outdoor photography is a wonderful way to explore and encourage our own uniqueness. I feel that I receive more from the process of being out there making photographs than I do from the photographs themselves. I have learned a great deal about myself and my environment through photography.

Remember Ansel Adams. He touched our lives with his tremendous compassion for the natural environment and his deeply-felt spiritual connection with nature through his photographs. We can all follow his example ourselves by photographing with conviction and emotion.”         OP

William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One iPad App

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

William Neill's Yosemite: Volume One iPad App

William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One iPad App

I am happy to announce that my first app for the iPad is now available in the iTunes Store! Check it out, and perhaps post a review if you buy it! Share with your FB or Twitter friends. To see more screenshots, visit my William Neill Photography Facebook page.

Here is a set of screenshots of the iPad app.  The ebook is an app version of my latest ebook: William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One. Lots of cool interactivity, including connections to Facebook and Twitter. Anyone interested? It will cost only $4.99! Please share with your friends…

My app was made by Jim Goldstein. For more info on his App offerings: ePhotobook App Inquiry Form:

Thanks, and Ride the Light!


William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One iPad App

Fine Print Offer from The Ansel Adams Gallery

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Winter, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2008

I am happy to let you know about a new Fine Print offer just announced by The Ansel Adams Gallery.  I have been honored to be the first artist for this exciting new series among the elite group of photographers represented by the Gallery.  Two of my recent images are being offered at an exceptional discount of 25% for a limited time.  The sale began this morning and will end at 6PM on Sunday, June 12th.

The two images, never printed previously, will be hand printed by me using archival inks on my high quality inkjet printer, then mounted and over-matted using archival materials.  The prints will be signed and numbered with print details included on the label attached on the back of the print.  For more details on my printing process, see Fine Art Print Information on my web site.

Valley Oak and fog, Ahwahnee, California 2010

I hope you will check for further details on Gallery’s site, pass it on to your friends, on Facebook, Twitter or on your blog.  Below you can see the images, and read the story of making each photograph.

The Ansel Adams Gallery has represented my fine art photographs since 1983, after Ansel viewed my prints himself. I am especially excited because I knew Ansel personally and his mentorship greatly inspired my career in landscape photography.

Special Fine Print Offers from The Ansel Adams Gallery

Regards,  William Neill