Ansel Adams got a camera and trip to Yosemite for his 14th birthday. The rest is history.

Photographer Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco on this date in 1902. His father worked in the timber industry, a business he’d inherited from his father before him. Adams would later condemn the lumber industry for its effect on the redwood forests he loved. Adams was an unruly boy — hyperactive and mostly likely also dyslexic — and he was expelled from several schools. He later recalled: “Each day was a severe test for me, sitting in a dreadful classroom while the sun and fog played outside. Most of the information received meant absolutely nothing to me. […] Education without either meaning or excitement is impossible. I longed for the outdoors, leaving only a small part of my conscious self to pay attention to schoolwork.” His parents finally gave up and began homeschooling him when he was 12. When he was 14, they gave him two gifts. One was a camera: a Kodak #1 Box Brownie. The second gift was a family trip to Yosemite National Park.

Source: The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

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