Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Yousuf Karsh and Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams and Yousuf Karsh hosting a workshop, 1977 by Gary Faye

These two characters co-hosted a workshop in Yosemite in 1977, and thanks to social media, we heard a new tale from the event. Photographer Gary Faye attended four of Adams’ workshops. He told us:

Ansel invited excellent instructors from specialties other than landscape. Karsh was one of those greats.

The class format was a series of seminars with conversational breaks and field practice sessions.  I was fortunate to be present at several personal moments. One of these was a portrait session with Ansel and Karsh. This was a short break, Polaroid at the ready while a Karsh assistant acted as a human light stand providing illumination. I just happened to be in a good spot with a camera. I only made one frame, not wanting to intrude.

© Gary Faye

Karsh and Ansel were strolling in a field with light banter and Karsh suggested Ansel had an unfair advantage/alliance with the gods whereby dramatic weather would appear whenever desired.

© Gary Faye

At that exact moment there was a loud thunderclap whereby Ansel extended his hands as acceptance of the celestial gift and Karsh laughing, clapped his hands enthusiastically.

The Estate is also in touch with Karsh’s assistant at the time, Alan Ross. Some of Alan’s photographs from this same workshop are below.

Ansel Adams and Yousuf Karsh, 1977, by Alan Ross
Ansel Adams and Yousuf Karsh, 1977, by Alan Ross

And finally, the set up for Karsh’s portrait of Adams – you can see Karsh’s choices here.

Yousuf Karsh photographs Ansel Adams, Yosemite, 1977, by Alan Ross