NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 21, 2007

Ansel Adams book is teacher’s pet project

MERRIMAC — Lance Hidy can say with all honesty that he worked side-by-side with the late Ansel Adams, who is considered a legend in the field of wilderness photography and an early leader of the environmental movement.

Known worldwide for his black-and-white images of America’s national parks, Adams spent most of his life camping and trekking the backwoods of America to capture its natural glory. He lived from 1902 to 1984.

Hidy, 60, of Merrimac, an instructor of art and design at Northern Essex Community College as well as a successful graphic artist, spent three days with Adams designing his last book on photography titled “Yosemite and the Range of Light.”

Hidy said he is now working on another book featuring Adams’ works. It will be titled “Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs” and is scheduled for release in October.

Hidy’s own typeface design, which he calls Penumbra, will be featured in the titles and captions in the new Adams book. The Hidy typeface has also appeared on posters for “The Da Vinci Code” and other Hollywood movies.

The book on Yosemite was published in 1978. Hidy said it was the publisher’s best-selling book that year and continues to be a favorite among fans of Adams’ stunning black-and-white wilderness images.

About 100 people who attended a recent presentation by Hidy at Northern Essex were treated to anecdotes about his relationship with Adams, along with a slide show on some of Adams’ best-known images of America’s national parks.

Hidy told the crowd that when he was visiting with Adams, the phone rang, and Adams left the room for a half-hour. When Adams returned, he said he didn’t know who the caller was, but that it was a man asking him to explain the “zone” system — a photographic exposure technique Adams helped create.

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