Adam's was known for his work on America's national park's. (I particular Yosemite.) In this piece he manages to capture the majestic view of the lake in the middle of the photo with the towering mountains in the background.
Adams uses black and white in the majority of his photos and this is no exception.
His use of light is exquisite here as the darker foreground and lighter background makes the mountains more striking and draws the eye towards them.
The composition is also very strong drawing greatly on the well-known technique of using the "rule of threes".