Moonrise Hernandez New Mexico is one of the many photographs by Ansel Adams that was taken in a late afternoon of November 1941. This photo was taken from the shoulder of Route 84-285.
Due to the popularity of the photo, Adams made over 1,300 prints of it in his photography career.
The photo was so popular that a onetime art historian H. W. Janson referred to it as “the perfect marriage in pure and straight photography.”
To date the photo is widely considered as one of the photos that changed US history if not the world. Ansel Adams literally gave a paradigm shift to US landscape photography.
It was nearly impossible to capture this photograph; however Ansel together with a number of other veteran photographers had for some time mastered the art of taking broad, sharp, long exposure landscape photography. This photo was taken using a large scale shot and a remarkable depth of field.
The beauty of this picture has held many at a gaze, it doesn’t require the observer to be an expert to see and recognize the natural and free flowing harmony in the scene. It is Adams' skill that brought out this harmony; its detail, composition and brilliance influences many a generation of landscape photographers.
This photo is hailed by many for its eerie sandstone pinnacles, forest like vaulted cathedrals and the marvels of Yosemite. Moonrise Hernandez New Mexico is now regarded as the most lucrative photo of fine art ever taken.
It has been sold and resold several times at auctions with its price ever rising. It is a testimony of the breathtaking beauty of the American landscape and grandeur. The moon stands guard over the ancient dead kings of the Wild West frontier: a true American legend printed and immortalized in an epic photo like never before.