from the preface . . .

This book may be considered as a photographic introduction to the national parks and scenic monuments. It relates more to photography in than of the areas so designated. Fortunate he is who may see Mount McKinley against the summer midnight sky, the lush fern forests of Kilauea, the white jubilance of Yosemite's waters, and the somber rock and surf of Acadia National Park. To record and interpret these qualities for others, to brighten the drab moods of cities, and build horizons of the spirit on the edge of plain and desert -- these are some of the obligations of art. The grandeurs and intimacies of nature as presented here will, I hope, encourage the spectator to seek for himself the inexhaustible sources of beauty in the natural world about him.
      In the short text I express opinions developed over many years. After more than forty years' close association with the parks and the conservation movement I am more aware than I expected to be of the problems of the public, the government administrator, the public-service operators, and the conservationists.
      I am naturally pleased that the Sierra Club should wish to add this book to its distinguished list, and the club should choose to do so now, when in the conflict over how and by whom certain lands should be administered, the very quality which is the integrity of these places may be lost in the dust of battle.

--ANSEL ADAMS

[Photograph:  The Golden Gate Headlands, California]