POCATELLO, Idaho - One Pocatello man says he discovered an Ansel Adams original.
Sergio Romero unwrapped what he said is an original photograph of Yosemite's El Capitan by the famous photographer Ansel Adams. It's a piece nobody knew existed until he and his son accidentally discovered it at an estate sale in spring 2011.
"Our job was to go and just clean the place up," Romero said. "In the corner, there was a stack of paintings and in these paintings my son and I observed the image there that was fascinating."
So that is when Romero decided to begin researching what he had found.
It turns out, the woman who lived at that house on Wayne Avenue used to be an art collector, and Romero discovered she had acquired pieces from around the world.
With his office walls completely plastered with research notes about the black and white photograph, Romero's family said he has spent hundreds of hours and every waking moment these past two years trying to disprove what he found.
"Initially it was so unbelievable that he really tried to discredit the image and found that wasn't possible," Romero's girlfriend, Teri Williams, said.
However, Ansel's signature on the back of the frame did not match any of his other signatures on record. Since the picture is believed to be dated back to the year 1917, that would make Adams 15 years old when he snapped the picture. Romero discovered his signature did not match any of the other ones he found because the only signatures of Adams on record were documented when he was older.
Romero said this is the first, and possibly only, Adams photograph he signed as a teenager.
He also said art galleries from around the nation are reaching out to him and his California-based attorney to try and get in contact with the photo.
Romero plans to meet with representatives from the Ansel Adams Gallery in San Francisco, the photographer's birthplace, by next month to confirm its legitimacy.
Romero and his family also said the photograph has been placed back into a safe in an undisclosed location.
Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides