Carleton Watkins positioned his camera in what appears to be midair, capturing the breathtaking effect of the view of Yosemite Valley on first-time visitors. The wonder and amazement led one spectator to proclaim, ''I can tell you nothing of the beauty and grandeur of the scenery--I could not speak, my breath was gone . . . .It is truly the great work of God." Such a remark reveals that Watkins's photographs confirmed the sense of wonder celebrated in America's grand wilderness.


  • Title: [First View of the Valley]
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date Created: about 1866
  • Location Created: Yosemite, California, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 41.1 × 52.4 cm (16 3/16 × 20 5/8 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.XM.11.1
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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