Oso House, Bear Valley, Mariposa County

Carleton Watkinsabout 1859–1860

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This image reveals Carleton Watkins's skill for choosing the right spot to place his camera. Taking the picture on a winter day with the bright sun low in the sky allowed him to expose the image in a short time--possibly a twenty-fifth of a second. The speed captured only one individual moving his head and leg, on the far left; the five men on and inside the stagecoach and all but one of the twelve men standing nearby remained perfectly still for the brief period of the exposure. Watkins made the photograph to document John C. Frémont's departure from Bear Valley for Europe. Frémont is the second man from the right, on top of the stagecoach.


  • Title: Oso House, Bear Valley, Mariposa County
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date Created: about 1859–1860
  • Location Created: Mariposa County, California, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 33.2 × 41.3 cm (13 1/16 × 16 1/4 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Salted paper print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XM.171.34
  • 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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